Paul Wasicka national heads-up champion

2006 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event runner-up Paul Wasicka was unstoppable in NBC's National Heads-Up Poker Championship (NHPC). On his way to claiming the title and $500,000 in prize money, Wasicka defeated several tough opponents, including Joe Hachem and T.J. Cloutier.

In the NHPC final played at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Paul Wasicka faced Chad Brown in a best-out-of-three match. The first one took more than an hour to finish, and ended when Wasicka flopped a pair of sixes to beat Brown, who moved all-in holding only ace-high.

Wasicka won the second match as well. Brown moved all-in when the board showed Ks-Td-9h, and Wasicka immediately called. Brown flipped over Kh-4s for top pair, but was in big trouble when Wasicka showed Qd-Jh for the nut straight.

Brown needed two running cards to save him, but there was no miracle - Paul Wasicka won the hand and became the new NHPC Champion. Aside from the honor and glory, Wasicka gets $500,000 in prize money.

Otherwise, Shannon Elizabeth was the big sensation of the NHPC. The American Pie star defeated such great poker players as Jeff Madsen, Barry Greenstein, and Humberto Brenes, and made it all the way to the semi final, where she lost to Paul Wasicka.

NBC will broadcast the tournament every Sunday for seven weeks starting April 8.

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