A Buddhist from Halifax won US$671,240 after finishing third in a poker tournament in the Bahamas and he plans to donate the his profits to charity.
67-year-old Scott Wellenbach paid $500 to enter the tournament online and ended up at the final PokerStars Caribbean Adventure main event.
“It’s a bittersweet moment,” he told PokerStars after losing his last hand to David Rheem who would go on to win the tournament. “I was very lucky at this tournament … the poker gods were smiling.”
Wellenbach promised that whether he finished fifth or first, he was going to donate his winnings to charity. Speaking of first place, that ended up being a massive US$1.6 million prize.
Jason Dean Ross, one of Wellenbach best friends from Halifax was cheering him on. “He’s a super nice guy … he loves the game of poker,” Ross told CTV.
The poker star from Halifax has won big in the past. In 2017, he came 17th at the European Poker Tour in Barcelona. He donated his $72,000 in winnings to several Buddhist nunneries in Nepal and Tibet.
Ross said that his friend doesn’t donate because of his spiritual beliefs, but rather because he has no need for the money. “He doesn’t live above his means.”
The 67-year-old’s skill is also admirable. “He definitely doesn’t play like his age … I think it’s because of all his online play,” Ross added. “Because not a lot of old guys play as much online poker.”