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Caesars NBC NHPC Qualifier Determined

Final Nine National Heads Up Poker Championship Hopefuls Compete Through the Night

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The action was down to the final nine poker players on Saturday night at Caesars Las Vegas, with NBC's National Heads Up NBC NHPC Logolive-event qualifier being determined.

On February 10, Caesars Las Vegas offered poker players the chance to win a seat into next month's NBC NHPC, and several hopefuls drove all night just to compete.

Caesars Casino Table Games and Poker Room Manager Jim Pedulla "A couple of guys from Los Angeles barely arrived in time to buy in," stated Caesars casino/table games/poker room manager Jim Pedulla. "Some players came in from Arizona, and overall I'm very happy with the turnout. We're really looking forward to this year's championship."

Seventy-one players paid the $230 to compete. The event offered unlimited $200 rebuys during the first level, with a one-time $200 add-on. At 3 p.m., the cards were in the air and by the end of the first round, Caesars tournament staff had tallied up 79 rebuys, with 62 add-ons, for a total prize pool of $41,128 after deductions.

These were the payouts:

Place Prize
1 $2,500 and a seat into the 2007 NBC NHPC
2 $5,775
3 $3,167
4 $2,328
5 $2,049
6 $1,770
7 $1,490
8 $1,118
9 $931

Notable players included Marco Traniello, Joe Sebok, Ken James, Richard Brody, and Christopher Smith. At 6 p.m. play was down to two tables, but the 30-minute blind structure was beginning to wear on the short-stacks, and by 8 p.m. the final table had been established.

Caesars recently introduced an audience-friendly feature table that sits on a platform at the end of the 6,000-square-foot tournament arena. The feature table allows fans to witness final table action over two 42-inch plasma monitors. This practice is usually reserved for televised events and requires a substantial amount of time and resources to set up. Caesars has made this final table feature a permanent fixture.

"It's all part of Caesars' effort to provide guests with the highest service standards and the most competitive amenities in the industry," said Pedulla.

Here were the final nine players and their seat assignments.
Final Nine Players of the NBC NHPC Live Qualifying Event at Caesars
Seat Player
1 Jim Pittman
2 Ken James
3 David Taylor
4 Troy Tennison
5 Marco Traniello
6 Sir Drafton
7 Ron McMillan
8 Chris Smith
9 James Hoeppner

Card Player is unable to unveil the winner at this time, although the results will be posted on NBCheadsup.com very soon. Check back at CardPlayer.com for NBC's announcement of Caesars' live event winner and the NBCheadsup.com online qualifier. These individuals will go on to join 62 top poker professionals during season three of NBC's National Heads Up Poker Championship.

Card Player will be there to bring you the action live on March 2 from Caesars Las Vegas. Stay tuned to CardPlayer.com for photos, video clips, and live updates March 2-4.