The first-ever StormX Invitational poker tournament took place in Las Vegas last night, and the world of poker was strongly represented, with players such as Phil Hellmuth, Matt Berkey, Xuan Liu and Maria Ho all in attendance.

With a $5,000 invitation-only event the center of the action, 11 entries saw a star-studded final table of nine play down to a winner.

The invite-only StormX Invitational featured poker pros, crypto entrepreneurs, and celebrities all competing for $5,000 each. The top nine finishers reached the final table and made the money.

The Stars Shine on PokerGO

Phil Hellmuth busted late in the day to Maria Ho.

Taking place in the PokerGO Studio at ARIA in Las Vegas, the $5,000-entry StormX Invitational Poker Tournament saw many luminaries from the world of poker take part. Superstars such as Nick Schulman, Global Poker Award-winning poker presenter Jeff Platt, his co-commentator on PokerGO Brent Hanks, Solve for Why creator Matt Berkey, legendary sports announcer Bruce Buffer and model Amber Arbucci were all in attendance.

Phil Hellmuth (pictured below) busted late in the day as he ran out of chips shortly before the final table of the tournament when the Poker Brat’s king-ten couldn’t overtake Maria Ho’s ace-three. Ho made it all the way to the nine-handed final table, but there she ran out of luck immediately and crashed out in ninth for $16,650. Busting with ace-ten against David Mei’s ace-king, Ho was dominated and defeated after the turn left her drawing dead.

Phil Hellmuth Crypto
Phil Hellmuth’s passion for poker and crypto saw him take to the StormX Felt.

It wasn’t long after that when former poker pro Jay Rosenkrantz busted, exiting in eighth place for $22,200, before Frank Zhang fell in seventh place for $27,750. David Williams was the only other poker professional to reach the final nine players, but he lasted no longer, as the former WSOP Main Event runner-up came sixth for 33,300. Williams moved all-in with king-queen but lost to Oliver Blakey’s ace-queen.

‘DJ Crypto’ Runs Out of Funds

Blakey was on a roll, and after Dave Mei departed in fifth place for $38,850, he busted ‘DJ Crypto’ in fourth place for $49,950. It wasn’t long before Blakey was at it again, busting R. Dawg in third place for $72,150.

Just two players remained, and Blakey had a strong lead over Branden Hampton. Hampton needed to improve and was all-in with king-four in the final hand. Blakey had seven-six and turned a pair of sevens. He still needed to fade diamonds and kings on the river, but did so to capture the $183,150 top prize and the title of the inaugural StormX Invitational champion. Branden Hampton took home $111,000 for finishing as runner-up.

StormX Invitational $5,000 Tournament

Place Player Prize
1st Oliver Blakey $183,150
2nd Branden Hampton $111,000
3rd R.Dawg $72,150
4th DJ Crypto $49,950
5th Dave Mei $38,850
6th David Williams $33,300
7th Frank Zhang $27,750
8th Jay Rosenkrantz $22,200
9th Maria Ho $16,650


James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virginia and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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