Ipswich poker ace wins thousands at international tournament
PUBLISHED: 16:00 26 February 2019
© Gema Cristobal
A poker player from Ipswich has won his biggest pot yet, scooping thousands at an international tournament in London.
Tom Runnacles is splashing out after finishing as runner-up in a major Texas Hold ‘Em tournament which attracted nearly 800 players from around the world.
The 32-year-old assistant shop manager picked up £42,500 for his efforts in the 888poker Live London £440 three-day Main Event which took place Aspers Casino in Stratford, London, in early February.
Mr Runnacles, whose previous biggest poker win was £2,500, now says that his wife Emma, has put in her shopping list for a new bathroom and lounge/diner for their home, which they share with their 15-month-old daughter, Evie.
“It was a phenomenal result,” he said.
“I am really proud of the way I played and the fact that I finished second in a field of nearly 800 players from around the world.
“I got into poker because I was fascinated by the fact that here was a game that it didn’t matter if you didn’t have the best hand – you could still win.
“It is a game which is very easy to learn but incredibly difficult to master.”
Mr Runnacles found himself as chip leader early on the second day of the three-day competition – a position he held until there were just four players remaining on the Final Table.
He did have to rely on a bit of luck to reach the final two, however.
At one stage, he had bet heavily with an ace-seven in his hand but, after the first three cards were drawn, he only had a 1.4% chance of winning.
Despite being “dead and buried”, the final two cards turned up another ace and then another seven, giving Mr Runnacles the higher full-house and the winning hand.
Now, the father-of-one hopes that if his good fortune continues, he could eventually take up the game full-time.
He has his sights set on winning an 888poker online satellite package which would send him to the Main Event in Las Vegas this summer.
Last year’s winner took home a whopping $8.8million after claiming first prize.
He said: “You can enter the tournaments for literally a few pennies and find yourself on your way to Vegas.
“This year is the 50th anniversary of the WSOP and so it promises to be an incredible summer of poker and I would love to be a part of it.”