A professional gambler kept his Judi Online face and came out on top when the chips were down at the game’s world championships in Las Vegas.
William Purle, 31, of Banbury Close, scooped nearly $40,000 at the World Series of Poker tournament in the gambling capital last month after coming 171st out of 6,800 players.
This is not the first year Mr Purle has taken on thousands of other keen poker players, having first competed in 2003.
His most interesting poker competitor to date has been Hollywood actor and director Ben Affleck, who he says was a worthy opponent.
Mr Purle said: “You do get a few celebrity players, like Matt Damon, Shane Warne and Steve Davis, who are not really much good.
“I have been on a table with Ben Affleck and he is quite good.”
Mr Purle was accompanied on the trip from Saturday, July 5, to Thursday, July 17, by wife Alice, 28, who is education officer at the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) museum in Arborfield.
The pair are the first married couple to have qualified for the tournament together via PokerStars.com, which paid the $10,000 fee for each of their seats at the competition.
Mr Purle, who has been playing professionally for around seven years since he left Essex University, said: “The event is massive. It is in a huge aircraft hanger full of people.
“You had to get in the top 666 to get any money, you get $21,000 then it goes up gradually. The jackpot is $9.1 million.
“I was a bit disappointed about coming 171st.”
Mrs Purle, who plays poker online and has competed at tournaments for fun, played for the first 10 hours of the tournament but was knocked out on the first day of play.
She said: “I got to enjoy the experience of it and then I enjoyed being a poker WAG.
“The atmosphere there is incredible. Right at the beginning there is a massive amount of people, you have got thousands of players and spectators and when you finally get to the payout stage, which is the top 10 per cent, when they announce that you get a real atmosphere.”
Mr Purle started off watching late-night poker while studying English literature at university.
After graduating he decided to play professionally, and has been able to cut a decent wage since.
Mr Purle’s biggest win has been £109,000, while Mrs Purle has also managed to scoop a few £5,000 wins.
Mr Purle said: “It is difficult to explain [why it is such a good game], it is gambling with a bit of intelligence and it is satisfying to be better than most people.
“I usually stay up until three or four in the morning, because that is when the Americans are up and playing, you do not want to play the Europeans as they are harder to beat.”