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2009 | Live & Online Poker Tournament News
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Sunday, March 8, 2009 | Francis Lee


The last 32 players were welcomed back to play the second and third rounds of the 2009 NBC National Heads Up Poker Championship.  Four groups of eight players started out on Friday and by the end of today’s play, there would only be two players left from each group to go through to the quarter finals.  The first place prize on offer to the winner is $500,000 so the stakes were high.

To start off the day both the Hearts and Diamonds group took to the felt at the same time. 16 players was set to make the money so every one who won there first match would make the cash.  So it meant these matches were worth $25,000 to the winner.

The first player to make a guaranteed cash was John Phan who beat the 2007 WSOP champion Jerry Yang.  Gus Hansen was next to fall when all in with pocket Jacks.  His opponent Huck Seed called tabling :as :qc and won the match pairing a Queen on the flop.  David Oppenheim who’s entry to this event was due to Layne Flack having to drop out over came Phil Laak in his match up.  Oppenheim cracked pocket Kings with :ac :jh by pairing his Ace on the flop.

Eli Elezra’s end came when his Rivered two pair was bettered by Erick Lindgren having hit a better two pair  that hit on the same card.  The current WSOP champion Peter Eastgate fell just short of the money beaten by Sam Farha.  Jenifer Harman lost out to Kenny Tran and Glen Chorney managed to win his match against the 2006 winner of this event Ted Forest.  The last match up between David Williams and Scott Fischman ended when Williams picked up pockets Fours and found himself up against :kd :2c Williams managed to dodge the King to book his place in the next round.  The third round match ups for these groups was as follows:

Hearts Group

  • Erick Lindgren vs David Williams
  • John Phan vs Sammy Farha

Diamonds Group

  • Kenny Tran vs David Oppenheim
  • Huck Seed vs Chorny

Bertrand Grospellier was the first player from the Spades and Clubs group to make the third round dispatching Ziiigmund Sahamies.  Tom Dawn was next through beating Barry Greenstein and was set to meet Phil Hellmuth as he won against the live qualifier Jefferey Ishbia.  This was a bit of a grudge match as Dawn eliminated Hellmuth from this event last year.

Paul Wasicka continued his search for his second win in this event coming through his match against Don Cheadle but Ted Forest’s quest for his second championship came to an end against Scotty Nguyen. Dario Minieri found Daniel Negreanu too good in their match up and John Juanda was victorious against Gabe Kalpin.  The final place in round three was taken by the  Vanessa Rousso.  She beat Phil Ivey’s pocket Eights with pocket Tens to win the match.  The third round match ups for the Clubs and Spades Groups looked as follows:

Clubs Group

  • Paul Wasicka vs. Vanessa Rousso
  • Daniel Negreanu vs. Scotty Nguyen

Spades Group

  • John Juanda vs. Bertrand Grospellier
  • Phil Hellmuth vs. Tom Dawn

The last four matches started soon after and it wasn’t long before the first player was out. Phil Hellmuth became the only previous champion left, looking for the second heads up title, as he made it through taking out Tom Dawn.  Daniel Negreanu was next through as he overcame Scotty Nguyen in there match up.  The final two quarter final places were taken by Bertrand Grospellier and Vanessa Rousso who eliminated John Juanda and Paul Waskicka respectively.  The quarter final match ups was set as follows:

Hearts Final

  • David Williams v. Sammy Farha

Diamonds Final

  • David Oppenheim v. Huck Seed

Clubs Final

  • Vanessa Rousso v. Daniel Negreanu

Spades Final

  • Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier v. Phil Hellmuth



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