World Series of Golf Crowns Champion:
Michigan Car Salesman Knocks out Poker Pro to Win $250K
Las Vegas (May 15, 2008) - In an event that combines the wagering format of Texas Hold 'Em with the skill of golf, Andrew "AJ" Johnson, a 36-year-old car salesman from Davison, MI, outlasted a field of 80 amateur golfers - including several of the world's greatest poker players - to win the second annual World Series of Golf and its $250,000 top prize.
Johnson successfully knocked out poker pros Allen Cunningham, Erick Lindgren and Dee Tiller, sealing his victory by nailing a tee shot just a few yards short of the pin on the first playoff hole, a 163-yard par three at Paiute Golf Resort in Las Vegas. Lindgren, a member of Team Full Tilt, finished second, winning $60,000.
The final round of the World Series of Golf was played in a five-some that paired Johnson with Cunningham, Lindgren, Tiller, and Bill Spencer, a semi-retired builder from Las Vegas, NV.
The World Series of Golf is scheduled to be broadcast nationally on CBS Sports, June 28 and 29.
The World Series of Golf combines the wagering format of Texas Hold 'Em with the skill of golf in a patent-pending format that allows for high-stakes to ride on each golf hole. Players ante up on each tee, then can bet, raise, call, check or fold on each subsequent shot.
The object of the game is not to shoot the lowest golf score, but rather to claim the pot on each hole, eventually eliminating your opponents by winning all of their chips.
Johnson, a former collegiate baseball player at Michigan State University said, " This is a once in a lifetime experience. I've never played anything like this, and I've already paid my entry fee for next year."
With a $10,000 buy-in, the event attracted amateur golfers from all across the United States and Canada. Participants represented all walks of life ranging from private equity investors and Las Vegas high-rollers to electricians and construction contractors.
High-profile participants for the event included:
* Ray Romano, actor ("Everyone Loves Raymond"), comedian
* John Daly, TV personality ("Real TV")
* Phil Gordon, world-class poker pro, author and television host
* Phil Ivey, five-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner
* Tom Schneider, 2007 World Series of Poker Player of the Year
* Daniel Negreanu, two World Poker Tour titles
* Rhett Butler, 2006 World Series of Poker main event 5th-place finisher
* Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, 2000 World Series of Poker Champion
* Erick Lindgren, 2004 World Series of Poker Player of the Year
* Dusty Allen, former major league baseball player
* Emily Jilette, wife of magician Penn Jilette (of Penn & Teller)
Actor and comedian Ray Romano - playing for charity - delivered a strong performance, advancing to Day Two by making a dramatic comeback on the 19th hole of play. He went from the lowest chip count to the leader with an "all in" bet on a tricky putt. (Extra holes are played in the event that players still have chips remaining at the conclusion of regulation play.) Romano was eliminated on the 17th hole on Day Two. Poker superstar, Phil Ivey, who went "all in" on the first hole of the event, was eliminated; Emily Jilette, the only female entrant, put in a strong performance but was eliminated on the 19th hole after leading for most of the first round.
The closing ceremony will be held at the Mirage Hotel & Casino, the host hotel of the event, and will feature an exclusive performance by Zowie Bowie.
Mr. Champion pictured above is my brother-in-law!!!!!!!!!! He's my husband's youngest brother. It was really exciting around here the other night when Andy called my husband to share the news...Bobby was practically jumping up and down - that's how happy and proud he was! Andy had just won shortly before he called Bobby but had to hang up quick 'cause he said several news stations were waiting to interview him (CBS was first in line, I guess)!
Andy was a high school junior when I first started dating his brother. When our son started talking, he just couldn't pronounce "Andy" very well so Tyler called him "Unca Nanny" and it has stuck through the years!
WAY TO GO, "Unca Nanny"!!!!!!