On Day 1 of the NBC Heads Up Championship, 64 players hit the felt. They were divided in four brackets – clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades. By the end of the night only 32 remained to play at Caesars Palace the next day. Among the survivors were Eli Elezra, John Phan, Jennifer Harman, Don Cheadle and previous champion Paul Wasicka.
Day Two was set to be a massacre as the final 32 would play down to just 8. Huck Seed became the first player to cash in all five NBC Heads-up competitions as he danced through to the semis. Scott Fischman wanted to earn that distinction but he was KOd in the round of 32 by former WSOP Main Event runner-up David Williams.
Also advancing to the round of 8 were Poker Stars pros Daniel Negreanu and Vanessa Rousso along with Huck Seed, former champion Phil Hellmuth, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, David Williams, last-minute fill-in David Oppenheim and Sam Farha.
Each of the final eight made at least $75,000 for their efforts. Farha and Seed sailed through their match-ups to make the final four while Hellmuth hit the rail on a cooler deck to advance ElkY and the lovely Rousso fought back to defeat the ever-affable Negreanu.
Rousso and Seed took the reins in their matches and emerged victorious to face each other heads-up for the final match-up. Seed, the 1996 WSOP Main Event Champion, didn’t let Rousso back into the match like she hoped. In the second set he hit a pair of kinds on the flop to break Rousso’s J,10 in the hole.
In the end, she had to settle for $250,000 and the runner up slot while Huck Seed, with a record of 18-4, would take the top spot, the $500,000 purse, the trophy and the distinction of being the most successful player in NBC Heads-Up history.