For the past two days, the field of 64 in the 2013 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship has been whittled down to the elite eight. On Day 1, the field was cut in half. On Day 2, the field was further cut down from 32 to what remains on Day 3 — the final day of action.
Of those returning to action are Daniel Cates and Scott Seiver from the Clubs bracket, Mike Matusow and John Hennigan from the Spades bracket, Eugene Katchalov and Phil Hellmuth from the Hearts bracket, and Brian Hastings and Joe Serock from the Diamonds bracket. Those pairings will face off today beginning at 2 p.m. local time at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Of the eight returning, only the matches of Hellmuth versus Katchalov and Matusow versus Hennigan have players with previous cashes in this event. Hellmuth won the event in 2005 for $500,000 and finished fifth in 2009 for $75,000. He's squaring off against Katchalov, who finished 16th in 2011 for $30,000. On the other side of the bracket, Matusow placed ninth in the back-to-back years of 2007 and 2008, both for $25,000. He's playing Hennigan, who finished ninth for $25,000 in 2005. Although Hastings can't say he's cashed in the NBC NHUPC, he did win Event 12: $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em at the 2012 World Series of Poker for $371,498.
First place is a whopping $750,000 with all players guaranteed at least $50,000. Play is scheduled to begin shortly, so stay tuned right here to PokerNews for live updates of the action.