A Sprotbrough student has scooped the top prize in a UK poker championship, taking home £125,000 in prize money.
Alex Spencer, of Challenger Drive, has won the four day 2014 Sky Poker UK Poker Championship.
Accountancy and Finance student at the University of York, Alex, battled with 640 other competitors at the Dusk till Dawn poker club in Nottingham to take the trophy and £125,000 in prize money, as well as a £3,000 prize bracelet.
And while the 20 year-old admits to being ‘good with numbers’, he says he was ‘very nervous’ through parts of the tournament.
He said: “There were bits when I was really doubting myself. Winning was unbelievable, and an absolutely amazing feeling. The adrenalin still hasn’t worn off!”
“I never thought I would be able to make this much from playing poker! I didn’t expect to win but I thought it might be possible to do well.”
The budding accountant says he has no plans to go on a wild spending spree with his winnings, and will instead buy a new car and invest the rest of the money in property. Alex started playing poker four years ago, when he was taught how to play poker by dad, Mick Spencer, 53, who says he is ‘so proud’ of what his son has achieved.
“We’re all on cloud nine. I can’t believe he won it, he’s only 20!,” said Mick.
He added: “I’ve watched him go from playing poker in our local pub to winning £125,000. It’s incredible!”
The second year student played his some of his first poker games in the Grove Inn on York Road, and says he remembers being nervous as the prospect of winning a £20 game there.
Playing in the Grove Inn ignited Alex’s interest in the game, and he says he quickly became ‘very interested’ in poker and started playing online and in casinos a few short weeks after his 18th birthday.
As part of his prize the 20 year-old should have won the $15,000 entry to an world poker tournament in Las Vegas
But, because of US betting laws which require participants to be 21 to gamble in casinos, Alex has been given a £9,000 tournament package for use in British casinos instead.
Alex says he wants to complete his degree, and will then consider playing poker full time.