It's a good week to be a professional poker player with connections to Tucson.
Two of the region's most successful players, both of whom have moved on to greener (get it?) pastures, are making headlines for their feats in parts abroad.
Late Sunday night saw the biggest online poker tournament of the weekend go to Sean Getzwiller, who topped a field of more than 7,700 people in Poker Stars' Sunday Million event. The victory earned Getzwiller, who spends part of the year outside of the country (thus being able to play online poker under the moniker "wormnorton"), earned $232,000 for his troubles.
The haul actually isn't even close to the biggest win for Getzwiller, 36, who in 2011 bested a field of nearly 4,200 players to win a $1,000 buy-in World Series of Poker event for $611,000.
While Getzwiller is taking it down at the tables, another player with local ties is trying to win big in a completely different arena: the reality television world.
Garrett Adelstein, a Mountain View High School graduate who splits his time between Scottsdale and Los Angeles cash games, is one of 18 contestants on the 28th (!!!) edition of Survivor. Set in Cagayan, Phillipines, the 27-year-old will attempt to overcome a field that includes lots of muscly and buxom competitors — as well as former NBA player Cliff Robinson — for whatever prize the show gives out. I don't know, if it's not King of the Nerds it's not something I pay attention to.
Adelstein hasn't made any big splashes in the poker world, but he's had some close calls. The most notable was in 2010 when he was among the chip leaders late in the WSOP Main Event, only to see him overplay some hands and finish 222nd to win about $48,000.