Returning to compete are several of the world’s top poker pros, including defending champion Paul Wasicka; 2006 champion Ted Forrest; 2005 champion Phil Hellmuth and 2007 World Series of Poker (No Limit Texas Hold’em) Champion Jerry Yang.
Also competing will be Chad Brown, Johnny Chan, Allen Cunningham, Antonio Esfandiari, Sam Farha, Jamie Gold, Joe Hachem, Gus Hansen, Phil Laak, Howard Lederer, Daniel Negreanu, Greg Raymer and Gavin Smith, among many others.
New to the championship will be model and television personality Leeann Tweeden, who will serve as the sideline reporter/interviewer.
"The tables are set for the National Heads-Up Poker Championship to once again bring the best of the best to Caesars Palace," offers Jon Miller, executive vice president of NBC Sports. "With the top poker players in the world participating, there will be an extremely high caliber of play and exhilarating one-on-one showdowns. This tournament will present some of the most exciting spectator poker in the world."
The National Heads-Up Poker Championship features 64 top poker players competing in a series of heads-up (one-on-one games of No Limit Texas Hold’em) matches to determine the best heads-up poker player in the world.
The tournament has a unique, single-elimination, bracket-style format modeled after college basketball’s March Madness championship tournament, except that the finals are the best of three.
"This competition requires a lot of mental focus and endurance," offers Paul Wasicka, the 2007 National Heads-Up Champion. "You really have to pay strict attention to the cards and your opponent at every moment, and even then things don’t always go your way. It won’t be easy, but I’m looking forward to trying my hand at a repeat win."
The first round opponents for the brackets will be chosen at random during the tournament’s Draw Party held at PURE Nightclub at Caesars Palace on Thursday, February 28.
The single-elimination competition begins Friday, February 29 and continues through Sunday, March 2, when a two-out-of-three championship match will determine the winner.
The viewing gallery in Caesars’ magnificent Poker Tournament Room is open to guests on a first-come first-served basis.
The National Heads-Up Poker Championship will be taped for broadcast on NBC over seven consecutive Sundays in April and May, 2008 with Matt Vasgersian and Ali Nejad providing commentary for the broadcast.