Yorkshire’s Craig Thompson enjoyed an “amazing experience” in Las Vegas when winning the Poker in the Pub Season V title following a stunning display in front of the ESPN cameras in the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.
The World Series of Poker (WSOP)’s November Nine might have received the vast majority of media coverage recently for making it to the main event final table, but Thompson’s triumph should definitely be a lesson to all aspiring poker players that Vegas is within reach for pretty well everyone.
The 24-year-old from the beautiful English city of York was joined by seven other finalists on the ESPN TV Table at the WSOP in Sin City when the main event entrants were on a break between Days 2 and 3, but overcame them all to lift the crown for winning the Texas Hold’em event.
The Puss ’n’ Boots pub regular found himself 3 to 1 down in chips against Plymouth’s Frazer Bolt when their heads-up battle began, but clawed his way back to leave with the winner’s engraved silver bracelet.
Thompson – who is to begin his training to become an accountant in September – was thrilled by his success, as well as the incredible experience of playing in the Rio, saying that his victory was “the equivalent of an amateur tennis player playing at Wimbledon or an amateur footballer playing at Wembley”.
The winner was most definitely impressed by the trip to Nevada, adding that Vegas “is an incredible place, massive, one of the most impressive places I’ve ever been!”
Additionally, Thompson is certain he “won’t stay in a nicer hotel than The Palazzo – it had three TVs in our room!”, before adding that he “was so happy to win it (the Poker in the Pub title) and can’t believe I actually did – it was such an amazing experience”.
As mentioned earlier, Thompson’s journey to success really should be taken as inspiration for other amateur players to emulate his incredible win.
Having begun his “Incredible” trip of a lifetime at his local pub – about two minutes from his home – the North Yorkshireman moved on to reach the Regional Finals, where he gave a tremendous display to earn a shot at the National Final in Vegas.
However, he admitted that he “was so lucky to get through the Nationals” as he was “playing short all day but managed to hang in and survive”.
But he was most excited by actually making it to Vegas as he and his fellow finalists “were picked up by limo, which we weren’t expecting, we got to walk down the red carpet into the biggest poker room you’ll see, and then play on that table”.
Moreover, Thompson could hardly believe that all this had come about “from going to my local and playing poker with some mates”, and pointed out that he believes “everyone should give it a go (because) it’s free for the players, so you’ve got nothing to lose and it’s really social”.
Sounds great, Craig. Count me in for the next round of Poker in the Pub. Vegas, here I come…maybe!