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Annie Duke Wins the 2010 NBC Nationald Heads-Up Poker Championship

Duke Joins an Elite List of Champions and Becomes the First Woman NBC Heads-Up Champion


Annie DukeAnnie Duke (pictured left) has added her name to an elite list of champions today by winning the 2010 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship. The final day of action (at the three-day event) began when the elite eight returned starting at 11 a.m. this morning. After two rounds of poker just Duke and Erik Seidel were the only two players left standing in the event.

Seidel’s path to the final included victories over defending champion Huck Seed (round 1), David Williams (round 2), Chris Moneymaker (sweet 16), Peter Eastgate (elite eight), and Scotty Nguyen (final four). His run to the final came as a bit of a shock. Not because Seidel lacks poker talent, but because his previous record in five years at the NBC Heads-Up event was 0-5.

Duke’s path to the final included victories over Andy Bloch (round 1), Darvin Moon (round 2), 2007 NBC Heads-Up champion Paul Wasicka (sweet 16 — the most exciting single match in the tournament), Jerry Yang (elite eight), and Dennis Phillips (final four). Duke’s NBC Heads-Up resumes was weak heading into this year as well. She had fared slightly better than Seidel in her five previous appearances, winning one match for a 1-5 record with no cashes.

The battle between the two friends began with Duke scoring a victory to take a one-game lead in the best-of-three championship final. Seidel won the next game to even the score and ensure that the battle for first place would go the distance. Duke was all in for her tournament life at one point in the final game but she doubled up to take a large chip lead with a pair of queens. Seidel moved all in shortly thereafter but Duke was waiting for him with pocket nines in the hole, which improved to make a straight and give her a 2-1 victory in the final.

Seidel was eliminated in second place and he took home $250,000. He improved his overall NBC Heads-Up record to 5-6 and grew his career earnings to more than $10 million. Duke added another landmark victory to her storied career and won $500,000 as the first woman NBC National Heads-Up Poker champion. She now holds $2,247,824 in career earnings and adds this marquee win to her other top achievements, which include a World Series of Poker bracelet win in 2004 and her victory in the inaugural WSOP Tournament of Champions, which also occurred in 2004. She also improved her overall NBC Heads-Up record to 7-5. Read on below to see how all of the major hands played out on the final day of play at Caesars Palace.

Final Results:

1: Annie Duke — $500,000
2: Erik Seidel — $250,000
3: Scotty Nguyen — $125,000
3: Dennis Phillips — $125,000
5: Jerry Yang — $75,000
5: Doyle Brunson — $75,000
5: Jason Mercier — $75,000
5: Peter Eastgate — $75,000
9: Paul Wasicka — $25,000
9: Eli Elezra — $25,000
9: Annette Obrestad — $25,000
9: Barry Greenstein — $25,000
9: Gabe Kaplan — $25,000
9: Phil Laak — $25,000
9: Chris Moneymaker — $25,000
9: Jamie Gold — $25,000

You can also check out the full results for the tournament at the tournament bracket.

NBC National Heads-Up Poker Champions:

2010: Annie Duke
2009: Huck Seed
2008: Chris Ferguson
2007: Paul Wasicka
2006: Ted Forrest
2005: Phil Hellmuth

Elite Eight Results

Clubs Bracket

Erik Seidel def. Peter Eastgate

Spades Bracket

Scotty Nguyen def. Jason Mercier

Hearts Bracket

Dennis Phillips def. Doyle Brunson

Diamonds Bracket

Annie Duke def. Jerry Yang

Elite Eight Elimination Hands

Peter EastgateErik Seidel Defeats Peter Eastgate ($75,000)

Peter Eastgate (pictured left) was all in holding QClub Suit 7Diamond Suit against the KDiamond Suit 6Diamond Suit of Erik Seidel.

The flop came 10Diamond Suit 7Heart Suit 5Spade Suit and Eastgate took the lead, but the KHeart Suit on the turn changed everything. Down to five outs, the river was the 5Club Suit and Eastgate was eliminated.

Seidel advances to the final four to take on the winner between Jason Mercier and Scotty Nguyen.

Scotty Nguyen Defeats Jason Mercier ($75,000)

Jason Mercier was severely short stacked and all in holding 7Club Suit 5Club Suit against the pocket jacks of Scotty Nguyen.

The flop came QClub Suit 9Club Suit2 Heart Suit and Mercier flopped a flush draw, but the turn and river came 3Diamond Suit and 8Spade Suit to give Nguyen…the win.

Nguyen advanced to the final four to play Erik Seidel.

Doyle BrunsonDennis Phillips Defeats Doyle Brunson ($75,000)

Doyle Brunson (pictured right) was all in on a flop of KDiamond Suit QDiamond Suit 9Spade Suit holding 9Diamond Suit 7Diamond Suit for a pair and flush draw.

Dennis Phillips quickly called, holding AClub Suit KHeart Suit for top pair, top kicker. The turn and river came JClub Suit QClub Suit and Brunson was eliminated.

Phillips advanced to the final four to face off against the winner between Annie Duke and Jerry Yang.

Annie Duke Defeats Jerry Yang ($75,000)

Annie Duke had Jerry Yang all in with the best hand three times and yet never closed it out.

