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Poker News | Casino Poker | Tournament Reports

The Round Table – Sights and Sounds from the Heart – NBC Heads-Up

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The partying was done and it was time to get down to business.

The Hearts bracket kicked off day one of the 2008 NBC Heads-Up Championship and my friend Shannon Elizabeth was a part of that bracket along with:

Vanessa Rousso and Antonio Esfandiari

Todd Brunson and Scott Fischman

Jamie Gold and Tom Kelly

Ted Forrest and Orel Hershiser

Allen Cunningham and Chad Brown

Jean-Robert Bellande and Sam Grizzle

Freddy Deeb and Paul Wasicka

Shannon got a tough draw in the form of Andy Bloch, but she did her best in preparing to play an opponent like that.

She was chosen to play at the featured table so we [Shannon’s boyfriend, Clonie Gowen, myself] found our chairs and repeated just as we did last year our ritual of myself holding her purse and kicking Michael Craig out of his seat.

As everyone knows by now Shannon is going to be featured on Dancing with the Stars in the coming months. She mentioned that she had dance practice that night and her partner along with the crew headed to Vegas to capture it all on tape.

As players began to get eliminated, Allen Cunningham took out last year’s second place finisher Chad Brown, Freddy then took out first place finisher Paul Wasicka. This of course meant that there would be a brand new final two for this year’s heads-up.

After being busted Chad took a seat in the audience to sweat his new fiancée Vanessa Rousso. Evidently that sweat worked and she took down Antonio Esfandiari.

Jerry Yang showed up early to check out the action and said he was as ready as he could get. He said he watched a little bit of his opponent Chris Moneymaker’s previous TV appearances, but you just never know in these events. “You have to catch cards.” As you will find out later, Yang did just that.


Another Main Event winner, Jamie Gold, defeated Tom Kelly and gave his mother Jane a kiss on his way out.

In a surprising turn baseball player Orel Hershiser took down Professor Backwards himself, Ted Forrest. Even after the beat Orel was still able to nab a signature on his baseball from Forrest.

After debating for a little while, Jean-Robert Bellande finally called Sam Grizzle on a hand but lost to Sam’s two pair and was once again…eliminated.

Shannon’s match was one of the longest ones, at one point Antonio came over to the table and said, “Sorry Andy. I’m rooting for Shannon.”

Andy smiled and told him it was ok. “I think everyone is rooting for Shannon,” he said with a laugh. “Even my dad is!”

Even with Antonio’s and Andy’s dad’s support Shannon wasn’t able to turn out another win and was defeated by the MIT mastermind in the last match to finish off the bracket. After the match Andy came over and said she played really well. “She got short early and she clawed her way back.”

Shannon complimented Andy’s game
as well saying, “Andy put the pressure on whenever I got short stacked.”

Up next, The Diamonds

The Spades - The Diamonds - The Clubs - The Hearts

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