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Round 1 of the 2011 NBC National Heads Up Poker Championship

Emmitt Smith Carries The Torch For Celebrity Players

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Emmitt SmithAfter 12 hours of play, the field of 64 at the 2011 NBC National Heads Up Poker Championship has been cut in half.

Celebrities such as Jason Alexander and Don Cheadle were successfuly ousted by Liv Boeree and Tom Dwan, but former NFL star Emmitt Smith battled hard to win his match against David Williams and move onto the round of 32.

One of the most talked about matches entering the day involved Dan “Jungleman12” Cates and Phil Ivey, two nosebleed stakes players who regularly battle online.

Ironically, the match last just a few moments. Cates made a full house and Ivey held trips, forcing all of the chips in the middle. Ivey gave a quick exit interview and then hit the rail, making way for the youngster to move on.

Other notable first round winners included Patrik Antonius, Phil Galfond, Betrand Grospellier, Vanessa Selbst, Jonathan Duhamel, Peter Eastgate, Jason Mercier, Eugene Katchalov, Greg Raymer, Erik Seidel, Barry Greenstein, Carlos Mortensen, Andy Bloch, Phil Laak, Antonio Esfandiari, Doyle Brunson, Chris Moneymaker and Michael Mizrachi.

The 16 players who win in round 2 on Saturday will all make the money, guaranteeing themselves at least $30,000. The eventual winner will take home $750,000.

Take a look at the updated bracket below.