Ultimate Bet, one-half of the CEREUS Network, has signed World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Brandon Cantuto become the newest member of Team UB. He can be found playing under the screen name “brandon_cantu” on the USA-friendly site.
Cantu burst onto the live poker scene by winning a $1,500 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament during the 2006 WSOP for $757,000. He stormed through the 2,776 player field and a final table that also included Carlos Mortensen. He finished 20th in the 2008 WSOP Main Event for $257,000 and has a total of eight in the money finishes in the Las Vegas tournament series. Cantu is also a World Poker Tour (WPT) event winner, having taken down the Season VI Bay 101 Shooting Star tournament for $1 million. In that event, Cantu defeated WSOP Stimulus Special winner Steve Sung heads-up and squeaked by John “The Razor” Phan and Jennifer Harman at the final table. He’s one of only a handful of players to have won WSOP and WPT events.
Ultimate Bet Card Room Consultant and “Celebrity Apprentice” runner-up Annie Duke commented in a press release, “This is an exhilarating time for Team UB. We’re constantly on the lookout for poker players who have real integrity, unquestionable talent, and an incredible passion for the game and we’ve found it all in Brandon Cantu.” Cantu’s poker resume also includes a victory in a $300 buy-in tournament held as part of the 2006 Ultimate Poker Challenge for $9,000 and a runner-up showing in the Scotty Nguyen Poker Classic $1,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em event in 2007.
Cantu will be donning Ultimate Bet gear in this year’s tournament series, including the Main Event, which kicks off on July 3rd with the first of four starting days. In a trend that began last year, the 2009 WSOP Main Event’s final table will once again be pushed back until November in order to coincide with television coverage on ESPN. Among those in the field also sporting Ultimate Bet gear will be Duke and Phil Hellmuth. The former finished as the runner-up to comedian Joan Rivers in the finale of NBC’s second season of “Celebrity Apprentice.” The reality show helped raise $730,000 for Refugees International, Duke’s chosen charity. Hellmuth is an 11-time WSOP bracelet winner, the most all-time.
Team UB also includes online poker aficionado Adam “Roothlus” Levy, blackjack expert “Hollywood” Dave Stann, Gary “Debo34″ DeBernardi, Mark “P0ker H0” Kroon, Anthrax’s Scott Ian, Tracy “Fatcats” Scala, and Tiffany Michelle. The latter was the last woman standing in the 2008 WSOP Main Event, where she earned $334,000 for her 17th place showing. Scala won the first season of Ultimate Bet’s “Best Damn Poker Show,” which airs on Fox Sports Net and recently completed its second season. Patrick Karst won the series’ newest installment.
Ultimate Bet is fiercely qualifying its members to head to the 2009 WSOP Main Event. To date, it has stamped the entry forms of 113 players to the $10,000 buy-in tournament. A 50 Package Guaranteed event will take place this Sunday, June 21st, at 5:30pm ET. The tournament boasts a $530 buy-in and a bevy of satellites are available.
Players who qualify through Ultimate Bet and win the WSOP Main Event by wearing the site’s gear at the final table will qualify for an extra $10 million prize. Online qualifiers will also receive 15% off their stay at the MGM Grand and free shuttle service to and from the Rio; as well as be included in the exclusive guest list for the Ultimate Bet party at Studio 54 on Monday, June 29th. Finally, players will receive access to the Phil Hellmuth Suite at the Rio to unwind during breaks during the Main Event.