Matusow wins National Heads-Up Poker Championship; LAPT Season 6 dates set

mike-matusow-national-heads-up-poker-challengeMike Matusow has won the 2013 National Heads-Up Poker Championship, defeating Phil Hellmuth in a matchup of poker’s old(er) guard. Matusow, who earned $750k for his victory, acknowledged the lack of young upstart poker whippersnappers in the final showdown during his post-victory interview with NBC. “All you hear from the young kids is ‘Mike and Phil used to be good, but they can’t keep up with us kids, with our generation.’ But where are they standing today?” Matusow then interrupted the interview to adjust his dentures and chase some kids off his lawn.

Hellmuth, who won the 2005 event, earned $300k for his runner-up finish. Hellmuth eliminated Joe Serock ($100k) to earn his place in the final, while Matusow dispatched Scott Seiver ($100k). Prior to that, Serock eliminated Brian Hastings ($50k), Seiver defeated Daniel Cates ($50k), Matusow took out John Hennigan ($50k) and Hellmuth sent Eugene Katchalov ($50k) to the rail. This elite eight was all that was left of the 64 invited pros who began the tourney three days ago. The next eight, which included Tom Dwan, Antonio Esfandiari, Joseph Cheong, Vanessa Rousso and Phil Ivey, each earned back their $25k buy-in. Episodes of the 2013 series will begin airing on NBC beginning March 19.

Down under, the 2013 Aussie Millions main event has kicked off. Day 1A attracted 157 players (up four players from last year) with 70 surviving to do battle again on Thursday for Day 2. Elsewhere at the Crown Melbourne, Gary Benson won the $1,150 re-buy Event #6, earning $109k for his troubles. Dylan Honeyman won Event #7, the $1,650 NLHE Bounty, earning $120k. And the final table is set for the $100k Challenge, with Masa Kagawa leading the chip count. The other six final tablers (out of a total 22 entrants) vying for the $1m first prize are Igor Kurganov, Dan Shak, Tobias Reinkemeir, Vanessa Selbst, Andrew Robl and Nicklas Heinecker. The winner will be determined Monday afternoon.

This week saw PokerStars announce the schedule for Season Six of the Latin American Poker Tour. The stops are the same as Season Five, in what organizers said was a bid for continuity with local partners. The fun gets underway in Viña del Mar, Chile on March 13 for the LAPT Chile National Poker Championship. From there, the action shifts to Sao Paolo, Brazil on April 25-30. The LAPT Colombia National Poker Championship will run June 5-9 in Medellin. Lima will host the LAPT Peru from July 31 to August 4. The LAPT Panama will run Sept. 18-22 in Panama City, and the tour wraps up Nov. 13-17 in Punta Del Este for the LAPT Uruguay Grand Final. Vamanos!