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Fans Tune in to NBC's National Heads-Up Poker Championship

Ted Forrest, Sam Farha, Barry Shulman Make It to Second Round


National Nielsen Ratings for the week of the National Heads-Up Poker Championship equaled last year's first show rating (the show aired on May 1 in 2005) of 1.4, and it beat everything on the weekend sports calendar except NBA games and PGA golf.

That means more people tuned in to watch the National Heads-Up Poker Championship than they did to watch NHL hockey, arena football, snowboarding, a golf special, an NBA special, figure skating, and gymnastics. It tied the Bluegrass Stakes horse race (5-6 p.m. ET) despite airing at noon (9 a.m. in some West Coast markets).

The series continues each Sunday through the May 21 finale.

If you missed the first show, the results are as follows:

  • Dan Harrington beat Todd Brunson.
  • David Chesnoff beat Bobby Baldwin
  • James McManus beat Josh Lochner
  • Mike Sexton beat Annie Duke
  • Eli Elezra beat Mike Matusow
  • Josh Arieh beat David Williams
  • Chris Ferguson beat Freddy Deeb
  • Chip Reese beat Phil Hellmuth
  • Ted Forrest beat Erik Seidel
  • Chad Brown beat Phil Ivey
  • Paul Phillips beat Jennifer Tilly
  • Ernie Durack beat Scotty Nguyen
  • Barry Shulman beat Antonio Esfandiari
  • Sam Farha beat Rene Angelil
  • Howard Lederer beat Allen Cunningham
  • Michael Mizrachi beat Mark Seif

This Sunday (April 23), 32 more players face off. Match-ups include James Woods vs. Scott Fischman, Men Nguyen vs. Dee Luong, Chris Moneymaker vs. Tuan Le, Greg Raymer vs. Layne Flack, and others. The show starts at noon ET. For complete coverage of the event, visit's championship page here. But be warned: The bracket on the page reveals the winners of each match, including the champion.