As the sixth annual NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship quickly approaches, the list of players has already been released, as well as the NBC broadcast dates. There are seven qualifiers on the list of competitors who have yet to be named, but the rest of the attendees have confirmed and look to make up a solid series of heads-up poker matches for the show. The tournament festivities with a $1.5 million prize pool will kick off on March 4 with the drawing party at PURE Nightclub at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, at which points the brackets will be established and the matches will be ready to begin on March 5. Two days of matches will then result in the finals to be held on March 7.
Last year, Huck Seed defeated Vanessa Rousso for the title, and both players will return in 2010 to compete again. Some legends of the game will be present, such as Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Mike Sexton, and Johnny Chan, as well as players who have made names for themselves recently like Joe Cada, Eric Baldwin, Darvin Moon, Brock Parker, Pieter de Korver, Leo Wolpert, and JP Kelly. Celebrities who have also shown themselves to be solid players are on the list - Don Cheadle, Orel Hershiser, Jennifer Tilly, and Gabe Kaplan. Kara Scott will make her debut as a PartyPoker-sponsored pro, and Annette Obrestad will play her first major televised tournament in the United States since she turned 21.
Other big names confirmed to be in attendance include Andy Bloch, Allen Cunningham, Erik Seidel, Annie Duke, Tom Dwan, Sam Farha, Chris Ferguson, Barry Greenstein, Joe Hachen, Gus Hansen, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Laak, Bertrand Grospellier, John Juanda, Howard Lederer, Scotty Nguyen, Daniel Negreanu, Erick Lindgren, Mike Matusow, Greg Raymer, Chris Moneymaker, Jerry Yang, and Jamie Gold.
The tournament will again be sponsored by GoDaddy.com and broadcast on NBC. Coverage of all matches will be readied for the following weekend air dates on NBC, though times may be adjusted due to previously scheduled sports programming:
|April 18: ||Noon-1am ET |
|April 25: ||Noon-2pm ET |
|May 2: ||Noon-2pm ET |
|May 9: ||Noon-2pm ET |
|May 16: ||Noon-2pm ET |
|May 23: ||noon-3pm ET |
NBC Sports Executive Vice President Jon Miller commented, “The lineup of competitors for this year’s event is the best yet. Continually bringing together the best of the best to compete in this unique format has made the National Heads-Up Poker Championship one of the most anticipated poker events of the year.”