penders - 3:09 pm on Dec 9, 2011 (gmt 0)
curl_setopt($ch, curlOPT_URL, $url);
The constants should be all caps... eg. CURLOPT_URL
I would expect curlOPT_URL to be undefined and this should throw an E_NOTICE depending on your error_reporting level?
I was also going to suggest try setting the port explicitly (as you also mention):
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_PORT, 99999); // Integer