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Daniel - Poker Journal

The National Heads Up Poker Championship

05 Mar 2005

Poker has officially arrived. NBC Sports pulled out all the stops and is going to air an awesome poker show starting May 7th. They are genuinely treating this tournament the way that they would a PGA or Nascar event, treating the players with the utmost respect and providing a top quality set for the show. I was thoroughly impressed.

Today was the day of the cocktail party where we drew for seats so we'd know who we'd be playing. Before that though I had a few important meetings.

The first one wasn't exactly a meeting, but The Score, a network out of Toronto did a 15 minute interview that aired today at 6:00 EST. They showed up at the house at around 10:30am and at 12:30am I had a meeting with some of the Wynn people. We discussed the poker room, my role, and some other exciting news that will be announced shortly.

After that I head down to the Golden Nugget for some interviews and then to lunch with Josh and his lovely wife Angela. Evelyn showed up as we are about to eat so she joined us as well.

Then it was back to the pavilion to do the drawing. The whole event was classy in every way shape or form. I was truly in awe with the set up and party like atmosphere.

In the category of best outfit, Chau Giang won in a landslide. Picture little Chau Giang in a tight black shirt with a black cowboy hat on promoting Doyle's Room. I guess you had to be there but it was truly funny.

The players were then picked out of a... whatchamacallit and then were asked to come to the stage for pictures.

One of the more intriguing first round match ups in my opinion is David Williams versus Carlos Mortenson. The over/under is about 6 minutes on that match! Other exciting first round match ups include: Chau Giang vs. John Juanda, Erick Lindgren vs. Todd Brunson, and John Hennigan vs. Layne Flack.

My first round match is against Lakers owner Jerry Buss. If I happen to win that match I play the winner of the Howard Lederer/Antonion Esfandiari match. So what is my strategy against Jerry?

I have the absolutely perfect medicine for Mr.Buss. I'm going to show up in a thick jacket (maybe one of those Italian ones I recently "bought"). If Jerry beats me a pot I'm going to take of my jacket and say, "Well Jerry, poker is a game of psychology" and reveal a Rasheed Wallace Detroit Pistons jersey!

If that doesn't work and he beats me another pot, I'm going to take that jersey off and reveal a #32 Miami Heat jersey- the one now worn by former Laker Shaquille O'Neal.

If that doesn't rattle Jerry, I don't know what will! Time for bed, my match starts at 11:15am tomorrow morning.

64 players will start play tomorrow in the first ever NHUPC event that will air on NBC starting May 7th. Below are the brackets for the event:

Eli Elezra
Chris Moneymaker

Tom McEvoy
Mimi Tran

Cindy Violette
Chris Ferguson

Gus Hansen
Curtis Bibbs

Yosh Nakano
Mike Sexton

Todd Brunson
Erick Lindgren

Prahlad Friedman
Sammy Farha

Barry Greenstein
Lee Salem

Doyle Brunson
Billy Baxter

John Juanda
Chau Giang

Amir Vahedi
John Myung

Nick Frangos
TJ Cloutier

Scotty Nguyen
Mike Caro

John Hennigan
Layne Flack

Chip Reese
Henry Orenstein

Lyle Berman
Freddie Deeb

David Grey
Jennifer Harman

Bobby Baldwin
Evelyn Ng

David Williams
Carlos Mortenson

Greg Raymer
Kathy Liebert

David Pham
Huck Seed

Dewey Tomko
Paul Phillips

Phil Hellmuth
Men Nguyen

Josh Arieh

Ted Forrest
John Cernutto

Jerry Buss
Daniel Negreanu

Howard Lederer
Antonio Esfandiari

Phil Ivey
David Sklansky

James Woods
Johnny Chan

Scott Fischman
Annie Duke

Dennis Wagner
Erik Seidel