May 17, 2007–In an event that combines the wagering format of Texas Hold 'em with the skill of golf, a day trader from Newport Beach, California, out-matched some of the greatest pro poker players to be crowned the champion of the inaugural World Series of Golf. The event was played at the majestic, 26-hole Las Vegas golf course facility Primm Valley Golf Club, the home of two Tom Fazio Las Vegas golf courses, the Lakes and the Desert. Primm Valley Golf Club burst on the Las Vegas golf scene in the late 1990's, and the two courses are beautiful and a pleasure to play.
Mark Ewing, 31, successfully knocked out poker pros Phil Ivey and Rhett Butler and sealed his victory by betting all-in on his approach shot on the 373-yard par-4 16th hole at Primm Valley Golf Club. Ewing was long on the approach shot, but a stiff chip shot and a true three-foot putt allowed the 11-handicapper to win the hole, eliminating his opponents and claiming the $250,000 top prize.
The final round of the World Series of Golf was played in a five-some that paired Ewing with professional poker players Phil Ivey, Rhett Butler, along with Paul Schuller an electrician from Seattle, WA and retired railroad conductor Ken Tanner of Penrose, CO.
The World Series of Golf will be broadcast nationally on NBC Sports June 23 and 24.
The World Series of golf combines the wagering format of Texas Hold Em with the skill of golf in a patent-pending format that allows for high-stakes to ride on each golf hole. Players ante up on each tee, then can bet, raise, call, check or fold on each subsequent shot. The object of the game is not to shoot the lowest golf score, but rather to claim the pot on each hole, eventually eliminating your opponents by winning all of their chips.
Ewing, once voted the most eligible bachelor in Newport Beach, plans to share his winnings with his caddie, on-course financial advisor and long-time friend, Mike Leblanc. They plan to let their fortunes ride by placing $120,000 of their winnings on a single hand of blackjack at the Mirage Hotel & Casino this evening. The Mirage is the official host hotel of the event.
With a $10,000 buy-in, the event attracted amateur golfers from all across the United States and Canada. Participants represented all walks of life ranging from private equity investors and Las Vegas high-rollers to electricians, construction contractors and even a milkman from Chicago. Three female participants played head-to-head against the mostly male field, including a former Miss Nevada, a former Charlie's Angel and the owner of the 25th largest construction company in the United States.
High-profile participants for the event included Tanya Roberts, actress (Charlies Angels, A View to a Kill), Phil Gordon, world-class poker pro, author and television host, Phil Ivey, five-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, Steve Dannenmann, 2005 World Series of Poker main event runner-up ($4.25 million), Rhett Butler, 2006 World Series of Poker main event 5th-place finisher ($3.2 million), Max Rubin, Pro gambler, author, TV personality and member of the Blackjack Hall of Fame, Ken Einiger, World Series of Poker champion and World Series of Blackjack champion, Blair Rodman, Professional gambler and WSOP Finalist, Mark Dyle, former quarterback for the Denver Broncos, Dusty Allen, former major league baseball player, and Michelle Yegge, former Miss Nevada.
Poker star Phil Ivey made the commute to Primm Valley Golf Club from his Las Vegas home via private helicopter. Participants also included Denny Robinson, who is the official head judge of the Hawaiian Tropic Pageants for the past 15 years. Russell Warye, an Air Force serviceman just back from Iraq was reunited for the first time with his brother Shane at the tournament.
The closing ceremony will be held on May 16 at the Mirages Grand Ballroom, and will feature exclusive performances by Clint Holmes, Gordie Brown and Zowie Bowie.
REPORT FROM: Michael Coldwell, Managing Director, BRAIN Trust PR