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2007 NBC National Heads-Up Championship Day 2

Defending Champion Knocked out in Sweet 16; Shannon Elizabeth Upsets Barry Greenstein; Nam Le and Gavin Smith Among Elite Eight Participants

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Poker's "Big Dance" continued with round two and the Sweet 16 of the 2007 NBC National Heads-Up Championship. Saturday featured the completion of two levels, as the returning field of 32 bluffed, busted, and sucked out all the way to the tournament's Elite Eight.

The day also included the popping of the money bubble, as the players who advanced to the Sweet 16 all cashed in the event.

Here are the payouts for the 2007 NBC National Heads Up Championship:

First place - $500,000
Second place - $250,000
Third and fourth place - $125,000
Fifth-eighth place - $75,000
Ninth-16th place - $25,000

The combined fields of the club and spade brackets began play at noon PST with $200-$400 blinds and $40,000 starting stacks.

Second Round

Club Bracket/Spade Bracket

For fans, the club bracket offered a matchup between "The Unabomber" and "The Costa Rican Shark," as Phil Laak and Humberto Brenes squared off at the featured table. Following several on-camera appearances by the shark card protector, and a couple of hugs (yes, hugs), Brenes eliminated Laak courtesy of a two pair holding against top pair.

Along with "The Brenes & Phil Show," early action saw an upset as Shannon Elizabeth advanced in her heads-up match against two-time WSOP bracelet winner Jeff Madsen. The American Pie actress rivered a flush to beat pocket fives on the winning hand.

Defending champion Ted Forrest played in the day's first heat. He and Shawn Sheikhan battled longer than any other club/spade bracket matchup. After doubling twice, Forrest joined the Sweet 16 field when his K 5 paired a king to best Sheikhan's A 5.

Club Bracket results:

Humberto Brenes over Phil Laak
Shannon Elizabeth over Jeff Madsen
Barry Greenstein over Vanessa Rousso
Huckleberry Seed over Chip Reese

Next-round matchups:

Shannon Elizabeth vs. Barry Greenstein
Humberto Brenes vs. Huckeberry Seed

Spade Bracket results:

Ted Forrest over Shawn Sheikhan
T.J. Cloutier over Tuan Le
Paul Wasicka over Joe Hachem
Nam Le over Annie Duke

Next-round matchups:

Paul Wasicka vs. T.J. Cloutier
Nam Le vs. Ted Forrest

Heart Bracket/Diamond Bracket

Second-round play for the heart and diamond brackets started at 2:30 p.m. PST. Among the early eliminations, Scott Fischman prevented Don "Phil Ivey Killer" Cheadle from notching a second high-profile upset. Fischman flopped two pair with his J 4, and advanced to the next round when Cheadle's paired jack bricked out on the turn and river.

While Fischman dispatched Cheadle at the feature table, Mike Matusow and Michael Mizrachi tangled in one of the bracket's longer matches. In the previous day's action, Matusow labeled Mizarachi a "spook" (aka, an incredibly lucky player), then advanced after rivering a straight to crack Mizrachi's flopped set of queens.

Heart Bracket results:

Andy Bloch over Allen Cunningham
"The Mouth" over "The Grinder"
Gavin Smith over Johnny Chan
Phil Gordon over Jamie Gold

Next-round matchups:

Andy Bloch vs. Mike "The Mouth" Matusow
Gavin Smith vs. Phil Gordon

Diamond Bracket results:

Kristy Gazes over Isabelle Mercier
Scott Fischman over Don Cheadle
"Yukon" Brad Booth over David Williams
Chad Brown over Gabe Kaplan

Next-round matchups:

Kristy Gazes vs. Scott Fischman
"Yukon" Brad Booth vs. Chad Brown

Sweet 16

Club Bracket/Spade Bracket

At 5:50 p.m. PST, the remaining club and spade bracket participants returned to the Caesar's Palace poker room for the Sweet 16 round of the NBC National Heads Up Championship.

Blinds opened at $400-$800 and players started with $80,000 chip stacks.

In the club bracket, the tournament's bona fide "Cinderella story" continued as Shannon Elizabeth pulled off a Villanova-beats-Georgetown caliber upset over Barry Greenstein. Elizabeth built a substantial chip lead in early play, then eliminated Greenstein with a flopped full house against a rivered straight.

