Annie Duke triumphed against the crème de la crème of the poker world to win the 6th Annual National Heads-Up Poker Championship presented by GoDaddy.com, the world’s largest domain name registrar, at the Caesars Palace Poker Tournament Room. Duke defeated Erik Seidel, who has won eight World Series of Poker bracelets and ranks 9th all-time money list, in the tournament’s best-of-three finals to claim the championship and the $500,000 first-place prize. Seidel takes home $250,000 as the second-place finisher. The National Heads-Up Poker Championship is taped for broadcast on NBC over six consecutive Sundays beginning April 18 (Noon – 1PM ET).
“I’m so excited to win such a prestigious event and join the likes of Huck Seed, Chris Ferguson and Phil Hellmuth as Heads-Up Champion,” said Duke, who became the first-ever woman to win the National Heads-Up Poker Championship. “I came into this tournament really focused and it feels great to finally break through in this event.”
In five previous NHUPC events, Duke had never made it past the second round and had only advanced out of the first round once. On her way to the finals, she defeated several top players, including Andy Bloch, Darvin Moon, Paul Wasicka, Jerry Yang and Dennis Phillips. Duke’s dramatic come-from-behind victory against Wasicka in the third round was one of the most compelling matches of the weekend.
The single-elimination competition began Friday, March 5 and continued through Sunday, March 7, when a best-of-three championship match determined the winner.
The National Heads-Up Poker Championship features 64 top poker players competing in a series of heads-up (one-on-one matches of No Limit Texas Hold’em) matches to determine the best heads-up poker player in the world. This tournament has a unique, single-elimination, bracket-style format modeled after college basketball’s championship tournament, except that the finals are the best of three.
The brackets are set during the tournament’s draw party held at PURE Nightclub the day before the Championship begins.
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NBC’s television coverage:
April 18 – Noon – 1PM ET/9:00-10:00 AM PT
April 25 – Noon – 2PM ET/9:00-11:00AM PT
May 2 – Noon – 2PM ET/9:00-11:00 AM PT
May 9 – Noon – 2PM ET/9:00-11:00 AM PT
May 16 – Noon – 2PM ET/9:00-11:00 AM PT
May 23 – Noon – 3PM ET/9:00-Noon AM PT
National Heads-Up Poker Championship Prizing Structure:
3rd & 4th Place $125,000
5th – 8th Place $75,000
9th – 16th Place $25,000