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By Burt Davis
Photos by Burt Davis or Dianne Davis unless otherwise noted



After a one year hiatus, NBC’s National Heads up Poker tournament has returned to Caesar's Palace.  The play took place on January 24 26, 2013 and was taped for showing on NBC and NBC sports in March.

An evening drawing party at Cleopatra’s Barge in Caesar’s Palace gave the players a chance to mingle and socialize before getting down to business. A video of past Heads-Up events was shown. The humorous side and antics of many of the players were on display in the video.

Then, the matches were determined by drawing names in front of the participants present.  

Daniel Negreanu
Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu took the microphone for a moment to pay public praise to poker icon Doyle Brunson.  He said that, “ If it wasn’t for Doyle, none of us would be here.”

 Doyle Brunson
Doyle Brunson

The tourney was an invite-only event that features 64 of the world's leading poker players. The buy-in was $25,000. The tourney winner received $750,000, while second place received $300,000.  Semi-finalists received $100,000 each while places 5—8 received $50,000 each and places 9-16 each obtained $25,000. 

The list of participants reads like a who's who of the poker world.

You may wonder who won the tournament. Press were asked not to disclose the results in advance of the broadcast.  So tune into NBC in March to get the results.

Barry Greenstein
Barry Greenstein


Brian Hastings
Brian Hastings


   Bruce Miller
Bruce Miller


Erik Seidel
Eric Seidel

Gaelle Baumann and Liv Boerre
Gaelle_Baumann and Liv Boerre



Greg Raymer


Greg Raymer


Jonathan Duhamel

Kyle Julius and Andy Block
Kyle Julius and Andy Bloch


Mike Matusow and Michael Mizrachi
 Mike Matusow and Michael Mizrachi


Phil Hellmuth and Mike Sexton
Phil Hellmuth and Mike Sexton


Phil Ivey and Phil Laak
Phil Ivey and Phil Laak



Antonio Esfandiari vs. Jennifer Tilly
Jonathan Duhamel vs. Matt Glantz
Chris Moorman vs. Carlos Mortensen
Matt Salsberg vs. Daniel Cates
Vanessa Rousso vs. Yevgeniy Timoshenko
Shaun Deeb vs. Andy Frankenberger
Andy Bloch vs. Kyle Julius
Will Failla vs. Scott Seiver

Ben Lamb vs. Barry Greenstein
John Monnette vs. Greg Raymer
Viktor Blom vs. Andrew Lichtenberger
Michael Mizrachi vs. Mike Matusow
David Williams vs. John Hennigan
Sam Simon vs. David Oppenheim
Phil Laak vs. Phil Ivey
Isaac Haxton vs. Justin Bonomo

In the Hearts bracket

Joseph Cheong vs. Olivier Busquet

Jean-Robert Bellande vs. Bruce “B. J.” Miller ( qualifier)
Maria Ho vs. Phil Galfond
Eugene Katchalov vs. Faraz Jaka
Justin Smith vs. Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier
Phil Hellmuth vs. Mike Sexton
Chris Moneymaker vs. Jason Somerville


The Diamonds bracket features the defending champion (albeit in 2011) of the NHUPC:

Erik Seidel vs. Tom Dwan
Tom Marchese vs. Doyle Brunson
Brian Hastings vs. Matt Matros
Nick Schulman vs. Eli Elezra
Greg Merson vs. Joe Serock
Mohsin Charania vs. Huck Seed
Liv Boeree vs. Gaelle Baumann
Jason Mercier vs. Dan Smith




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