Paul Wasicka became the second player to advance to the Elite Eight, when, holding pocket queens, he called T.J. Cloutier's all-in move with pocket treys.

Nam Le ended Ted Forrest's title defense during the Sweet 16's first heat. After doubling up twice through Forrest, Le busted the 2006 Heads Up champion courtesy of an A-8 holding against A-3.

At the featured table for the second consecutive matchup, Humberto Brenes utilized his usual array of good luck charms (shark card protector, "Costa Rica" jester's hat) en route to making Huckleberry Seed the final elimination of the heat. Brenes advanced after his flopped top pair stayed ahead of Seed's straight draw.

Club Bracket results:

Shannon Elizabeth over Barry Greenstein
Humberto Brenes over Huckleberry Seed

Next-round match-up:

Shannon Elizabeth vs. Humberto Brenes

Spade Bracket results:


Paul Wasicka over T.J. Cloutier
Nam Le over Ted Forrest

Next-round match-up:

Paul Wasicka vs. Nam Le

Heart Bracket/Diamond Bracket


The second, and final heat of the Sweet 16 kicked off at 8 p.m. PST, and featured one of the day's more "risqué" side bets. After wagering designer Jimmy Chu shoes with her previous opponents (Clonie Gowen and Isabelle Mercier), Kristy Gazes participated in a side bet with Scott Fischman in which the loser bought the winner a night's worth of lap dances.

In the end, Gazes earned a spot in the Elite Eight, and some quality time with Vegas's finest dancer, when her A 2rivered a wheel to eliminate Fischman.

Gavin Smith cracked pocket aces en route to his quarterfinals appearance. Smith, after moving all in with 10 4 on a two- heart board, eliminated Phil Gordon (A A) after the 5 turn completed his flush draw.

Like Gordon, "Yukon" Brad Booth exited the NHUC courtesy of a strong starting hand failing to hold up. Booth, all in with A K, appeared in good shape to double when Chad Brown showed K 6, but a paired 6 on the board gave Brown the winning hand, and ended Booth's run in the round of 16.

Andy Bloch became the final player to advance to the Elite Eight. Bloch busted Mike Matusow, who moved all in blind on numerous occasions due to the increasing blinds, when his Q 2 held against Matusow's 9 4.

Heart Bracket results:

Andy Bloch over Mike Matusow
Gavin Smith over Phil Gordon

Next-round match-up:

Andy Bloch vs. Gavin Smith

Diamond Bracket results:

Kristy Gazes over Scott Fischman
Chad Brown over Brad Booth

The NBC National Heads Up Championship resumes at 11:30 a.m. PST with the Elite Eight and will conclude with the crowning of a new champion.

Stay tuned to CardPlayer.com for live updates, photos, videos and recaps.

Quote of the Day: "You think I'm getting my money in with 10 high if it's not good?" - Gavin Smith on why he pushed all in with 10 high against Phil Gordon's pocket aces.

 
 
 
 

Comments

QuietlyTakingYourChips
almost 15 years ago

How the heck is Kristy Gazes still in? She's a super donk, super donk.

 
Reply
 

dokkabi
almost 15 years ago

This event proves that Shannon is not only one of the hottest girls ever but poker-smart as well. Please go out with me. Maybe you can teach me how to play poker.

 
Reply
 

number9dodge
almost 15 years ago

The final 8 is Shannon Elizabeth, Humberto Brenes, Paul Wasika, Nam Le, Andy Bloch, Gavin Smith, Kristy Gazes and Chad Brown. Where oh where is the star power? I mean I thought heads up play was supposed to be the truest test of poker skill and yet the biggest name in the final 8 is Andy Bloch. No Ivey, no Chan, no Ferguson, no Negreanu, no Cunningham, no Forrest, no Juanda, no Todd Brunson. The poker brat and Texas Dolly didn't even play. If I had to pick a winner I'd go with Bloch. He's had the toughest road to the final 8, beating Harmon, Cunningham and Matusow. Nam Le will also make it to the final match. Bloch over Le is my prediction.

 
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