The "best college player in the USA" was $10 000
richer this week following the finals of World Poker Exchange's Intercollegiate
Poker Championship in Cancun, Mexico.
The champ was Nate Belt from the University of Kentucky. Belt competed against five other regional finalists in a live tournament hosted by "MTV Real World: Las Vegas" star Trishelle Cannatella. Finishing in second and third places were Ryan Demeter of Vanderbilt University and Devin Hanneman of the University of Utah, respectively.
Belt will receive the grand prize, which includes a $10,000 cash scholarship, a laptop computer and an all expense paid five-day trip to the United Kingdom to compete in the World Poker Exchange London Open on August 3-6, 2005. At the signature lifestyle tournament, Nate will receive free entry into this high stakes televised competition worth $10,000, and have the opportunity to share in a minimum prize pot of $2 million while playing against some of the world's top poker players.
Belt is originally from Bowling Green, KY. He is currently a freshman majoring in Biology with a pre-medicine concentration. A member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, Belt and his friends play poker once or twice a week; a ritual that certainly paid off in Cancun.
"I've been playing poker for fun for a little over three years now and never thought it would amount to my playing with the pros at the London Open," Belt said in statement today. "The last call I made in the championship game wasn't the smartest, but I went on instinct and now I'm glad I did. I've never been to London, so this is the opportunity of a lifetime."
The World Poker Exchange Intercollegiate Poker Championship was an online and offline poker championship that required no entrance fee. Open to students from 120 top universities throughout the United States, the tournament attracted more than 1,000 students from throughout the U.S. vying for scholarship cash prizes.