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NBC National Heads-Up Poker Champion Gets Underway

A few last minute changes to the line-up marked the start of this year’s NBC heads-up event. Replacing Annie Duke, Howard Lederer, Johnny Chan, Joe Cada and Gabe Kaplan were renowned heads-up specialist Olivier Busquet, Sam Trickett, David “Viffer” Peat, Carlos Mortensen and David Oppenheim.

The last minute replacements certainly pleased the railbirds as it swept out what they saw as the deadwood and brought in some of the best new talent in the game.

With the announcements out of the way it was time for the draw procedure to take centre stage. First out of the hat in the clubs bracket were Dwyte Pilgrim and Olivier Busquet, closely followed by Liv Boeree and Jason Alexander. As the names continued to roll out, the prospect of some thrilling poker looked certain as it emerged that a Hellmuth vs. Dwan rematch cold be on the cards if they both manage to navigate their first round matches.

Undoubtedly, though, the pick of the opening battles was Daniel “Jungleman12” Cates and Phil Ivey. Cates is currently one of the hottest high stakes heads-up cash game players on the internet and is regarded by many as one of the best. In Ivey, though, he will face one of his toughest tests. The match will certainly capture the attention of the poker community, but with so many other great matches scheduled the entertainment looks set to last throughout the event.
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