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Leif Force Wins 2012 World Series of Poker $3,000 Heads-Up NLH/PLO Event

Force Tops Jason Koon To Win First Bracelet and $207,708


2012 WSOP $3,000 Heads-Up NLH/PLO Champion Leif ForcePoker fans might recognize Leif Force as the dreadlock-wearing “Jungle Boy” who finished 11th in the 2006 World Series of Poker main event for more than $1.1 million. However, now he can be known as a WSOP gold bracelet winner.

Force won nine consecutive heads-up matches to top the 317-player field in the first-ever WSOP $3,000 heads-up no-limit hold’em and pot-limit Omaha event. He scooped the $207,708 first-place prize and 720 Card Player Player of the Year points. Force now sits in 140th place in the overall POY standings.

After defeating tough opponents like George Lind in the round of 16, Andy Frankenberger in the elite eight, Julian Powell in the final four, Force eventually made it to the final showdown with Jason Koon.

Force jumped out to an early lead, especially thriving during the early round of pot-limit Omaha. Koon found a way to turn things around in the no-limit hold’em round, fighting back a bit before winning a key all-in. Force min-raised the button to 60,000 and Koon reraised to 160,000 from the big blind. Force shoved and Koon called. Koon was ahead before the flop with a pocket pair of jacks against Force’s QClub Suit 9Heart Suit. The board came JDiamond Suit 10Diamond Suit 6Heart Suit 9Diamond Suit 9Club Suit, giving Koon a full house on the river to double up to take a lead heading into the next pot-limit Omaha round.

Jason KoonAs in the previous Omaha round, Force quickly began to accumulate chips again, this time as a result of winning a number of key all-in pots. After doubling up twice, the final hand of this heads-up tournament arose.

With a flop of 8Heart Suit 7Diamond Suit 5Club Suit, Force put Koon all-in and was quickly called. Koon held 10Diamond Suit 9Spade Suit 8Spade Suit 5Diamond Suit for top and bottom pair with a open-ended straight draw and Force revealed the AClub Suit KClub Suit JHeart Suit 8Club Suit for top pair and three overs. The 10Club Suit on the turn improved Koon’s two pair, but also gave Force a gutshot straight draw and a backdoor flush draw. The QClub Suit hit the river, giving Force the nut flush and the match-ending pot.

Koon earned $128,660 and 600 POY points for his runner-up finish, and now sits in 51st place in the overall Player of the Year rankings.

Here is a look at the top eight finishers in this event:

Finish Player Earnings POY Points
Champion Leif Force $207,708 720
Finalist Jason Koon $128,660 600
Semifinalist Simeon Naydenov $73,655 420
Semifinalist Julian Powell $73,655 420
Quarterfinalist Gregg Merkow $28,409 210
Quarterfinalist Andy Frankenberger $28,409 210
Quarterfinalist David Benefield $28,409 210
Quarterfinalist Annette Obrestad $28,409 210