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NBC Heads-Up Bracket Set for Play

2005 Champion Phil Hellmuth Is Notably Absent


Note: New information about Phil Hellmuth was added to this story since it was published late last night.

The stars of the poker world - and some from Hollywood - packed into Pure nightclub tonight (March 1) at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for NBC's National Heads-Up Poker Championship drawing party.

Players, two by two, took the stage after their names were called. Tomorrow they will sit down at the intimate tables on the set built in Caesars's poker room to see who will become the next champion.

The bracket is just like the NCAA basketball bracket, with the 64 players playing until they're knocked out. The final player standing wins $500,000. There are four groups of 16 players in the quarters of clubs, spades, hearts, and diamonds.

Phil Hellmuth, who won the first event in 2005, was supposed to play in the third installment, but according to a representative at NBC, he was traveling overseas and was unable to get back to the States in time. 2007 World Series of Poker runner-up Paul Wasicka replaced him.

Play will go on during the day tomorrow (Friday) starting at 11:30 a.m. with the clubs bracket. The full bracket is listed as follows:

The clubs:

  • Shannon Elizabeth vs. Rene Angelil
  • Steve Zolotow vs. Jeff Madsen
  • Erick Lindgren vs. Vanessa Rousso
  • Barry Greenstein vs. Carlos Mortensen
  • Eric Seidel vs. Humberto Brenes
  • Marco Traniello vs. Phil Laak
  • Patrik Antonius vs. Huck Seed
  • Paul Darden vs. Chip Reese

The spades:

  • Tuan Le vs. Antonio Esfandiari
  • Cyndy Violette T.J. Cloutier
  • Joe Hachem vs. Chris Moneymaker
  • Paul Wasicka vs. Eli Elezra
  • Gus Hansen vs. Shawn Sheikhan
  • Ted Forrest vs. Sammy Farha
  • Annie Duke vs. Jeff Shulman
  • Greg Raymer vs. Nam Le

The hearts:

  • John Michael vs. Allen Cunningham
  • Jennifer Harman vs. Andy Bloch
  • Mike Matusow vs. Daniel Negreanu
  • Michael Mizrachi vs. John Juanda
  • David Benyamine vs. Gavin Smith
  • Johnny Chan vs. J.C. Tran
  • Jennifer Tilly vs. Jamie Gold
  • Phil Gordon vs. Scotty Nguyen

The diamonds:

  • Kristy Gazes vs. Clonie Gowen
  • NBC Online Qualifier Eric Larrivee vs. Isabelle Mercier
  • Don Cheadle vs. Phil Ivey
  • Chris Ferguson vs. Scott Fischman
  • Brad Booth vs. Howard Lederer
  • John D'Agostino vs. David Williams
  • Gabe Kaplan vs. Todd Brunson
  • Chad Brown vs. Yosh Nakano


over 14 years ago

Am I missing it or is Phil Hellmuth not on that list?


over 14 years ago

Didnt see Hellmuth's name, why wouldn't he be there?


over 14 years ago

clearly his performances in the nbc heads up were good enougth to warrent an invite back


over 14 years ago

Sad not to also see Doyle Brunson, Mark Seif and Phil Hellmuth when clearly some of others should have been left out!!!


over 14 years ago

Why the heck is Jamie Gold in this crap!?


over 14 years ago

Where the hell is Hellmuth!!!!!!!!!!!!!


over 14 years ago

Guys, we just found out what happened to Hellmuth. He was invited to the event, but a representative of NBC told me that he was unable to get back from Europe in time to play. Paul Wasicka was named his replacement.