NBC Announces Field for 2011 Heads-Up Championship
By Ian Hiaring, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer
Wednesday 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.
NBC will tape the tournament and broadcast it over the course of six weeks beginning on April 17th.