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Annie Duke wins NBC Heads Up
Annie Duke overcame one of the toughest line-ups to assemble in recent times to net the 2010 NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship title in Las Vegas.
Duke, the younger sister of Howard Lederer, outlasted the likes of Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius and Daniel Negreanu as she steered her way to the crown and $500,000 first prize.
The NBC Heads-Up Championships was loaded with young online phenoms keen to make their names on the big stage, but by the time the semi-finals took place, no player under the age of 40 were still in the hunt. Annie Duke bested 2008 WSOP Main Event final tablist Dennis Phillips in her semi to meet Erik Seidel, who beat 1999 WSOP Champion Scotty Nguyen to book his place against Duke.
The best of three final saw Duke take a 1-0 lead before the 8-time WSOP Bracelet winner equalised to bring the match to a decider. In the third the initiative was firmly with Seidel as he glided to a 3-1 chip lead and brought himself to the brink of victory. Poker can be a fickle mistress though, and when a huge all-in pot saw Duke's Q-9 outdraw Seidel's A-K, the tide turned and with it the destiny of the match.
The final hand saw Seidel move in with A-2 and Annie Duke make an easy call with pocket nines. Duke's hand not only held up but improved a straight on a final board of 8h-7h-6c-5d-8s, handing her the winner's cheque and trophy.