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Celebrity Poker Players Face Off at NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship

On March 2, 2007, Hollywood actor Don Cheadle defeated professional poker player, Phil Ivey, in the first round of the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship held at Caesar's Palace. Cheadle was just one of the 3 celebrity actors that advanced in the 2nd round of the tournament.

Actress Shannon Elizabeth defeated Rene Angelil on the club's group bracket while poker analyst Gabe Kaplan defeated poker pro Todd Brunson to advance with Cheadle to the 2nd round in the Diamonds group bracket. Jennifer Tilly, the only actress in the group that holds a World Series of Poker bracelet, was one of the first people to exit the tournament, losing the 1st round to 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Jamie Gold.

The Champions of the past World Series of Poker tournaments were having a lackluster day, winning only 4 out of 8 matches. The most shocking defeat of the day was when Scott Fischman defeated 2-time National Heads-Up Poker Champion Chris "Jesus" Ferguson. Carlos Mortensen was defeated by Barry Greenstein, Nam Le defeated Greg Raymer and Chris Moneymaker lost to 2005 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion.

Other than Gold and Hachem, fellow main event champions Huck Seed and Johnny Chan won their first round matches. 2005 Heads-Up Champion Phil Hellmuth did not participate this year. The second and quarterfinal rounds will take place on Saturday and the semifinal matches and the best of 3 final matches will take place on Sunday.

The round 2 matches for the poker game brackets are as follows: For the Clubs Bracket, Shannon Elizabeth vs. Jeff Madsen, Vanessa Rousso vs. Barry Greenstein, Humberto Brenes vs. Phil Laak and Huck Seed vs. Chip Reese. For the Spades Bracket, Tuan Le vs. T.J. Cloutier Joe Hachem vs. Paul Wasicka, Shawn Sheikhan vs. Ted Forrest and Annie Duke vs. Nam Le.

In the Hearts Bracket, Allen Cunningham vs. Andy Bloch, Mike Matusow vs. Michael Mizrachi,Gavin Smith vs. Johnny Chan and Jamie Gold vs. Phil Gordon and last but not the least in the Diamonds Bracket, Kristy Gazes vs. Isabelle Mercier, Don Cheadle vs. Scott Fischman, Brad Booth vs. David Williams and Gabe Kaplan vs. Chad Brown.


04/01/2007, Sunday
Todd Sanders

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