Adding to the excitement, for the first time in WPT history, the final table included TWO famous Hollywood faces--Nick Cassavetes, director of critically acclaimed movies Alpha Dog and The Notebook; and Glenn Morshower, secret service agent Aaron Pierce on the hit series 24.
The three-day WTP Invitational kicked off March 3rd at the prestigious Commerce Casino in Commerce, Calif. Hollywood heavyweights and poker superstars walked the red carpet, and then battled it out in a Texas Hold 'Em tournament for charity, cash prizes, and a WPT Champion title. Among the players were Vince Vaughn, Paris and Nicky Hilton, Don Cheadle, Mena Suvari, James Woods, Jon Favreau, Camryn Manheim, Jason Alexander, Hank Azaria, Mekhi Phifer, Pete Sampras, Ron Livingston, Laura Prepon, Marlon Wayans, Bai Ling, Maura Tierney, Ed Asner, Jennifer Tilly, Lou Diamond Phillips, Donnie Wahlberg, Shanna Moakler, Jerry Buss, and Morgan Fairchild, as well as pros Mike Sexton, Vince Van Patten, Phil "Unabomber" Laak, Layne Flack, Paul Darden, Hoyt Corkins, Steve Paul Ambrose, Eric Lindgren, Karina and Chip Jett, Nick Schulman, David Sklansky, J.C. Tran, Vanessa Rousso, Robert Mizrachi, John Phan, Allen Kessler, Evelyn Ng, and many more.
By March 5, only six players remained to fight for the $225,000 prize pool provided by Commerce Casino. Poker pros Tim West and "Miami" John Cernuto, Commerce Casino Employee Relations staff member David Mosikian, Weinraub, Morshower and Cassavetes all headed to the final table. Morshower was the first player out, taking home $5,000 in sixth place, followed by Cassavetes in fifth place, who won $10,000 as well as a "last celebrity standing" award--a $10,000 donation to the charity of his choice. Mosikian followed in fourth, earning $15,000, and West received $20,000 for third. Finally, Cernuto placed second in heads-up play against Weinraub, winning $50,000. Leading non-profit arts advocacy organization and Invitational partner, The Creative Coalition, also received a $10,000 donation from the WPT.
"The WPT Invitational is the only sporting event where the biggest names in Hollywood can compete with the best in poker--on an even footing," said Steve Lipscomb, founder, president, and CEO of WPT Enterprises. "Since the first Invitational, we've resisted the urge to level the playing field. This year's event is yet another testament to the fact that celebrities and amateurs who love this game are improving to the point that they can compete against the pros at the top levels of the sport. Having two celebrities at the final table and Weinraub's amazing win were the perfect cap to the fifth anniversary of this event."
The WPT Invitational will air July 11, 2007, on the Travel Channel at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. World Poker Tour airs every Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
|The World Poker Tour (WPT) can be seen in more than 116 countries and territories throughout the world. WPT consists of 17 high stakes poker tournaments filmed at glamorous locations throughout the world, including Bellagio in Las Vegas, Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT, Aviation Club de France in Paris and the Borgata in Atlantic City. Each year the Tour culminates in the WPT World Championship in Las Vegas at Bellagio in April, drawing the leading pros and accomplished amateurs from around the world for an $8-12 million prize pool.
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