Northampton poker player wins Las Vegas trip off 77p bet
A Northampton poker playerÂ has won an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas to play against a line-up of Texas Hold 'Em superstars with $50,000 first prize up for grabs - Â and it only cost him 77p.
Warehouse worker, Peter Martin, 24, of Abington, took part in an online tournament organised by gaming giant 888poker to win the chance to take on the leading poker professionals in a $10,000 competition, which will be streamed live around the world.
Jubilant Peter, who will be leaving on his six-day extravaganza today (Thursday, November 1), reckons he was spurred on to win by his late grandfather, Bela, who used to play the game.
Now Peter says he is excited to be taking centre stage in the gaming capital of the world for the live tournament, which amazingly will be the first time he has played a poker competition other than on his computer or at home with pals for fun.
"I have been playing online poker for a few years but for the past five months I have been taking it more seriously," he said.
"I saw this incredible opportunity promoted on 888poker and was determined to give it a go. It was offering a $14,000 package to take part in the $10,000 tournament plus hotel and travel expenses.
"There were two tournaments being held with a winner going to Las Vegas from each. I missed the first one but was determined to play the second and I thought I could win it. I just had a feeling. I even told a friend at work that I would do it."
Hungarian-born Peter, who came to England ten years ago, battled through more than 100 online contenders and four hours of play to finally win the tournament.
He punched the air and then went running in to his girlfriend, Ildicko, 25, who was asleep.
"My winning hand was a pair of 8s. I didn't want to wake her up because she is four months pregnant - but I couldn't stop myself. I knew she would be incredibly pleased for me," he added.
"I was like the cat who had got the cream.
"It was an incredible feeling."
Peter fell in love with the game of Texas Hold 'em after being introduced to it as a teenager by his father, Peter Snr, who used to tell stories about his father played the game for quite high stakes back in Hungary.
Peter's prize will be to line-up in a seven-handed tournament at the ARIA Resort and Casino Hotel in the heart of Las Vegas where the winner will take home $50,000 and the runner-up $20,000.
Peter said: "I have never been to Las Vegas before. I have never even played poker live.
"Up till now I have only played on 888poker online. Now, to play against some of the best players in the world is amazing.
"But I am not going there to make up the numbers. I honestly believe I can win the tournament."