Field Now Set for National Heads Up Poker ChampionshipTuesday, January 22nd, 2013 by Ryan
The 2013 National Heads Up Poker Championship is likely to draw in a whole lot of attention as it features some of the best players in the game today, both young and old. The field will have a mix of different types and styles of players, and while there were originally 32 players confirmed out of the 64 field, as of this past weekend the officials from Caesars Entertainment have gone ahead and announced the final 32 players. This event has gotten a good bit of interest from the public in past years, and with a field that features some massively popular names it’s likely that it’ll get even more attention this year. We’ll take a look below at the event as a whole, but also at which players will be participating.
When the announcement was first made with the original 32 players, we saw the old school players (or so they’re called), which featured some of the biggest names. These players included the likes of Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari, Greg Raymer, Andy Bloch, Barry Greenstein, Mike Matusow, Mike Sexton, and John “World” Hennigan. As far as the “young guns” go, we saw the well-known Tom “Durrrr” Dwan listed, and others such as Brian Hastings, Ben Lamb, Phil Galfond, Scott Seiver, Olivier Busquet, Eugene Katchalov, Faraz Jaka, Andy Frankenberger, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Will “The Thrill” Failla, Matt Glantz, John Monnette, and Mohsin Charania. Jennifer Tilly came in on the list as well for the “celeb list”.
From there we saw the list of the final 32 players come in, and it was headlined by one of the biggest names in poker and the recent World Series of Poker Europe champ in Phil Hellmuth. Hellmuth won this event in its inaugural year, and he’s one of the most dangerous heads up players in the game. Hellmuth most recently won his first non-No Limit bracelet in the World Series of Poker, and also finished in second place for the World Series of Poker Player of the Year race as well.
The rest of the field is going to feature some very well-known names also like Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, who is coming off of hiss econd win at the WSOP $50k Poker Players’ Championship, as well as the World Poker Tour’s Player of the Year in Joe Serock. Another strong player is the Global Poker Index Player of the Year in Dan Smith, but the Bluff Magazine POY Marvin Rettenmaier will not be on the list, either due to turning it down or not being invited (more than likely turning it down if one had to guess).
For the rest of the list you’ll find names such as Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, Joseph Cheong, Isaac Haxton, Justin Bonomo, Jason Mercier, Chris Moorman, Shaun Deeb, Kyle Julius, Nick Schulman, Dan Cates, Andrew Lichtenberger, Matt Salsberg, Jason Somerville, and Rob Salaburu. For the players that you would consider as “old school” you’ll find the likes of Phil Laak, Eli Elezra, Carlos Mortensen, Matt Matros, David Williams, Jennifer Harman, Chris Moneymaker, Jean-Robert Bellande, and Huck Seed. There are two additional women in the group, featuring Gaelle Baumann, and Liv Boeree. On that note, another incredibly talented player Vanessa Selbst apparently turned down her invitation, but chose to go to the Aussie Millions instead.
A few other well-known names who didn’t make the cut included Steve O’Dwyer, David “Doc” Sands, Gus Hansen, John Juanda, Allen Cunningham, Kathy Liebert, Sorel Mizzi, Sam Trickett, Brian Rast, Melanie Weisner, Chris Ferguson, Paul Wasicka, Ted Forrest, and Annie Duke just to name a few.
The entry into the event is going to cost $20k per player, which will get the prize pool up to $1.28 million. Caesars is going to cover the rest of the prize pool, which is $560k to make it up to $1.84 million. The top 16 players are going to get paid out, with first place getting $750k, second place gets $300k, the two semi-finalists get $125k, and the four quarterfinalists get $75k each. Last but not least is $30k going to the first players eliminated from the Sweet 16. The drawings for the event will be held on Wednesday at Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars. The action starts on Thursday at 1:30pm PST.