NBC National Heads-Up Championship Returns

January 24, 2013

NBC’s Heads-Up Poker Championship will return after a yearlong hiatus. The NBC HHUPC is an invitation only live tournament that amasses 64 of the biggest players in professional poker.

2013 NBC NHUPC producer Mori Eskandani believes that the return of this event is a good sign for US poker and shows progress for the industry.

The $25K buy-in makes the event prestigious, as the made-for-tv format, will hopefully stir up online poker interest again in the mainstream poker community.

Eskandani says, “When [NBC is] bringing poker back, it’s good news.”

And even more good news is that for the first time since the inaugural National Heads-Up Poker Championship in 2005, Caesars Interactive Entertainment Inc. will market WSOP.com banners, as the Caesars brand just recently received licensing privileges to operate intrastate online poker in the state of Nevada.

The first round of the tournament will begin today at 2:00 p.m. at the Caesars Palace poker room. One of the thrilling matchups includes Antonio Esfandiari against Jennifer Tilly. Esfandiari is the best friend of Tilly’s boyfriend, Phil Laak.

Tilly says of her opponent, “He’s the only one I can’t read.”
Laak will face off against Phil Ivey, while Justin Bonomo will go up against Ike Haxton. Mike Matusow goes up against Michael Mizrachi and Gaelle Baumann will play Liv Boeree.
2009’s Phil Hellmuth vs. Mike Sexton, in which Hellmuth was the victor, will return for a re-match. Daniel Negreanu has declined his invite due to a prior engagement.

In order to cash, players must win at least two matches. To win the $750K first place prize, the champion will have to win six matches. The event will culminate on Saturday

Six consecutive two-hour episodes will air weekly beginning in March on NBC.


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