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NBC Announces Field for 2011 Heads-Up Championship

By Ian Hiaring, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer

NBC Heads Up Poker Championship 2011Wednesday morning, NBC announced the participants in the seventh annual National Heads-Up Poker Championship presented by GoDaddy.com. The buy-in for this year’s tournament has been increased from $20k to $25k, with the overall winner pocketing $750,000, and the runner-up taking home $300,000.

The field of 64 is loaded with poker’s biggest names and personalities, with a few celebrities thrown in for fun. All six of the previous champions will be in the tournament, with the exception of 2007 winner Paul Wasicka.

2010 Heads-Up champion Annie Duke will be defending the title when earned last year by defeating Erik Seidel in a memorable final match.

The recently “unretired” Peter Eastgate, winner of the 2008 WSOP Main Event, will be in the field, which includes a total of 11 WSOP Main Event winners.

Celebrities in the field include a few familiar faces to the poker community such as Jason Alexander, Don Cheadle, and Jennifer Tilly.

A potentially interesting matchup could take place between 2010 Bluff Magazine Player of the Year, Sorel Mizzi and 2010 World Series of Poker runner-up, John Racener. Racener recently accused Mizzi of cheating him during a head-up match of Chinese Poker, and the two are currently trading barbs back and forth about the incident.

As juicy as it sounds to have a Racener/Mizzi grudge match,  all pairings are completely random, as the draw for matchups takes place on Thursday, March 3rd, with the tournament to kick off the next day, and last through Sunday, March 6th.

Here’s the complete list of all 64 invitees to the 2011 NBC Heads-Up National Championship.
 
Jason Alexander
Patrik Antonius
Eric Baldwin
David Benyamine
Andy Bloch
Liv Boeree
James Bord
Doyle Brunson
Joe Cada
Daniel Cates
Johnny Chan
Don Cheadle
Nicolas Chouity
Allen Cunningham
Jonathan Duhamel
Annie Duke
Tom Dwan
Peter Eastgate
Eli Elezra
Antonio Esfandiari
Chris Ferguson
Ted Forrest
Phil Galfond
Phil Gordon
Barry Greenstein
Bertrand Grospellier
Joe Hachem
Gus Hansen
Jennifer Harman
Phil Hellmuth
Phil Ivey
Faraz Jaka
John Juanda
Gabe Kaplan
Frank Kassela
Eugene Katchalov
Phil Laak
Howard Lederer
Erick Lindgren
Ayaz Mahmood
Thomas Marchese
Mike Matusow
Jason Mercier
Michael Mizrachi
Sorel Mizzi
Chris Moneymaker
Daniel Negreanu
Scotty Nguyen
Annette Obrestad
Dennis Phillips
Dwyte Pilgrim
John Racener
Greg Raymer
Vanessa Rousso
Kara Scott
Huck Seed
Erik Seidel
Vanessa Selbst
Emmitt Smith
Gavin Smith
Jennifer Tilly
Melburn Whitmire
David Williams
Justin Young

NBC will tape the tournament and broadcast it over the course of six weeks beginning on April 17th.


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