The Bachelorette's Katie Thurston won the Celebrity Poker Tour Invitational III on Saturday at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas. Thurston topped the 79-entrant field, which included celebrities, comedians, professional athletes, business leaders, content creators, and poker players, to win the $20,000 first-place prize. 

The Lynnwood, Washington native launched her television career as a contestant on Season 25 of The Bachelor, finishing in 11th place. Thurston would then star in Season 17 of The Bachelorette and followed that with a guest appearance in Bachelor In Paradise. Thurston is now based in Los Angeles, where she regularly performs comedy and creates content.

According to The Hendon Mob, this was Thurston's first official poker score. This victory for $20,000 now puts her in a seven-way tie for 170th place on The Hendon Mob's Celebrity All-Time Money List. Thurston is tied with actor Neil Patrick Harris, comedian Colin Quinn, actor Ewen MacIntosh, TV personality Carter Oosterhouse, and actress Lauren Graham. 

It was another who's who of players competing in the Celebrity Poker Tour Invitational III, including sports stars Peyton Barber, Prince Amukamara, Kenyon Drake, Jason Verrett, Larry Sanders, Glen Davis, Pacman Jones, Hayes Pullard, Chris Eubank Jr, Amir Johnson, Aljamain Sterling, an Sugar Shane Mosley. Poker players Brad Owen, Ethan "Rampage" Yau, and Alexander "Wolfgang Poker" Seibt all returned, along with content creators Ashley Nocera, Zach Justice, Sean Kelly, Sofie Dossi, TV stars Parker McKenna Posey, Joe Gatto, and Nev Schulman, and previous winners Qiyu "Nemo" Zhou and Princess Love.

The 79-entrant field was spread throughout the PokerGO Studio across nine tables of play, with each player possessing a second chance chip that gave them a 100,000-chip rebuy or add-on. Once all the second chance chips were cashed and the first break had concluded, boxer Chris Eubank Jr held the chip lead ahead of Marc D'Amelio and 2018 NBA Champion Glen "Big Baby" Davis. As the money bubble approached there would be a three-way elimination to thrust the final nine players to the final table with a guaranteed $2,000 payday.

Thurston held the chip lead ahead of Invitational I winner Zhou, but final table play would kick off with a three-way all-in that saw Yau triple with a set, while NFL wide receiver Alex Bachman was out in ninth. Mark Dohner was left short after having his pocket kings cracked, and he was eliminated next hand in eighth place by Carson Lueders in another three-way pot that also involved Thurston. Zhou took a shot with queen-jack suited, but ran into Miguel Núñez Jr's ace-queen to double The Return of the Living Dead actor up. Zhou then shoved the next hand with jack-ten and was called by Thurston's pocket sevens. Zhou flopped top pair and a flush draw, but Thurston turned a set to eliminate Zhou.

The three-way pots continued with Love all-in holding king-ten against the pocket jacks of Yau, and pocket nines of Núñez Jr. Love took the lead on the flop when she paired her king, but Núñez Jr turned a set and Love was out in sixth place. Steven "Hoodie Allen" Markowitz was at-risk with ace-king suited against Núñez Jr's pocket fives, and when the board ran out clean, the tournament was down to just five players. Yau was the next at-risk when he was all-in with pocket eights against Thurston's ace-four. Both of Thurston's cards hit and Yau was out in fourth place.

Down to three players, Núñez Jr held a slight lead over Thurston with Lueders on the short stack. Lueders shoved with king-jack and Thurston called with queen-jack and rivered a straight to leave just the final two players. The chips were basically even, an on the final hand, Thurston shoved with ace-jack and Núñez Jr called with king-five. Thurston was in the lead and turned a straight to eliminate Núñez Jr in second place. Thurston was crowned the Celebrity Poker Tour Invitational III winner for $20,000 in prize money.

Celebrity Poker Tour Invitational III Results

Place Player Country Prize
1st  Katie Thurston United States $20,000
2nd Miguel Núñez Jr. United States $10,000
3rd Carson Lueders United States $5,000
4th Ethan Yau United States $3,500
5th Steven "Hoodie Allen" Markowitz United States $3,000
6th Princess Love United States $2,500
7th Qiyu "Nemo" Zhou Canada $2,000
8th Mark Dohner United States $2,000
9th Alex Bachman United States $2,000

The Celebrity Poker Tour Invitational III was livestreamed on PokerGO and the PokerGO YouTube channel. If you'd like to relive the excitement of this star-studded event and Thurston's first-ever live tournament victory, you can do so on the PokerGO YouTube channel.

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