NBC Heads Up Poker Championship First Round

There were some surprises today in the first round of the NBC Heads Up Poker Championship and maybe none bigger than Orel Hershiser defeating Ted Forrest. Freddy Deeb also made sure that there will not be any repeat champion this year as he ousted last year’s champ, Paul Wasicka. Also, actor, poker announcer and poker player Gabe Kaplan defeated Patrik Antonius.

As far as the big online names versus the big poker pros, the online players won this battle as Jonathan Little defeated Eric Seidel and it took all of three hands for Tom Dwan to oust Phil Hellmuth. Hellmuth got all in holding pocket aces Dwan called with pocket tens and hit a ten on the turn.

It seemed that coming from behind was the theme of the first round. Greg Raymer hit a two outer to defeat Hooman Nikzad, Gavin Smith was on the ropes and used a couple of suck outs and a coin flip to come back and defeat Tom Schneider and Jerry Yang was all in with pocket fours versus the pocket tens of Chris Moneymaker and won.

Also gone is last year’s surprise Shannon Elizabeth, Antonio Esfandiari (defeated by fiancée Vanessa Rouso) and Jean-Robert Bellande, after holding a dominating chip lead, lost to Sam Grizzle. Also eliminated in the first round were Howard Lederer, Daniel Negreanu, and Chad Brown.

When the dust settled, this is what the brackets will look like tomorrow.
Vanessa Rousso vs. Andy Bloch
Scott Fischman vs. Jamie Gold
Orel Hershisher vs. Allen Cunningham
Sam Grizzle vs. Freddy Deeb

Huck Seed vs. Brian Townsend
Clonie Gowen vs. Michael Mizrachi
Barry Greenstein vs. David Benyamine
Doyle Brunson vs. Erick Lindgren

Jonathan Little vs. Gabe Kaplan
Greg Raymer vs. Scott Clements
Mike Matusow vs. Tom Dwan
Gavin Smith vs. Chris Ferguson

Gus Hansen vs. Scotty Nguyen
Jerry Yang vs. Phil Laak
Phil Ivey vs. Johnny Chan
JC Tran vs. TJ Cloutier

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