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Reaping what he Sows

Huck Seed secures a successful bounty to claim the 2009 National Heads-Up Poker Championship

March got off to a good start for 1996 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Huckleberry Seed when he scooped the 2009 National Heads-Up Poker Championship at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. For his efforts, he was awarded $500,000. But he had his work cut out for him as across the table, the formidable Vanessa Rousso was equally determined to claim the title.

But in the best-of-three final round, and in front of a packed house, Seed, with relative ease, sowed his victory with a 2-0 sweep. As he steadily chipped up in both previous matches, he applied appropriate pressure when the blind levels got more serious. He then delivered the knockout blow in the final match when both limped in pre-flop to see 8-3-K board. Both checked, and the turn was a 10. Rousso bet half the pot, but was re-raised by Seed and forced to put her tournament life on the line. She went for it, putting the rest of her chips in the pot, and showed J-10 for a pair of 10s. Seed flipped his cards over to reveal K-7, in a comfortable lead with a pair of kings. The river brought an inert 5 and victory blossomed for Seed.

Upon reflection, Seed could look back on a noble effort, having faced stiff competition on his way all the way to the winner’s circle, including fellow Full Tilt Poker pro David Oppenheim and the Danish steel trap Gus Hansen. In the semifinals as well, Seed also had to battle Sam Farha in an epic two-and-a-half hour match.

With this victory now in the history books, Seed’s record is now 18-4 in NHUPC match play—the best record in the tournament’s history. As is tradition, he was presented the Championship trophy by 2008 winner, Jesus himself Chris Ferguson, who, coincidentally, held the previous best record mark of 16-4. Adding more pomp to the occasion, Seed joins an elite group with Ferguson and Phil Hellmuth as the only players to win both the National Heads-Up Championship and the World Series of Poker Main Event. In total, Seed has earned more than $4.5 million throughout his career.
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