Having survived a starting field of 320, Shawn Cunix went into final table play at the World Poker Tour Jacksonville BestBet Open holding the tallest stack. As play progressed, the recreational player fought off challenges from the likes of Tony Dunst and Will Failla to win the biggest payday of his career: $400k (including a $25k seat at the WPT Championship at the Bellagio in Las Vegas on May 19th). James Calderaro was the last to fall at Cunix’s hand, despite starting heads-up play with a significant chip advantage. Regardless, Calderaro settled for second and $236k, with the rest of the final six finishing thus: Darren Elias ($147k); Daniel Buzgon ($94k); Dunst ($66k) and Failla ($54k).
In other stateside live poker news, A.P. Phahurat earned $116k for outlasting 257 other players at the 2012 Chad Brown Challenge $2k main event at the Choctaw Resort in Durant, Oklahoma. It’s the biggest cash of the 22-year-old Phahurat’s young career. Seneca Easley, who took the 2011 WSOP-Circuit Rincon title, finished second, earning $72k.
Paddy Power Poker’s Irish Winter Festival 2012 will mark its third go-round at Dublin’s Burlington Hotel starting Oct. 26, with the €1k main event getting underway Oct. 27. The finale of the Partouche Poker Tour’s fifth season will get underway Sept. 3 at the Palm Beach Casino in Cannes. This year, the €8,500 Grand Final main event will feature re-entries on Day 1b. There will also be a €25k High Roller and five extra side events.
Last year’s Partouche main event winner, Sam Trickett, has amicably divorced himself from Titan Poker. Trickett spent two years flying Titan’s flag, but the British pro announced the split over his Twitter feed: “Me and Titan have decided to part ways. I have enjoyed representing them and they were an absolute pleasure to work with. Thanks again Titan…”
Just getting hitched are Pokerist.com and actress/singer/Playboy model/reality TV star Carmen Electra. The hard-to-believe-she’s-40 buxom blonde’s face (among other tangible assets) will greet players of the free-play online poker product whether they load the game via Pokerist, Facebook or mobile device. Electra will also appear in the game tutorial and as your not-at-all-distracting dealer.
Card Player is right chuffed to report that columnist/pro player Bernard Lee is getting his own TV show. The Bernard Lee Poker Show is celebrating its fifth anniversary as a radio broadcast by adding video to the mix. The first episode is set to debut this Monday (7) on Comcast SportsNet New England and Direct TV, and subsequently posted to Lee’s new YouTube channel. The guest list for this and future episodes includes Chris Moneymaker, Denis Phillips and Phil Hellmuth.