Dan Fleyshman can now claim top-dog status in the board room and at the poker table. The 25-year-old CEO of San Diego-based Who's your Daddy Inc. was crowned the 2006 Chairman of Poker at The Palms in Las Vegas Oct. 27, taking home $43,350 in prize money.
After a spirited battle at the felt, Fleyshman took out fellow CEO Dan Gunn of Viatec to earn the title.
"I've played this game with some of the icons of poker in the past and playing against CEOs was just as hard," said Fleyshman, who heads a licensing company that also sells a clothing collection and energy drinks. "The elimination process was draining because these CEOs are good players."
Fleyshman described the tournament as a fraternity, where CEOs networked and exchanged business ideas. He said he plans to return to defend his title at next year's tournament.
"This event is just going to get bigger and better every year," he said. Meanwhile, Victoria, B.C.-based Gunn settled for Vice Chairman of Poker honors this year. Gunn stared down the competition hand after hand, placing third in the week's first event. But he finished second in the finals after an hour's exchange of all-in bets with Fleyshman.
"I was sponsored to play in the CEO Poker event by a group of friends I play with in Canada," said Gunn. "They believed I could make it to the finals and I appreciate their support ... It was an amazing week."
Players competing in the CEO Poker event came from various business backgrounds. Hawaii's Sam Feldman of SL Feldman & Associates went out in third place, following Tom Messner, who represented Euro RSCG of New York and finished fourth, and Tim Murphy of Elite Racing of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., who placed fifth.
"We knew that CEOs battling for the Chairman of Poker would make for an exciting event," said CEO Poker Inc. founder William Peraza Jr. "These men battle in the board room every day, making decisions, analyzing competitors, just like in poker.
"Each of the CEO participants battled relentlessly for the title of Chairman of Poker. They showed the same energy, skill, and quick decision making process seen in boardrooms. They are all true poker chairmen."
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