MLB great to play in NHUPC

Paul Wasicka
Will Wasicka face a challenge from Orel Hershiser like he did from Shannon Elizabeth last year?

The National Heads-Up Poker Championship recently released its list of invitees for the 2008 event. On the list are players you'd expect to see like Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth and Doyle Brunson, but one person stands out in the field of players - Orel Hershiser.

According to the Grand Rapids Press in Michigan, the former Major League Baseball pitcher will take on some of the world's greatest poker players for the nationally televised event.

Hershiser is best known for his play with the Los Angeles Dodgers, particularly in 1988 when he won the Cy Young Award, the NLCS MVP Award and the World Series MVP Award. He now lives in Las Vegas where he's an analyst for Baseball Tonight.

Now Hershiser is looking to add poker champion to that list of accomplishments, and it turns out he's no stranger to the poker tables either. There are a few blog entries floating around the Web from people who've played the same tables as the pitcher at the Bellagio and Red Rock.

If blog opinions are to be believed, Hershiser is not afraid of playing aggressively. He also has some card experience, having played the 2007 World Series of Blackjack.

Joining Hershiser as celebrity members of the NHUPC playing field are Jason Alexander, Brad Garret and Don Cheadle, all of whom have been making regular appearances in events like the Jerry Yang

The National Heads-Up Poker Championship begins Feb. 29 and runs through March 2. Each player will put up $20,000 for the three-day event, with the winner taking home $500,000.

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