Heads-up play is much more about understanding your opponent than about the cards themselves, so naturally the players who prevail in heads-up games or tournaments are the absolute pick of the crop - versatile, quick to adapt and tremendous readers of their opponents games and betting patterns.
So you won't find a lot of wildcards when it comes down to picking favorites to win. And if you're looking for a few horses to lay your bets down on, don't look too far.
1) Chris "Jesus" Ferguson. Hard to avoid the Son of God when it comes to heads-up results. Jesus has shown year after year what he can do in NBC's National Heads-Up Poker Championship.
Given that he's made it down to the final two in three of four years, and has one win already, you can bet that if the cards cooperate, Jesus will be walking on water to the final table.
2) David Singer (pictured at top). 2008 has already been a good year for Singer, with his first WSOP bracelet and several big cashes.
There's also no question about his heads-up skills since he took down the $25,000 heads-up tournament on Full Tilt Poker just a few short weeks ago, defeating a long list of outstanding players including Phil Galfond, Brandon Adams, Shawn Buchanan, Brian Hastings and Emil "whitelime" Patel.
3) Tom "durrrr" Dwan. Call me a fan boy if you want, but I can't see how crushing anyone who stands in your way in heads-up battles at sky's-the-limit stakes online can do anything but help his chances in this tournament.
With two final tables already under his belt, and one 11th-place finish, you can bet that durrrr has a fairly decent chance in this event.
4) Phil Ivey. It's hard to compile a list of favorites for anything poker-related and not have Phil Ivey show up on it.
I mean he has his own $500/$1,000 heads-up table on Full Tilt. That's gotta count for something. Phil is considered the best in the world for a reason. Several reasons actually.
And with huge side bets on the go involving him winning a bracelet this year, look for him to put all of those reasons together and make a serious run in the heads-up event.
5) David "Raptor" Benefield. Another notorious nosebleed-stakes online player, this David is a heads-up stud who has yet to make a splash in the WSOP.
But in his words, "I have to win a major tournament so my family doesn't think I suck." The $10k heads-up event could be that tournament.
To follow all the action when the heads-up championship gets underway today at 12 p.m., jump to the 2008 live WSOP Coverage section here.
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