Amid the buzz of this month’s ongoing WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas, there’s still room for some one-off, made-for-streaming poker competition. That arrived on Monday in the form of the WPT x Daniel Arsham Celebrity Invitational, featuring six poker-playing celebrities in a short-handed SNG co-hosted by Arsham, the sculptor who is responsible for designing the WPT’s Season XXI champion’s trophies and streaming stages.
Arsham himself occupied one of the six seats in the special event, which offered a veiled Porsche sculpture created by Arsham to the winner. Arsham, perhaps the least experienced live-poker player in the group, exited in sixth place, thus being unable to take home his own trophy. Instead, that honor went to Adam Weitsman, a billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist from New York State who made his fortune in the metal-recycling business.
Weitsman, despite his wealth, might have been the player least likely to be described as a “celebrity” among the six, which otherwise featured a lineup of artists and actors. The most famous participant was likely actor Neil Patrick Harris, the star of “Doogie Howser, M.D.”, “How I Met Your Mother”, and “A Series of Unfortunate Events”. Howser, the winner of five Primetime Emmys, a Tony, and he has also hosted the Tonys, the Primetime Emmys, and the Academy Awards presentations. Harris, who has a Hendon Mob profile for his cashing in a televised “Celebrity Poker Showdown” event in 2004, found little success on Monday, finishing in fifth.
Weitsman tops Bruel for the win
Veteran soap-opera actress and poker enthusiast Eileen Davidson was also part of the invitational, though she followed Harris to the rail, finishing fourth. And another actress, Arden Cho, the star of MTV’s “Teen Wolf”, eventually finished in third. In addition to her acting career, Cho has been a ardent poker player, racking up nearly $175,000 in tourney cashes over the past decade.
Cho’s exit left Weitsman to battle France’s Patrick Bruel for the trophy. Bruel was by far the most accomplished poker player of the invitational’s six players. Bruel won a WSOP bracelet in 1998 in a $5,000 limit hold’em event, and he has earned nearly $1.7 million in a part-time pro poker career spanning nearly 30 years. Bruel has also mixed his poker in with his artistic careers as an actor and singer-songwriter.
Weitsman, unlike Bruel and Cho, had no notable tourney cashes to his name, but he earned his first poker win by busting Bruel. His fame came away from the felt and away from the cameras. (Hand details are reserved for the event’s broadcast, which will take place in early 2024 as part of the WPT’s Season XXI schedule.)
Featured image source: World Poker Tour