Alan Smurfit took home first place and £51,700 this past Sunday, July 31st when he defeated roofing contractor David Clark at the Palm Beach CelebPoker Classic tournament.
Smurfit, a former packaging tycoon who sold his company for €3.9 billion, began to take poker more seriously once he retired. He has also won a £50,000 tournament and competed in the 2005 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.
The No-Limit Hold'em Palm Beach CelebPoker Classic tournament was held at the Palm Beach Casino and boasted a prize pool of £120,000. One hundred and twenty-five pro players, celebrities and players participated in the televised event, along with 25 online qualifiers.
The weekend kicked off with a media qualifier for half-dozen leading poker journalists. First prize in this freeze-out tourney was a Media seat in the CelebPoker Classic. Anthony Holden, author of the classic poker saga, Big Deal, and Phil Shaw, editor of Poker Europa, tied in first place and were both awarded a Media seat.
Celebrity players included actors Michael Greco and Terrence Maynard, star of the upcoming Guy Ritchie film 'Revolver,' golfer Sam Torrance, and snooker players Jimmy 'Whirlwind' White, Mark Williams and Ken Doherty. Pro poker players in attendance included WSOP gold bracelet holders Willie Tan and Brian Wilson, along with David Colclough and Jack Orama.