I’m 29, now mortgage free and it didn’t cost me a penny. The MANSIONPOKER.NET World Pro-Am Challenge has been a dream for me. I would love to pick up a sponsorship and turn professional
Gibraltar (PRWEB) July 14, 2006
Poker professional Gavin “Birdguts” Smith has emerged as the winner in the MANSIONPOKER.NET World Pro-Am Challenge, the most innovative twist on televised Texas Hold’em and the world’s best value online free-roll.
After a titanic struggle of 149 hands and four hours of intense MANSIONPOKER.NET Speed Poker™ play, Smith was crowned the MANSIONPOKER.NET World Pro-Am Champion, pocketing a $500,000 purse, and watched by a prime time national audience across the United States on FSN.
“It was really cool to win in my first experience of Speed Poker. The format was unbelievable and allowed for excellent poker while still able to produce a great television show!” said Smith.
“MANSIONPOKER.NET put on a first class event and all three of the amateurs put up a very strong showing. The excellent coaching of Mike Gracz, Kenna James, and Tony G, will have given all three of these players an unbelievable experience and the basis to build a very strong poker game,” enthused Smith.
Heads up play saw Smith, a 38 year old tournament veteran from Ontario, Canada, oust U.K. online qualifier Scott Gardner, who walked away with a tidy $270,000 for his surprise second place get.
Smith entered the hand holding more than a 10-1 chip lead over the young amateur Gardner. With the blinds at 3K/6K and Gardner in the big blind, Smith moved All In with the very strong heads up hand of 6s 6h. Gardner called blind, and when his Qc 4c did not improve on the final board of Jd 4h Kc 3d Kh, we had our champion.
While Smith proved too experienced at the crunch, teaching the amateur a few strokes along the way, Gardner’s performance was a stand out, having come to the felt as a complete novice to live tournaments.
A sales consultant from Spalding, Lincolnshire, England, Gardner free-rolled his way into the Pro-Am online at MANSIONPOKER.NET, but his gutsy challenge up against Smith was inspired. He outlasted pro opponents fellow Brit John Gale and the seasoned tournament player Todd Brunson, but he gives full credit to his professional poker coach Michael Gracz.
“Mike Gracz has taught me a lot during poker school that will always stay with me and the fact that I made it to heads up with Gavin Smith amongst three of the world’s best players surely has to go down to him. He is a great guy, and has become an even greater friend,” said Gardner.
“I’m 29, now mortgage free and it didn’t cost me a penny. The MANSIONPOKER.NET World Pro-Am Challenge has been a dream for me. I would love to pick up a sponsorship and turn professional,” he added.
Gracz, who serves as the analyst on the MANSIONPOKER.NET POKER DOME CHALLENGE, spent the three days prior mentoring Gardner on the intricacies of the popular Speed Poker format that has been used in all MANSIONPOKER.NET events on FSN. His successful mission earned him a very nice bonus of $30,000 for tutoring his protégée in the lead up to the Pro-Am Challenge.
Well-known U.K. pro poker player John Gale had to be content with third place and $200,000 for his efforts.
MANSIONPOKER.NET World Pro-Am Challenge - Final results:
1st Gavin Smith $500,000
2nd Scott Gardner $270,000 + $30,000 to Pro Coach Michael Gracz
3rd John Gale $200,000
4th Todd Brunson
5th Joseph Issacson Coached by “Cowboy” Kenna James
6th Andrew Stoll Coached by Tony Guoga, better known as Tony G.
The $1,000,000 event pitched three MANSIONPOKER.NET qualifiers, each with a pro poker player coach in their corner, up against three professional players, offering the amateur online player a leg up into the exciting world of televised Poker.
The qualifiers entered the arena with a deeper chip stack than their pro rivals – 70,000 versus 50,000. Each qualifier and his coach were allotted a single one-minute timeout to discuss strategy during the event. The coaches also had the ability to see everyone’s hole cards and to call one timeout, when a hand wasn’t in play, to counsel their pupils on anything they saw such as tells, patterns of play or simply just to calm obvious nerves.
MANSIONPOKER.NET continues to raise the stakes in televised poker delivering edge-of-your-seat viewing at its finest. The MANSIONPOKER.NET World Pro-Am Challenge was filmed on location at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino, the temporary home of the MANSIONPOKER.NET POKER DOME CHALLENGE, also telecast weekly on FSN on Sunday at 11:00PM PST.
For further media information, please contact:
Kathryn Farrell – Communications Manager (MANSION)
Tel: +350 792 62
Mob: +34 627 438 573
FSN Media Relations Contacts:
MANSIONPOKER.NET is headquartered in Gibraltar and has been focused on establishing itself as a leading brand in free online poker. The company is funded by private equity investors who share a passion for the thrill of games of skill and who see the potential of the Internet to provide a forum for players from all over the world to compete. Through the MANSIONPOKER.NET portal, the company provides a community for poker players to develop their skills and compete in a challenging environment amongst players of all levels. MANSIONPOKER.NET provides a fun and challenging free site for players to hone their strategy and work their way up to televised tournaments where tomorrow’s new poker celebrities are created.
About Speed Poker
Though different versions of Texas Hold’Em may be played during the 43 weeks, the mainstay of the MANSIONPOKER.NET POKER DOME CHALLENGE is Speed Poker. Created by legendary poker tournament director Keith “Bendigo” Sloan, this innovative poker game leaves regular Hold ‘Em in its tracks. Imagine poker on an NBA shot-clock. Now imagine that shot-clock always at fast-break speed. Players will have 15 seconds to bet, check or fold. Instead of playing the standard 15-20 hands an hour, Speed Poker ratchets that up to 80-100 hands an hour by using two dealers at the table, switching off after every hand. It’s poker on triple espresso.
FSN reaches more than 81 million homes through its network of 21 regional sports channels. FSN, based in Los Angeles, serves as the cable TV home to 62 of the 82 MLB, NHL and NBA teams based in the United States, and produces over 4,500 live events each year. In addition to home team games and national programming such as Best Damn Sports Show Period and FSN Pro Football Preview, FSN has cemented its place as the leader in televised poker. The only network to telecast live poker tournaments, FSN has delivered 14 poker series and three live events. With 91 hours of poker programming in 2005 and 151 hours slated for 2006, FSN continues to distance itself from all competitors. For the latest up-to-the-minute sports news and opinions, visit the FOX Sports/FSN website at http://www.FoxSports.com.