Vanessa Kade / Alex O’Brien charity heads-up match scheduled for January 29

Haley Hintze
Published by:
Posted on January 20, 2022 3:45 pm EST

The highly anticipated $10,000 heads-up match for charity between Vanessa Kade and Alex O’Brien has been scheduled for Saturday, January 29, and it will be broadcast live on sponsor Americas Cardroom’s Twitch channel. The high-profile match will begin at 4:00 pm ET, with ACR donating $10,000 to a charity selected by the match’s winner. The charity or charities that will benefit from the event have yet to be revealed.

ACR announced the scheduling of the match earlier today after agreeing to sponsor the match last month. “We have a mano-a-mano battle on the felt!” ACR posted on its Twitter account. “Watch live on http://twitch.tv/americascardroom as our ACR Team Pro, Vanessa Kade takes on Alexandra O’Brien in a match that will see $10,000 go to charity.”

O’Brien selected Kade as her opponent for the match after being allowed to choose her foe from any of ACR’s sponsored pros as part of ACR offering the match. The $10,000 heads-up duel came about after a sponsored player for rival site GGPoker, Dan Bilzerian, refused to honor his commitment to play the winner of a “Birthday Bash” event with a $10,000 heads-up match against the winner as apart of the prize package. That winner turned out to be O’Brien, which led to Bilzerian’s embarrassing ghosting.

Bilzerian, it appears, was not able to overcome even the hint of a challenge to his outsized misogyny, nor the potential embarrassment of losing. “Women are like dog shit, the older they get the easier they are to pick up,” Bilzerian Tweeted in 2010.

GGPoker, for its part, offered additional prizes to O’Brien to make up for Bilzerian’s appalling behavior, including an entry into a major WSOP heads-up no-limit hold’em event and an additional charity donation on O’Brien’s behalf after ACR stepped in with the replacement HU match offer last month.

O’Brien’s saga also produced GPA finalist nomination

O’Brien, a writer from England, has parlayed her initial ill treatment from Bilzerian into wider fame. The first part of her story, involving her win in the Birthday Bash event and her subsequent befriending by several prominent British and American pros, turned into a stylish feature story that appeared at BBC.com.

The story details the poker training and advice she received from Kade, Olivier Busquet, Fedor Holz, Jamie Kerstetter, Mario Ho, Kara Scott, and many others, each of whom provided advice on both actual heads-up play and the mindset needed to succeed at poker’s higher levels. O’Brien’s piece was so well received that it not only received a nomination in the Global Poker Awards “Best Written Content” category, it was named as one of the four finalists in the category. Whether O’Brien’s feature wins won’t be revealed until next month at the Global Poker Awards ceremony in Las Vegas.

Featured image source: Twitter/Americas Cardroom