Bambos Xanthos wins World Heads Up Championship

Bambos Xanthos wins World Heads Up Championship

Monday, 2 November 2009

Cyprus’s Bambos Xanthos has been crowned the Littlewoods World Heads Up Champion after beating home favourite James Mitchell in a hard fought final. Both players had come through epic semi final matches, each lasting two hours, to set up the final showdown.

Russia’s Victor Ilyukin, complete with lucky pink shirt, proved no match for Xanthos in the first semi final. The Cypriot held the initiative throughout and eventually sealed the win holding a better kicker to go alongside their shared bottom pair.

The second semi final between Mitchell and good friend Laurence Houghton was just as tense with the lead swinging back and forth in a topsy turvy battle. The key hand saw Mitchell hit an ace on the river to cripple Houghton who’d got all his chips in with a pair of jacks. The end came soon afterwards with Mitchell’s K9 holding up against Houghton’s K3.

The high quality play in the two semi finals promised a top draw final and it didn’t disappoint. The young Briton and his more experienced Cypriot opponent exchanged the lead on numerous occasions before Xanthos managed to build up a three to one chip lead. He sealed the win after check raising Mitchell on an A-10-3 board. Mitchell shoved, revealing 10-7 but Xanthos had the ace for the lead. Another ace on the river gave the Cypriot trips, the win and a first prize of £65,000. Mitchell was forced to settle for £30,000 for his runners up finish. The two semi finalists each collected £15,500.

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