MINNEAPOLIS, March 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Steven Luce of Dracut, Mass., couldn't believe it when he was told that he won $15,000 by playing FLW Fantasy Fishing presented by Straight Talk held in conjunction with the Walmart FLW Tour. Luce correctly picked his favorite, Chevy pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., to win the Walmart FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake.
"Are you serious? I won $15,000, no strings attached, just for picking Bryan Thrift to win?" asked a shocked Luce. "Wait until I tell my wife. She is always making fun of me saying that I spend way too much time playing this game. Look who's not a geek anymore!
"This couldn't have happened at a better time," Luce, a union carpenter, went on to say. "Business has been a little slow so this will really help. I never expected to win."
Luce referred to himself as a weekend hobbyist who fishes state tournaments through his local Massachusetts Bass Federation. Between his knowledge of fishing and utilization of Player's Advantage for the Beaver Lake event, he was able to see that Thrift is one of the hottest anglers on Tour and how strong his last two finishes on Beaver Lake were. Although he said he blew the weight estimate, he never faltered on his pick for the winner.
Thrift is the reigning Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year and has posted seven top-10 finishes and two wins in the last eight events dating back to the 2009 Forrest Wood Cup.
Luce's Fantasy Fishing team was led by Thrift and earned him 2,290 valuable points that will continue to accumulate throughout the season, putting himself in position to contend for the $100,000 grand prize.
Fantasy Fishing is free to play, but fans can gain an edge with Player's Advantage. Player's Advantage is a unique tool that offers additional resources and information, and those with Player's Advantage have won at a rate of four-to-one. An added benefit to purchasing Player's Advantage is receiving access to the FLW Outdoors Magazine e-Edition.
Finishing in second place on the fantasy side for the Beaver Lake event was Jeff Lathrop of Spokane, Wash., who won $5,000, and in third was Daniel Wilson of Springfield, Mo., who won $1,000. Several other winners from Oregon to Alabama to Nova Scotia took home prizes ranging from $500 cash to $10 Walmart gift cards.
The 2011 Fantasy Fishing season consists of 10 tournaments surrounding the Walmart FLW Tour with cumulative and individual tournament prizes. Fans compete for more than $25,000 in cash and prizes from each of the 10 tournaments and a top prize of $15,000. The cumulative grand prize is $100,000 with the overall runner-up winning a Ranger Z-520 boat with a Ranger Trail Trailer, 250 Mercury outboard, Minn Kota Maxxum 80 trolling motor, Lowrance electronics and trolling motor batteries – all valued at $54,000.
The third-place overall winner will win a Chevy 1500 Silverado valued at $38,000, and fourth place will take home a FinCraft 17 Dual Console boat with a 115 Evinrude outboard valued at $27,000. A BRP Can-Am Outlander 400 All-Terrain vehicle, valued at $8,000, will be awarded to the fifth-place finisher; while sixth- through 10th-place finishers will win Walmart gift cards ranging in value from $9,000 to $5,000.
To begin playing, visit FantasyFishing.com and sign up. A team will automatically be selected for you, but you can edit that team and choose the 10 anglers you think will place the highest in the next Tour event. You must then select the angler you think will win the tournament and predict that angler's cumulative winning weight, which will serve as the tiebreaker. Player's modifications to their teams must be finalized by 11:59 p.m. ET the night prior to the tournament.
TracFone Wireless, America's largest "no-contract" cellular service provider is the official and exclusive mobile phone service provider of FLW Outdoors. Supporting a two-member professional fishing team, Team Straight Talk's Scott Canterbury and JT Kenney will compete in internationally televised events on the 2011 Walmart FLW Tour.
ABOUT FLW OUTDOORS
FLW Outdoors is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 191 tournaments in 2011. FLW Outdoors has taken fishing mainstream with the world's richest fantasy sports game, FLW Fantasy Fishing presented by Straight Talk, where competitors can play for free as well as sign up for Player's Advantage to gain an edge. For more information about FLW Outdoors and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FLWOutdoors.com or FantasyFishing.com.
SOURCE FLW Outdoors