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Poker pros tee off at World Series of Golf
Jody Garaventa outlasted a stacked field to claim Full Tilt Poker's third annual World Series of Golf in Las Vegas Thursday.
The 33-year-old professional poker player topped a field of 125 to take the $300,000 first prize in the three-day, $10,000 buy-in event at the Paiute Golf Resort.
"I've played in a lot of high-stakes poker games, but this was a whole different kind of pressure," Garaventa said. "There were times out there when I missed shots because my hands or knees were shaking, but it's an unbelievable rush."
Poker personalities Daniel Negreanu, Gavin Smith, David Benyamine, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson and David Oppenheim joined Ray Romano, former MLB pitcher Greg Maddux and footballer Jorge Campos in teeing off in this unique event.
Negreanu, Benyamine and Oppenheim would all cash for the minimum $10,000 after winning their first round, but none of the three would survive the second day of play.
Campos took fifth place for $30,000 after busting out early on Day 3.
The World Series of Golf is open to any amateur golfer with $10,000 to spend and adds a No Limit Hold'em-style betting element to the game.
Players are given a 10,000 bank of chips and post ante at each hole. A random draw is made to determine the shooting order, with the button being given to the first player to act.
After the first round of shooting, the button can either check or bet and each successive player must match his wager (or raise) in order to stay in contention for the hole.
Following the betting round, each player still in contention hits another shot and another betting round commences.
Action continues until one player has won the hole, either by stroke count or by forcing his rivals to fold. The last player standing in his group of five wins the round and advances.
Previous champions include Mark Ewing (2007) and A.J. Johnson (2008), both of whom took $250,000 for their efforts.