2010 National Heads-Up Poker Championship Field

by , Feb 23, 2010 | 5:09 am

The list of who’ll be playing in the 6th running of NBC’s $25k heads-up extravaganza is out. The event runs at Caesar’s March 4-7.

(Looks like a hodgepadge of patches, including one non-poker website … presenting sponsor GoDaddy.com.)

The entire field (alphabetical order):

Patrik Antonius
Eric Baldwin
Andy Bloch
Doyle Brunson
Joe Cada
Johnny Chan
Don Cheadle
Allen Cunningham
Pieter de Korver
Annie Duke
Tom Dwan
Peter Eastgate
Eli Elezra
Antonio Esfandiari
Sam Farha
Chris Ferguson
Ted Forrest
Jamie Gold
Phil Gordon
Barry Greenstein
Bertrand Grospellier
Joe Hachem
Gus Hansen
Jennifer Harman
Phil Hellmuth
Orel Hershiser
Jesper Hougaard
Phil Ivey
John Juanda
Gabe Kaplan
John Paul Kelly
Phil Laak
Howard Lederer
Erick Lindgren
Mike Matusow
Jason Mercier
Dario Minieri
Chris Moneymaker
Darvin Moon
Greg Mueller
Daniel Negreanu
Scotty Nguyen
Annette Obrestad
Brock Parker
Dennis Phillips
Greg Raymer
Shawn Rice (Caesars qualifier)
Vanessa Rousso
Kara Scott
Huck Seed
Erik Seidel
Mike Sexton
Gavin Smith
Jennifer Tilly
Paul Wasicka
David Williams
Leo Wolpert
Jerry Yang

21 Comments to “2010 National Heads-Up Poker Championship Field”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    Is it time to ask the obvious: Where is Yevgeniy Timoshenko?

    I’m assuming the answer is that he had another commitment.

  2. DanM

    Maybe he’s got plans with Kathy Liebert?

  3. Tropical Steve

    Freddie Najafabadi, who won the big heads up event at Borgata, should have gotten an invite.

  4. DanM

    How big was that event. Assuming pretty damn big, it suggests the Borgata is an afterthought … or second-tier poker venue.

    Did the WSOP heads-up champion get invited?

  5. Kevin Mathers

    That was Leo Wolpert.

    For those wondering about Hougaard/John Paul Kelly: They both won a WSOP bracelet in Vegas and London in the same year (Hougaard 2008, Kelly 2009).

    The Borgata event was a 64 player, 2k buy-in event. Last year, the LAPC had a 10k HU event with over 100 entries, and didn’t get an invite either.

  6. Kevin Mathers

    Another thing, no Joe Sebok?

  7. Mean Gene

    I covered the event Hougaard won, the guy did a chip-trick that I almost couldn’t believe, he serpentined a chip between his fingers…I can’t even describe it. It was some Ricky Jay-caliber sleight of hand.

    You think Robert Varkonyi ever thinks that while he got lucky in winning the Main Event, he got a bit unlucky winning the 2002 Main Event? Every champ since Moneymaker gets an invite year after year, and he’s on the outside looking in. Darvin Moon got the nod and he didn’t even win!

    And there are 7 online qualifiers? OK, I guess that gets Caesars a little business with people desperately trying to make the field, but who wants to see a bunch of probably-anonymous qualifiers play? Come on, put Liebert in, put a couple of online heads-up terrors in the field, a couple more Euro/Asian players. Let’s get some flavor, let’s get some players people should know about instead of some qualifier who’ll freeze in front of the cameras.

  8. Kevin Mathers

    It does ruin the “64 best players in the world” idea to have that many qualifiers. It looks like at least 2 were from Full Tilt, 1 from Stars, 1 from nbcsports.com, and three from elsewhere.

  9. DanM

    Maybe a fan favorite by vote? Text in your answers to …

    I’d still like to see a bot get a seat. Would be great for TV and lead to legends — whom would “Loose Larry” take down, and who would step up to save all humanity?

    And how did Fr. Andrew Trapp get overlooked!

  10. DanM

    Still can’t wait to see the brackets …

  11. gobbomom

    fan favorite and probable winner: LuckyChewy

  12. Mark Honbo

    I notice the number of “celebrity” players stands at four: Cheadle, Kaplan, Tilly, Hershiser. (Five, if you count Annie Duke, which I don’t.) Not quite at the 2008 level, when this group plus Jason Alexander and Shannon Elizabeth were in it.

    It makes me wonder, have the network execs and/or the show producers formally tested the audience to see who watches this? I know the ultra-fast structure and certain inclusions/exclusions are defended as being “TV-friendly.” But I’m really starting to wonder — in 2010, mind you — if the show’s audience doesn’t largely consist of poker-savvy types? In other words, it might not be necessary to broaden the appeal to John Q. Public and Mary Sixpack when they’re simply watching reruns of Shark Tank.

  13. scott diamond

    No J.C.Tran or Nam Le…very unusual since J.C. Played last year. No Michael Mizrachi who has over 6 million in tournament cashes. Yes he has been out of the limelight lately but he is still young and a good player. What has Sammy Farha and Johhny Chan done lately

    No Jeff Madsen who has been on a tear this year…..

  14. Kevin Mathers

    To fill in the blanks:

    Annette Dworsky – FTP Qualifier
    Richard Edwards – FTP Qualifier
    William Huntress – Caesars Palace Qualiifer
    Stephen Quinn – PokerStars Qualifier
    Dan Ramirez – NBCsports.com Qualifier
    Shawn Rice – Caesars Palace Qualifier
    Andrew Wilson – PokerStars Qualifier

  15. Jason B

    Wasn’t shawn rice a UB red player at one time? If its the same guy, he had a run in WPT event like 6 years ago

  16. DanM

    yeah, good on him for making it. wondering who he’ll be representing. once upon a time Team UB was not the seciest bunch out there:

    (Rice, center)

  17. Kevin Mathers

    He’s still a UB Team Pro.

  18. DanM

    what does UB call their B-squad? not red pros …

  19. Kevin Mathers

    Super users?

  20. DanM

    lol, that would be funny. great name for a softball or dream-team team.

  21. bigdaddy

    what does UB call their B-squad? not red pros …

    Super users?

    Kevin thats funny enough for the award winning Poker Beat… Dan try to work that in to this weeks episode