But Mathew Huby, 38, says he will not change his view of the game when faced with some of the most important names in poker in Las Vegas.
The trucker, from Morley to Leeds, took the top spot in the Let’s Play Poker Live (LPPL) online league, which runs regional poker leagues across the country and online alongside partypoker.
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But he says it is the social side of the game that he loves the most and will not allow life-changing profits to change his approach.
Mathew Huby, of Morley, heading to Las Vegas next month
“It’s not about the money for me,” he said. “It’s a social thing. I like it. The maximum I’ve ever paid to take part in a tournament is about £ 100 and what I’ve won is about £ 1,000.
“I won’t get too nervous because I play for entertainment.”
The father of two earned his place in the $ 10,000 World Series of Poker No Limit Hold ‘Em Main Event after overcoming the LPPL Grand Final, which lasted 11 hours and had a final table of nine people.
Victory always guaranteed him a nine-night stay in Las Vegas, where he will have the support of three of his fellow poker players, Simon Manning, Ryan Pearson and Shane Pollington.
Mathew Huby arrived at the event with a hand that was not as good as this
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“I was really surprised when I won,” he said. “I had a handful of rubbish. I had five, three and he pushed [went all in] and he took my hand [won]. “
It means that a hobby that started out as something to do with 19-year-old friends will now see him face off against some of the best poker players ever, such as Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey at the Paris Casino from 2 p.m. July.
“This is a completely different league,” he added. “It’s something I would never have imagined doing in my life. I wouldn’t say I’m a great player, but I love the game and the challenges it entails.
“Apart from home games, I’ve been playing at local pubs with LPPL since 2007, my first game at The Cross Keys Hotel in Morley, and most recently I’ve been involved in setting up the LPPL online league at partypoker, which helped me qualify for the LPPL Grand Final and win this amazing prize.
“I’m very excited to play in this big money tournament in Las Vegas. Much of it is due to the cards being dealt to me, but I have no intention of cheating my chips in the first few hours and leaving too soon. I want to stay. me and enjoy it as much as I can. “