After accepting a challenge from Rui Cao to play heads-up online for $1 million spread out over 2-7 Triple Draw, Pot-Limit Omaha and No-Limit Hold'em, Patrik Antonius has taken the first two legs of the competition and is leading in the final stage as well.
Several poker news sites had reported that Cao had taken a lead in the match, but it turns out that the two combatants had taken part in a bit of a warm-up and the actual challenge did not commence until last Saturday, highstakesdb reported. Action began in 2-7 Triple Draw with blinds of $1,500/$3,000. Antonius took care of the Frenchman and captured the first stage of the match and $300,000.
The pair began playing the No-Limit Hold'em portion of the challenge and halted play with the Finnish pro up about $60,000. The following day, the pros agreed to switch over to the $200/$400 Pot-Limit Omaha leg of the match. Antonius appeared a bit rusty with online procedures, as Cao had to explain to him how to automatically reload to 100 big blinds, which was a requirement agreed to earlier.
It took about 75 hands for Antonius to win $50,000, exuding a great deal of pressure and forcing Cao to fold to several large river bets. Cao got the $50,000 back and the two were once again even, but Antonius took control again, winning almost $155,000 over about 300 hands. Play was halted as Antonius announced that he had to leave.
After about a four hour break, play resumed with Cao grabbing $30,000 in 40 hands. But the momentum quickly swung to Antonius' favor, who was up another $38,000 after less than an hour and a half. Another ten-minute break later and a switch to two new Full Tilt tables, Antonius won another $200,000 in about 80 hands. That concluded the Pot-Limit Omaha leg of the challenge with Antonius winning roughly $390,000.
All that remains is the No-Limit Hold'em portion of the $1 million challenge which began over the weekend and finds Antonius up by roughly $60,000. Whatever happens the rest of the match, the 32-year-old Antonius has already won. Perhaps Cao will at last admit that he is not equal to the Finnish pro in heads-up competition, but that seems unlikely.