No National Heads Up Poker Championship in 2014Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 by Ryan
The poker year in 2014 should be interesting to say the least, but we’ll be without one major poker event though it seems. The reason for this is because one of the events that many players and fans watch, the National Heads Up Poker Championship, is not going to be held this year. The news came out that they have decided not to hold the tournament this year, and the confirmation came from the producer of the event.
This tournament had consistently drawn in some of the biggest names in poker, and we’ve seen them all shooting for a big time pay day and the chance to beat out the best in the business. Mori Eskandani the producer of Poker PROductions, who also does the World Series of Poker broadcasts stated that it will “not be on the calendar this year.” He did say that he thinks it’ll be back in the future though.
While many are going to be disappointed that the National Heads Up Poker Championship is not going to be held in 2014, this isn’t the first time it’s happened. We saw this championship series take a break in 2012 after the government cracked down on online poker when Black Friday hit. The key reason that it dropped was that some of the main sponsors for the tournament backed out, which included PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.
This year though, obviously the same reasons aren’t standing true for the cancellation, as online poker in the United States has actually come back in a few states, and it’s been a huge topic. It has been guessed that advertising money may have something to do with the cancellation though. One of the reasons why this tournament was so popular was the NCAA Tournament style bracket that it featured. This series started back in 2005, and it draws in 64 big names in poker, including some celebrities who play, as well as online qualifiers who had to beat incredibly strong players to make it to this point.
You have to win your heads up match in order to move on to the next match, and there’s been some huge knockouts that players and fans definitely remember, many of which featured some celebrities who actually got the best of poker pros. When the event first started back in 2005, we saw Phil Hellmuth take down the championship, and in what would have been an incredibly impressive feat, he almost won it again last year, finishing in second place to Mike Matusow. Chris Ferguson had very impressive finishes in the National Heads Up Poker Championship as well, finishing in second place in the first two years that it was held, and then won the event in 2008.
We’ve also seen Ted Forrest win it, Paul Wasicka win it, and Huck Seed, Annie Duke, and Erik Seidel all win it as well. This means that we aren’t going to see any poker played on the mainstream TV, since the World Series is consistently played on ESPN and isn’t going to change anytime soon. The World Poker Tour has their events shown on Fox Sports 1, and the Heartland Poker Tour can be found on a few different channels throughout the world, but outside of those three you aren’t going to find much in terms of poker events being played on TV. While there isn’t any poker on mainstream TV currently, there’s a shot there could be some coming though.
Poker Night in America is being talked about and hyped up in a big way, as it was created by the HPT founder Todd Anderson, and there have been three events already taped through 2013 that should be shown this year. They feature some big named poker players playing in events in New York and Pennsylvania, but we don’t know when the events are actually going to be aired. It’s gone this year, but here’s to hoping that we get to see the National Heads Up Poker Championship come back next year, and for many years to come after that. It’s always fun to see the pros play against celebrities and other online qualifiers!