Ex-'Survivor' wins more than $784,000 in poker tournament

Professional poker player and former "Survivor" contestant Jean-Robert Bellande took home $784,828 for finishing second in the Poker Players Championship at the World Series of Poker in the early morning hours Friday. Fellow pro Mike Gorodinsky won $1.27 million for first place.

Jean-Robert Bellande
Source: Wikipedia
Jean-Robert Bellande

Bellande is best known outside the poker world for appearing on "Survivor: China," the show's 15th season, which aired in 2007. He was the eighth contestant voted out.

He also gained attention for his Twitter account @brokelivingjrb, where he chronicles the exploits of being "broke but living like a millionaire." Despite that self-description, Bellande has done well in cash games at the Aria, owned by MGM, where he is an "ambassador" for the poker room.

Bellande outlasted 82 of the best players in the world, each of whom put up $50,000 for the right to compete at a variety of poker games. The tournament includes 10 variants of poker. That includes games as common as Texas Hold 'em and seven-card-stud, and as rare as Badugi, a game where players hands' include only four cards at a time.

The tournament started as a five-game mix called H.O.R.S.E. in 2005 and was first won by Las Vegas legend Chip Reese. The winner of the tournament now receives a trophy named for the former champion, who died in 2007.