Some of the world's top poker pros and several high profile celebrity players are scheduled to appear in a new made for TV poker tournament called the Pro-Am Equalizer beginning Nov. 11 on ABC. The tournament will run on weekends until Dec. 23, 2006.
The Full Tilt Poker-sponsored, invitation-only freeroll was filmed in Las Vegas last month with competitors playing six first round heats of six players each. Two celebrity players competed in each round and were given 50% more starting chips than their professional opponents.
The winner of each heat advanced to the final to play for the $500,000 first place prize. Second place was awarded $150,000 and the other four finalists earned $25,000 each. The winner of the tournament is announced at the bottom of this article.
Participants included pro players Andy Bloch, Phil Gordon, Gavin Smith, and Erik Seidel, among many, many others, and celebrities Don Cheadle ("Hotel Rwanda"), Shannon Elizabeth ("American Pie") and Gabe Kaplan ("Welcome Home, Kotter"). It was hosted by Phil Gordon, who also provides commentary, and was filmed at the South Coast hotel.
The event was won by Andy Bloch, who pledged 20% of his winnings to Darfur, Sudan, charities after speaking with Cheadle about the cause.