The 2011 NBC National Heads Up Championship still has a chance to see a Canadian claim the top prize of $750,000 as Jonathan Duhamel has advanced to the “Elite 8”. Sixteen spots pay in the 64 player maximum event, with the final 8 players remaining guaranteed no less than $75,000. Those eliminated in the “Sweet 16” received $30,000 for their efforts and seen a few favorites finding the end of the road for this year. Duhamel faces Oliver Busquet for his first match today. Oliver won’t be easy, he has a World Poker Tour Main Event title under his belt, but Duhamel is after all the current World Champion, so we like his chances.
Update: Duhamel advances to semi-final vs Moneymaker. World Champ against former World Champ!
Michael Mizarchi dispatched of Phil Laak in the round of thirty-two, however high stakes pro David Benyamine put a stop to “The Grinders“ run in the final 16 and now faces Andrew Robl for his first match today. With Robl also being a high stakes professional, it’s safe to say he will rise to the challenge “head on”. Roble defeat James Bord in the round of 16 after James advanced in Round of 32 for his win over Canadian Gavin Smith.
Eric Seidel, after eliminating Jennifer Harman in the Round of 32, defeated Phil Gordon in the “Sweet 16”. Going into the match against Seidel, a Full Tilt Poker tweet reported Phil being asked how he felt about facing Eric. Phil replied, “How would you feel? Seidel hasn’t lost since Johnny Chan.” With eight WSOP bracelets to his name, a total of 20 major event wins with almost 150 cashes at the larger buy-ins totaling almost $11,000,000, Gordon statement is pretty bang on. There are definitely many, many softer opponents. Eric lost in the final match last year to Annie Duke.
There is also still a chance that a woman may claim this title for a second year in a row, as Vanessa Selbst goes on her own deep run. No stranger to heads-up play having made the semi-finals twice already in the World Series of Poker Heads Up events and owning a WSOP bracelet of her own, she has the track record to take this down. Only helping the odds of her claiming a victory here was her take-down of Phil Galfond in the Round of 16. Galfond is considered amongst internet player in particular to be one of the best players at the nose bleed levels, there are only a handful of players in the world that play the Heads Up cash stakes he does, although that obviously didn’t stop Vanessa from letting him find the bare felt. Vanessa faces Erik Seidel next, so her opponents are definitely not getting any easier.
Rounding out the last of the final 8 matches are; Chris Moneymaker versus David Oppenheim. Money Maker needs no introduction and while David may be the remaining player with the lowest career winnings, he has obviously played well to get this far. Update: Moneymaker vs Duhamel in semi final!
Canada Poker will be back with the final results soon, but there is still time to post your predictions for the winner in our forum, hope to hear them!