Ted Forrest has won the prestigious National Heads-Up Poker Championship 2006 early Tuesday morning. Not only did he beat some of poker’s top players but also sent Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson to his second defeat at the final table for a second year in a row.
The winner of five World Series of Poker bracelets, Forrest, defeated five professionals in the one-on-one event to reach the final table, where he defeated Ferguson in the best-of-three final to take home $500,000 and first place.
“The players here are all super high caliber so it means a lot,” said Forrest. “I’ve kind of seen what my opponents were willing to give me and adjusted at the table.”
‘Jesus’ Ferguson admitted he was disappointed but did not regret his play, “It really isn’t that much pain… I would have absolutely loved to win this. It’s a very, very important championship in my opinion. But you can’t do it every year. I’m really proud of finishing second two years in a row. That’s way harder than winning it once.”
Last year’s championship ended with Ferguson being knocked out by Phil Hellmuth Jr. This year however Hellmuth was knocked out in the first round on Saturday by pro Chip Reese, who then lost to Ferguson in the next matchup.
The 64-player tournament was a raging success last year when NBC televised it for the first time; six million people watched the finals last May. This year coverage is set to extend from eight hours up to ten and spread out over six Sundays starting April 16th.