Nursing student to take on NHUPC

Barry Greenstein
Alisha Kunze could be taking on Barry Greenstein heads-up when the NHUPC kicks off this week.

When the official list of players came out for the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship last week, there was one noticeable spot left open for an "online qualifier." Now NBC can fill in the name Alisha Kunze for the seat.

The 23-year-old nursing student from Greensburg, Ind., won her way into the National Heads-Up Poker Championship through a promotion on It was the only seat available to the general public online.

Players could take a shot for free in the qualifiers at PokerStars to win the $20,000 entry into the tournament as well as four nights' accommodation in Las Vegas and $1,000 cash for travel.


Now Alisha Kunze will test the skills she used to win the seat against some of the world's top professional poker players as well as against celebrities who were invited to participate in the NHUPC.

"I have a lot of preparation to do," Kunze said. "Playing heads-up is much different because it moves quicker and you have to play more hands. But I'm very excited and so grateful to PokerStars for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Some of the celebrity players confirmed to attend the tournament are Jason Alexander, Shannon Elizabeth, Don Cheadle and Orel Hershiser. The pros include David Singer, Gavin Smith, Doyle Brunson, Scotty Nguyen, Johnny Chan and many more.

There will be 64 players in all heading to Las Vegas to play each other heads-up and work their way through the brackets to the winner's circle. The winner will take home $1.5 million.

The tournament will be filmed for broadcast on NBC and CNBC.

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