Ferguson, Duke Left Off NBC Heads-Up Final 64-Player List

Annie Duke
Former NBC Heads-Up winner Annie Duke

NBC released a finalized list of 64 players for the 2013 National Heads-Up Championship today with a couple notable poker pros MIA.

Neither Chris “Jesus” Ferguson or Annie Duke were invited to this year’s contest while fixtures Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson, Erik Seidel and Vanessa Rousso will return.

There are several interesting first-time invitees this year including TV producer and WPT Grand Prix de Paris winner Matt Salsberg and WSOP Main Event standouts Rob Salaburu and Gaëlle Baumann.

As usual the latest WSOP Main Event winner was also invited to the tournament so Greg Merson will take his shot grabbing some heads-up glory to go with his world champion status.

Duke, Ferguson Among Most Successful NBC HU Players

Chris Ferguson
Chris Ferguson at the 2008 NBC Heads-Up

Chris Ferguson, who is arguably the best player in NBC Heads-Up history with two second-place finishes and an outright victory in 2008, has not played a poker tournament since Black Friday hit in 2011.

Meanwhile Annie Duke, who won NBC Heads-Up in 2010, has taken fire in the poker community since the Epic Poker League ended in 2012 and failed to pay out the $1 million-guaranteed freeroll originally promised.

Ferguson and Duke weren't the only players left off the Heads-Up roster, however, as David "Doc" Sands, who is up $3.5 million in tournaments since 2011, was not invited to the contest. He took to Twitter to voice his displeasure on the issue:

The NBC National Heads-Up Draw Party is scheduled to take place at Caesars Palace this Wednesday, Jan. 23, with the tournament to run from Jan. 24-26.

Here’s a complete look at all 64 players in this year’s event:

1- Baumann, Gaelle
2- Bellande, Jean Robert
3- Bloch, Andy
4- Blom, Viktor
5- Boeree, Liv
6- Bonomo, Justin
7- Brunson, Doyle
8- Busquet, Olivier
9- Cates, Daniel
10- Charania, Mohsin
11- Cheong, Joseph
12- Deeb, Shaun
13- Duhamel, Jonathan
14- Dwan, Tom
15- Elezra, Eli
16- Esfandiari, Antonio
17- Failla, Will
18- Frankenberger, Andy
19- Galfond, Phil
20- Glantz, Matt
21- Greenstein, Barry
22- Grospellier, Bertrand
23- Harman, Jennifer
24- Hastings, Brian
25- Haxton, Isaac
26- Hellmuth, Phil
27- Hennigan, John
28- Ho, Maria
29- Ivey, Phil
30- Jaka, Faraz
31- Julius, Kyle
32- Katchalov, Eugene
33- Laak, Phil
34- Lamb, Ben
35- Lichtenberger, Andrew
36- Matros, Matt
37- Matusow, Mike
38- Mercier, Jason
39- Merson, Greg
40- Mizrachi, Michael
41- Moneymaker, Chris
42- Monnette, John
43- Moorman, Chris
44- Mortensen, Carlos
45- Negreanu, Daniel
46- Oppenheim, David
47- Raymer, Greg
48- Rousso, Vanessa
49- Salaburu, Rob
50- Salsberg, Matt
51- Schulman, Nick
52- Seed, Huck
53- Seidel, Erik
54- Seiver, Scott
55- Serock, Joe
56- Sexton, Mike
57- Simon, Sam
58- Smith, Dan
59- Smith, Justin
60- Somerville, Jason
61- Tilly, Jennifer
62- Timoshenko, Yevgeniy
63- Williams, David
64- WSOP.com Qualifier

Best Poker Sites - Editor`s Pick