Finally, on the last hand, Yang shoved with JDiamond Suit 3Heart Suit and Duke called with AHeart Suit 8Club Suit. The board came ADiamond Suit JClub Suit 2Spade Suit 10Spade Suit 9Heart Suit and Yang was eliminated.

Duke advanced to face Dennis Phillips in the final four.

Final Four Results

Diamonds Bracket Winner vs. Hearts Bracket Winner

Annie Duke def. Dennis Phillips

Clubs Bracket Winner vs. Spades Bracket Winner

Erik Seidel def. Scotty Nguyen

Elite Eight Elimination Hands

Dennis PhillipsAnnie Duke Defeats Dennis Phillips ($125,000) ($125,000)

After the blinds had reached the point where both players had just over 10 big blinds, Dennis Phillips (pictured left) made his final push with ADiamond Suit 8Spade Suit and Annie Duke made the call with pocket sevens.

The board fell 9Diamond Suit 3Diamond Suit 2Heart Suit 6Club Suit 4Heart Suit and Phillips was eliminated. Duke advanced to the final match to face the winner between Erik Seidel and Scotty Nguyen.

Erik Seidel Defeats Scotty Nguyen ($125,000)

Erik Seidel moved all in on a board reading 10-9-5-7-9 and Scotty Nguyen made the call with K-9 for trips.

Seidel showed 9-7 for a full house and each player’s stack was counted down before it was discovered that Seidel had him covered. Seidel advanced to the finals and will take on good friend Annie Duke.

Championship Match Results

Annie Duke def. Erik Seidel (2-1 match score)

Erik SeidelChampionship Match Elimination Hands

Annie Duke Takes a 1-0 Lead

Annie Duke quickly started off match one in the hole against Erik Seidel (pictured right), but she stormed back to a big lead thanks to countless value bets and relentless pressure on her opponent.

Seidel was back into a corner and was forced to commit the rest of his stack with 8Spade Suit 6Spade Suit on a flop of KSpade Suit JSpade Suit 7Diamond Suit.

Duke made the easy call with ASpade Suit KDiamond Suit and it held when the turn and river fell JHeart Suit and AHeart Suit. Duke now leads 1-0 in the finals. If she wins the next match, she will be the champion.

Erik Seidel Ties the Finals at 1-1

Everything that went right for Annie Duke in the first match went wrong for her in the second. Erik Seidel (pictured right) quickly built up a large lead and never let up. It was just a matter of time before Duke was all in.

She decided on KHeart Suit 5Diamond Suit and Seidel was priced in with 8Spade Suit 7Heart Suit. The board gave him a straight when it fell 9Club Suit 6Heart Suit 4Heart Suit 5Heart Suit 9Spade Suit and Seidel won the match.

Annie DukeAnnie Duke Wins NBC National Heads Up Poker Championship ($500,000) — Erik Seidel Eliminated in Second Place ($250,000)

Erik Seidel had Annie Duke (pictured left) all in as the underdog as his ADiamond Suit KDiamond Suit went up against her QDiamond Suit 9Diamond Suit. The board brought a queen and suddenly, Duke doubled up to take a massive chip lead.

Down to his last few big blinds, Seidel made his final move with AHeart Suit 2Club Suit only to run into Duke’s 9Spade Suit 9Heart Suit. The board fell 8Heart Suit 7Club Suit 6Heart Suit 5Diamond Suit 8Spade Suit and Duke made a straight to earn the victory.

Seidel earned $250,000 for his runner-up finish. Duke takes home $500,000 and the title of 2010 NBC National Heads Up-Poker Champion.



11 years ago

I would like to know how the hell Annie got that many chips in with Q9s.


11 years ago

Congrats Annie!!


11 years ago

'petrographer77', short stacked with massive blinds Q9s gets to be a monster. It's easy to understand.


11 years ago

i wish they would quit calling this an elite tournament. there is nothing elite or prestigous about it.


11 years ago

$2M(2004 TOC Champion) + $500,000(2010 H/U Champion) = more than the $2.4M they said she has won lifetime. I sent an email to Cardplayer a few years ago regarding her lifetime winnings error and it seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Am i the only one that can add? "my 2 cents".


Mr. Honest
11 years ago

Annie is a great poker player However I would have to agree with misfits. Moon,Yang and Phillips does not constitute an elite tournament. I would have to say the NBC H/U Tournament has become pretty water downed.


11 years ago

i like chocolate chip, annie. "my 2 cents".


11 years ago

i like chocolate chip, annie. "my 2 cents".


11 years ago

am i seeing double?


11 years ago

way to go Annie don't let these idiots get to ya.It was elite enough probably more so than the wsop


11 years ago

poker stories are never about losers. we haven't heard a peep from Annie Duke simply because she hasn't won. til now.
also notice how making it to the final table of the WSOP Main event blesses you with the media's approval as being a "great player"


11 years ago

To defend Dennis Phillips and his invitation. Since his November 9 appearance, he has done more for the image of poker and promotion of the sport than almost anyone else I can think of and that is why he's the most popular 3rd place finisher in the history of anything. He's got a great streak of cashes in High Roller events (that he bought into) that show he can play with the best. His second deep run in the WSOP ME should shut up the haters. Yang may be a one hit wonder, but it was a big hit. Wasicka was a runner up in this and the ME, and was an auto invite.

That said -- Any probed her Apprentice touted 'suck out' skills for this win, esp. with Sidel.