The who's who of the poker world descended upon Pure, the nightclub inside Caesars Palace Thursday night for the annual NBC Heads-Up Championship draw party. The evening is always action packed, as the poker pros and celebrities in attendance are eager to find out who they'll have to beat to capture the coveted NBC Heads-Up title.
There are a number of interesting first-round pairings that should make for a great afternoon of poker today at Caesars Palace. Daniel Negreanu will square off against fellow Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier. The two tangled together short-handed at the final table of the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event. Peter Eastgate takes on Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier in what will be a battle of two of the most dangerous Europeans in the field. Dario Minieri gets a chance to get involved in a bluffing war with Jamie Gold, which could make for pure television gold. And Jennifer Harman battles, Jennifer Tilly which very well could be a movie from the 80s. We'll bet on a Jennifer winning this one.
The clubs and spades side of the bracket seems to have the tougher road to the finals. The clubs bracket features two former NBC Heads-Up Champions in Huck Seed and Ted Forrest, along with 2010 CardPlayer Player of the Year Eric Baldwin, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier who went very deep last year and is always dangerous, and of course Erick Lindgren and Patrik Antonius.
The spades bracket is also extremely tough featuring the top-two poker tournament money earners of all time in Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu. You've also got Bluff Player of the Year Jason Mercier, John Juanda, three former WSOP Main Event champs in Scotty Nguyen, Johnny Chan and Joe Hachem, and online-wunderkind Tom "durrrr" Dwan.
Here is a complete list, followed by the official NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship Bracket.
Patrik Antonius vs. Chris Moneymaker
Leo Wolpert vs. Eric Baldwin
David Williams vs. Joe Cada
Erik Seidel vs. Huck Seed
Dan Ramirez (online qualifier) vs. Erick Lindgren
Peter Eastgate vs. Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier
Stephen Quinn (online qualifier) vs. Ted Forrest
Dario Minieri vs. Jamie Gold
Gavin Smith vs. Phil Ivey
Richard Edwards (Caesars qualifier) vs. Scotty Nguyen
Shawn Rice (Caesars qualifier) vs. Joe Hachem
Gabe Kaplan vs. Johnny Chan
Daniel Negreanu vs. Jason Mercier
Pieter de Korver vs. Mike Sexton
Phil Gordon vs. Tom Dwan
Phil Laak vs. John Juanda
Jesper Hougaard vs. Allen Cunningham
Eli Elezra vs. Greg Mueller
Annette Dworski (online qualifier) vs. Chris Ferguson
Kara Scott vs. Dennis Phillips
Brock Parker vs. Doyle Brunson
JP Kelly vs. Don Cheadle
Howard Lederer vs. Phil Hellmuth
Annette Obrestad vs. Orel Hershiser
Barry Greenstein vs. Vanessa Rousso
Sam Farha vs. Antonio Esfandiari
Jennifer Harman vs. Jennifer Tilly
Jerry Yang vs. Mike Matusow
Darvin Moon vs. Bill Huntress (online qualifier)
Andy Bloch vs. Annie Duke
Andrew Wilson vs. Paul Wasicka
Gus Hansen vs. Greg Raymer
Be sure to follow all the action live right here at PokerNews starting at 1 p.m. PST.