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Briton makes it to World Series of Poker’s final table

UK News | Published:

Nick Marchington, from Hornchurch, Essex, beat out over 8,500 players to become one of the final nine battling for the grand prize.

Nick Marchington, right

A 21-year-old university drop-out is in with a chance of winning 10 million US dollars next week in the world’s most prestigious poker tournament.

Nick Marchington, from Hornchurch, Essex, will be at the table for the final of the World Series Of Poker in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

The relative newcomer to the world of professional poker beat out over 8,500 players to become one of the final nine battling for the grand prize.

Nick has only been playing poker for a year after dropping out of his computer science degree at the University of Hertfordshire to bet full time.

He only turned 21 in December, making this tournament the first time he is legally allowed to play due to the gambling age limit in America.

“It’s absolutely crazy and feels so surreal – an unbelievable experience,” he said.

The young newcomer is the only Brit to make it to the final and if he wins, will be the first ever to take the 10 million dollar grand prize.

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Four of his final opponents are American, as well as one German, one Canadian and one Iranian-German.

Nick first heard of poker as a teenager and was attracted to the strategy involved, but only started playing seriously last year.

He said: “I love the game. I take it very seriously and put in the same number of hours, more probably, as if I was doing a regular nine-to-five job.

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“I had built up a sufficient bankroll playing online and in tournaments that I could afford to come out to Las Vegas for the main event.

“It’s the most prestigious tournament in the world. It was a no-brainer as I had the money.”

Nick decided to leave university two years into his degree despite the worries of his family that he would not be able to make a living.

“I was more interested in playing poker although I had wanted to get a degree,” he said. “At the end of the day, the poker won.

“I had to work hard and believe in myself and my ability. I gave myself six months to make playing poker work or I would have gone back to my studies.”

Although he enters the final table with the fewest chips, Nick is quietly confident that he can take the title.

“I am going to give it my best shot,” he says. “My aim is to win.”

Nick Marchington
Nick has only been playing seriously for a year (John Locher/AP)

Nick will be supported at the final by his mother Allie, 52, as well as his grandparents Kathy and Brian who are all flying out to Vegas.

Allie had been eagerly following Nick’s progress on TV and was able to watch the moment her son made it into the final despite the eight-hour time difference.

Nick said: “There is a 30-minute delay on the telly and I got through to her just seconds after the final table had been reached. She was crying because she was so happy for me.

“It’s going to be phenomenal to have my mum and my grandparents here supporting me. I can’t wait to see them and have them cheering me on.”

Nick will walk away from the final table with at least 1 million dollars even if he finishes in 9th place.

Already planning what he will do with his winnings, Nick said he might invest in a house and buy more Bitcoin, as well as playing in more international tournaments.

In the future the 21-year-old said he plans to start his own business.

“I won’t always be playing poker,” he said.

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