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Huck Seed takes Heads-Up Championship

9 March 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Huck Seed outdueled and outlasted an elite field of 63 of poker's best to win the 2009 National Heads-Up Poker Championship presented by at the Caesars Palace Poker Tournament Room. Seed defeated Vanessa Rousso in the tournament's best-of-three final table to claim the championship from a group that boasted more than 100 World Series bracelets and take home the $500,000 first-place prize. Heads-Up is taped for broadcast on NBC over six consecutive Sundays beginning April 12, with rebroadcasts on CNBC and Universal HD.


Huck Seed displays the winning hand that helped him knock off Vanessa Rousso in the National Heads Up Poker Championship. (photo by Stephanie Moore)

"This has always been one of my favorite tournaments of the year," said Seed, who has participated and finished in the money in every Heads-Up event. "I've played well in the past, but things especially went my way this weekend and I was able to make a run all the way to the top."

Seed reached the final table by defeating Jonathan Little, Gus Hansen, Glen Chorny David Oppenheim and Sam Farha, while Rousso ended up in the last pairing by taking down poker heavyweights Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Paul Wasicka, Daniel Negreanu and Bertrand Grospellier along the way. Seed took the first two matches of the best-of-three final, as his off-suit king/seven in the final hand was enough to claim the title.

With her runner-up finish, Rousso, who was recently signed as the newest spokesperson, completed the best run for a woman competitor in a Heads-Up tournament. Shannon Elizabeth reached the semi-finals in 2007.

"Huck Seed showcased his tremendous skills by defeating the best group of participants we've ever had," said Jon Miller, Executive Vice President of NBC Sports. "We had a fantastic tournament. The response to this year's event has been tremendous and we look forward to many more years of this prestigious competition."

The celebrity participants, led by Don Cheadle and Brad Garrett, once again made some noise in the tournament with upsets over some of poker's best players. Garrett advanced to the second round by defeating poker pro and Celebrity Apprentice star Annie Duke, while Don Cheadle reached day two of the tournament with a win over David Pham.

The single-elimination competition began Friday morning, March 6 and continued through Sunday, March 8, when a best of three championship match determined the winner.

The National Heads-Up Poker Championship features 64 poker players competing in a series of heads-up (one-on-one games of No Limit Texas Hold'em) matches to determine the best heads-up poker player in the world. This tournament has a unique, single-elimination, bracket-style format modeled after college basketball's championship tournament, except that the finals are the best-of-three. The brackets are set during the tournament's draw party held at PURE Nightclub the day before the Championship begins.

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