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Shrewsbury poker player misses daughter's birthday for Vegas poker tournament - but returns with £40,000

By Rory Smith | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

A poker player from Shrewsbury has beat the odds and won big in Las Vegas.

Andrew Martin. Photo: 888 Poker

Andrew Martin missed his daughter's seventh birthday party while competing in the City of Lights, but now has £40,000 to put towards her present after coming in 190th place out of a total of 8,500 competitors.

The 55-year-old was gambling in a ten-day, 50th anniversary World Series of Poker (WSOP) tournament with a $10,000 buy-in.

Andrew Martin. Photo: 888 Poker

Andrew lives in Bicton Heath with his wife Sarah, 48, an accounts assistant, and their daughter Alicia.

"I had to ask Alicia if it was okay for me to be away on her birthday, but she was really good about it," he said.

"She even gave me her super zingo as a lucky charm which I kept on top of my chip stack all the time.

Andrew Martin. Photo: 888 Poker

"Now I'll be buying her an extra special birthday present out of my winnings and also something nice for my wife Sarah."

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Andrew spent more than 10 hours a day at the table with players from 87 countries around the world, including famous poker aces Phil Ivey, Daniel Negraneau and Phil Hellmuth.

"It's phenomenal that I made it into the money on the fifth day of the tournament," he added.

"Especially after I lost half my starting stack of 60,000 on the very first day.

Andrew Martin. Photo: 888 Poker

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"I thought it was going to be very hard work to win them back but I stuck to my game plan of being patient and just kept going.

"I called on all my mental resources to knuckle down and concentrate on the game.

"You have to remember that playing a major 10-day tournament is a marathon not a sprint and that's what I kept telling myself."

Andrew was competing for the first prize of £10 million and a WSOP gold bracelet worth up to £500,000, and said he's hoping to come back stronger next year.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Trainee news reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Ketley office in Telford.

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