Doncaster players to chase big prize in Las Vegas poker tournament

Lorraine Stirling

Lorraine Stirling

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A group of South Yorkshire poker players will head to the bright lights of Las Vegas to vie for big money in a big poker tournament.

Doncaster's Daniel and Toni Watson and Lorraine Stirling will join Sheffield resident Carl Gregory and Chesterfield's Adrian Fazakerley at the Vegas100 tournament next month.

Toni Watson

Toni Watson

The five players will compete for a share in a £25,000 prize pool in the tournament which starts on May 29.

Mrs Watson qualified for the tournament by winning the Sheffield Regionals at Grosvenor Casino in November.

It will be her second appearance at the tournament - Mrs Watson competed last year, too.

She finished 10th out of 100 players, and hoped to do even better this time around.

Husband Daniel, who is now a resident of Austin in Texas, will play alongside her.

Mrs Watson said finishing higher than him was a must.

"He's a bad loser and an even worse winner," she said.

She has been playing poker for the past two years, taking up the game when she married Mr Watson.

The pair play in the same competition as fellow contestant Lorraine Stirling.

All three play at the Newton Arms in Sprotbrough.

The three also live near each other. The Watsons are on Tudor Road at Woodlands and Mrs Stirling is on Woodlands Road.

Mrs Stirling qualified via the Sheffield United Charity Poker tournament at Bramall Lane last October.

She finished in the top three to seal her spot on the plane to Vegas.

Mrs Stirling said she was 'quite surprised' to do so well in Sheffield.

"There were a lot of people there," she said.

As the players dwindled away, the prizes on offer became greater.

Mrs Stirling would have been happy to walk away with a mobile phone or television, and as she got nearer to the final three, she tried to put how well she was going out of her mind.

"I thought any prize would have been absolutely wonderful," she said.

Nerves were starting to appear for Mrs Stirling as the big event drew nearer, but she still looked forward to taking her place at the first table.

"I'm really excited, only a fortnight [to go] now," she said.

She will take husband John on the big trip.

Included in the winner’s prize in Vegas is a £5,000 sponsorship deal for the year ahead.

Vegas 100 is the nation's largest live pub poker league with more than 1,000 venues and over 200,000 players registered with the league since it was launched 11 years ago.

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