Sunday January 27,2013 : EXCITING FINALE TO NBC NATIONAL HEADS UP POKER CHAMPIONSHIP
Matusow and Hellmuth in dream final
Mike Matusow vs. Phil Hellmuth – it is difficult to imagine a more exciting finale to the 2013 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship which ended this weekend.
And after an exciting bout it was Matusow who emerged the winner, claiming the honours and the $750,000 main prize and leaving Hellmuth with the consolation of a runner up prize of $300,000.
The final formed after a series of matches between 64 top international players, all specifically invited for their skills and audience appeal by the organisers.
But it was the ‘old timers' who prevailed, as Matusowa pointed out in his post-match interview, with his big win reminding often over-confident young guns that old dogs are still dangerous
To get to the final Matusow had to beat the formidable Michael Mizrachi, who has a slew of WPT and WSOP wins to his credit. After that he had to face the mercurial and unpredictable internet high stakes ace Viktor Blom, and in the third round another multi- WSOP bracelet holder, Barry Greenstein, faced him.
Having survived those three, Matusow entered the quarter-finals and was pitted against yet another top player in John Hennigan, triumphing and going through to the semis against Scott Seiver.
Only after his victory there did Matusow earn the right to play in the climax of the championship – best-of-three games against Hellmuth. Emerging from the first clash with a 2 to 1 advantage over Hellmuth, Matusow was unable to win the second game, and with the position tied, the two went into the third and final confrontation.
Matusow was able to take the final game – and the championship honours for this eighth edition of the National Heads Up – in just under 30 minutes.