In terms on televised poker events, the NBC National Heads-Up Championship is the current front-runner in regards to viewer-ship. With four years of success under their belt, the Heads-Up Poker Championship is changing up the rules as to who will be cordially invited to participate in next year’s premier poker tournament.
The NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship attributes its phenomenal viewer-based success on the appearance and participation of some of the hottest names in the professional poker world. Top stars thus far include Phil Hellmuth (2005 champion), Ted Forrest (2006 champion), Paul Wasicka (2007 champion), and Chris Ferguson (2008 champion).
NBC released a statement all past viewers of the tournament should be pleased to hear. The 2009 NBC National Heads-Up Championship will present an increased number of big names by changing up the automatic-invitational line up to include the prolific skills of the following top poker players:
-Previous 5 National Heads-Up Poker Champions
-Previous 2 National Heads-Up runners-up
-Defending National Heads-Up semifinalists
-Any player who has cashed at least once in each of the past 4 years of the National Heads-Up Poker Championship
-Previous 3 World Series of Poker Main Event Champions
-Defending World Series of Poker Main Event runner-up
-Any player who wins multiple Bracelets in a single WSOP year (starting with 2008 WSOP)
-Defending World Series of Poker Player of the Year
-Defending World Series of Poker Heads-Up Champion
-Defending World Series of Poker Europe Main Event Champion (21 or older)
-Reigning World Poker Tour Player of the Year
-Reigning Monte Carlo European Poker Tour Grand Final Champion (21 or older)
-Reigning Card Player magazine Player of the Year
-Reigning Bluff magazine Player of the Year
-Reigning ALL IN magazine Player of the Year
-Online and NBC qualifiers (1-3) (must be 21 or older)
-2 x host venue qualifiers (2)
Players who receive an automatic invite to the NBC National Heads-Up Championship do not get a free ride. They will still be required to pay the respective buy-in to enter the tournament. The only way to avoid entry fees is to win a seat via online poker qualifiers.
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