Competitive poker players from the borough are preparing for the trip of a lifetime to compete in a huge national tournament in Las Vegas.
William Hughes and Mike Yeo are jetting off to the bright lights of the Nevada strip later this month, in a bid to be crowned the UK Pub Poker Champion.
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The pair will be among 100 British players competing against one another in the finals of the Vegas 100, the UK’s largest live pub poker league, organised by Redtooth Poker.
A £25,000 prize pool is up for grabs at the tournament, including the winner’s prize of a £5,000 sponsorship deal for the year ahead.
One player will also receive the title of Player of Year during the visit to Las Vegas.
This year, the Vegas 100 players and guests will have the opportunity to take part in an additional tournament with more than £6,000-worth of prizes, which includes a return trip to Las Vegas and a seat on a World Series of Poker event in 2019.
William, who will be representing his local, the Charnley Arms, in Standish, told of his excitement at the competition, which starts on May 24.
“It’s the first time I’ll have been to Vegas and the first time in a tournament of this magnitude. I’m well excited,” he said.
The 29-year-old from Bryn has been playing poker since he was 18, and has been playing competitively in the league for around four years,
He plays at the pub on Almond Brook Road on a weekly basis and hones his skills in online tournaments as well, and said his love of the game comes from “the excitement of what you could win, and the gamble.”
His efforts landed him a seat at the regional finals in Liverpool for a tough nine-hour long game, which subsequently saw him earn a place in the huge Las Vegas tournament.
“It’s about having confidence, and some good bluffs every now and then,” he said.
“I’ll be extending my holiday if I win!”
Fellow Wiganer Mike Yeo will also be hoping to scoop the grand prize, having qualified for the tournament through the league at the Royal Inn in Wigan Road, Atherton.
Martin Green, managing director of Redtooth Poker, said: “We are delighted to finally secure our 100 players for the trip to Las Vegas.
“All have done remarkably well to reach this stage, progressing through from their local pubs to numerous regional and national tournaments.
“These are the best pub poker players in the UK so they fully deserve this once in a lifetime trip to America.”