Escazu, (PressExposure) May 18, 2009 -- âAnnie Duke, youâre fired.â These words served as the ending to NBCâs hit reality show Celebrity Apprentice, whose second season wrapped up on Sunday night. Over the course of the 11 installments of Celebrity Apprentice, the feud between the showâs winner, comedian Joan Rivers, and World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet holder Annie Duke has dominated poker news headlines. After being labeled a âNazi,â âpit viper,â and words not suitable for children, Duke finally lashed out, comparing Rivers to a âcancerâ and saying, âThis woman needs to die.â
The final task challenged Duke and Rivers to organize a silent auction prior to a performance of the Cirque du Soleil show Wintuk. In a schoolyard draft, Duke selected Playboy Playmate of the Year Brande Roderick, NBA star Dennis Rodman, and comedian Tom Green. Meanwhile, Rivers selected country music singer Clint Black, Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker, and her daughter, Melissa Rivers. Celebrities in attendance at Dukeâs event included a bevy of poker players: Howard Lederer, Andy Bloch, and Perry Friedman, just to name a few. Ultimate Betâs Phil Hellmuth even bid $25,000 on a round of golf with LPGA pro Natalie Gulbis, a contestant on the show.
The teams were judged on five criteria. In the end, Duke won on incorporating her charity, Refugees International, and raising more money (nearly $500,000). Rivers won on incorporating Kodak (the challengeâs sponsor), the celebrities in attendance, and the overall guest experience. In an exclusive Annie Duke Interview, the WSOP champion told Poker News Daily, âI am really happy that I was able to raise so much awareness for Refugees International. They are an extremely small charity and do amazing work. The money that my friends helped raise allowed Refugees International to reach its goal for 2008.â
Duke earned Refugees International over $700,000 during the second season of Celebrity Apprentice. However, Rivers was crowned the Celebrity Apprentice winner. The show will return in 2010 on NBC. Since the finale aired, hundreds of Poker News Daily readers have chimed in, giving their opinions on who should have won.
During the upcoming 2009 WSOP at the Rio in Las Vegas, a $5,000 buy-in Ante Up for Africa tournament will be held. Duke, Norman Epstein, and actor Don Cheadle founded the charity in 2006; since then, itâs raised $2 million for victims of the crisis in Darfur. Among those confirmed to appear at the event, which will be televised on ESPN, are Dennis Rodman, Matt Damon, Jason Alexander, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Montel Williams, Walker, Hank Azaria, Brad Garrett, Reggie Miller, Marlon Wayans, Sarah Silverman, Casey Affleck, Lederer, Bloch, Erik Seidel, and Hellmuth.
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