Heads-up poker is always a relatively tough endeavor. It is made even tougher when you are squaring off against someone who knows you better than most people in the world. Perhaps that is why the heads-up battle between good friends Eric Baldwin and Justin Young at the PokerStars.net NAPT LA Bounty Shootout was such a drawn-out affair. The two pals tangled for nearly three hours after a marathon session of three-handed play before Baldwin prevailed, beating his friend to claim the winner-take-all payday of $134,280.
While Baldwin earned the victory and the biggest payday of the tournament, Young did not walk away empty-handed. He earned $26,000 for winning his preliminary round table and taking out six player bounties, but he also earned a seat in January’s PCA Bounty event for earning the most Kos. Young eliminated Sam Stein, Scott Clements, and Scott Montgomery at his first round table, then disposed of Michael Mizrachi, Clint Coffee, and David Williams to claim the seat, just edging out Mohsin Charania, who finished in fourth place with five bounties to his credit. The PCA Bounty Shootout is scheduled to close the 2011 PCA with a two-day televised event on January 15th and 16th.
The final table also included some players who could make a big impact in the BLUFF Player of the Year race. Both Tom Marchese and Michael Mizrachi could have made a fair amount of progress with a victory, which is worth 165 POY points. While both will pick up some points for their fifth and eighth place finishes respectively, it won’t be enough to put much of a dent in Sorel Mizzi’s lead.
The win will make a difference for Eric Baldwin, who finished runner-up in last year’s race though. The win puts him in the top ten of the ranks and, while it is virtually impossible for him to win the honor, it will have a bearing on his position in the BLUFF/ESPN Power Rankings as well. We’ll have updates on both the Power Rankings and the Player of the Year race coming next week, so be sure to keep an eye on BLUFFMagazine.com.
Here are the results from the NAPT $5K Bounty Shootout Final Table:
1st: Eric Baldwin – $157,280
2nd: Justin Young -$26,000
3rd: David Williams – $24,000
4th: Mohsin Charania – $25,000
5th: Tom Marchese -$24,000
6th: Clint Coffee – $23,000
7th: Pat Pezzin – $22,000
8th: Michael Mizrachi – $24,000
9th: Kevin MacPhee – $23,000
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