3/8/10 – Top poker pro and Cereus network ambassador Annie Duke triumphed against the crème de la crème of the poker world to win the 6th Annual National Heads-Up Poker Championship this week at the Caesars Palace Poker Tournament Room.
 
Duke defeated Erik Seidel, who has won eight World Series of Poker bracelets and ranks 9th on the all-time money list, in the tournament's best-of-three finals to claim the championship and the $500 000 first-place prize.
 
Runner-up Seidel took home $250 000 as the second-place finisher.  Try your luck playing online poker now. $1100 Signup bonus.
 
"I'm so excited to win such a prestigious event and join the likes of Huck Seed, Chris Ferguson and Phil Hellmuth as Heads-Up Champion," said Duke, who became the first-ever woman to win the prestigious event. "I came into this tournament really focused and it feels great to finally break through."
 
In five previous NHUPC events, Duke had never made it past the second round and had only advanced out of the first round once.
 
On her way to the finals, she defeated several top players, including Andy Bloch, Darvin Moon, Paul Wasicka, Jerry Yang and Dennis Phillips. Duke's dramatic come-from-behind victory against Wasicka in the third round was one of the most compelling matches of the championship.
 
The single-elimination competition began Friday, March 5 and continued through Sunday, March 7, when a best-of-three championship match determined the winner.
 
The National Heads-Up Poker Championship features 64 top poker players competing in a series of heads-up (one-on-one matches of No Limit Texas Hold'em) matches to determine the best heads-up poker player in the world. This tournament has a unique, single-elimination, bracket-style format modeled after college basketball's championship tournament, except that the finals are the best of three.