Swanage man wins trip of a lifetime to Vegas poker tournament

A Swanage poker player is finding it hard to keep a straight face after being dealt a place in a competition in Las Vegas after winning a regional final.

Gary Miell, who is part of a club which meets at the Swanage Royal British Legion, won the regional finals held at the Grosvenor Casino in Portsmouth.

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Poker table
Gary Miell

Gary Miell was dealt a winning hand at the regional finals

“You’ve got to have some luck”

About 140 card players took part in the event and Gary was delighted to come out as overall winner. He now gets to go to Las Vegas in the US next year 2023.

He said:

“I am thrilled. I had a very good time and I’m looking forward to going.

“Obviously, you’ve got to have some luck even if you’re really good, and I just had a couple of lucky hands and played patiently, and it paid off.”

Poker crowd
Gary Miell

Friends celebrate with Gary (back, third right)

Local club

The type of poker they play is called Five Card Texan Hold ‘em.

Gary is part of the Redtooth poker league which takes place at the Swanage British Legion club on Wednesday evenings, with an average of between ten and 20 players each night.

Poker at Swanage Royal British Legion
David Elms

Nearly a 100 players have signed up for the poker nights in Swanage

“We’re very proud”

Club steward David ‘Elmo’ Elms said:

“This is a top achievement and we’re very proud. Since we started, we have nearly 100 players signed up, but new players are always made to feel welcome.”

Gary, who has lived in the town for five and a half years after moving from Stevenage, is a decorator with his own firm Swanage and Dorset Decorating.

His wife Julie will be joining him for the trip to Las Vegas in March 2023. The couple have two children and three grandchildren.

Gary first learnt to play cards with his own grandfather.

Poker trophy
Gary Miell

As regional winner Gary qualifies for a trip to Las Vegas

“Tend to go on gut instincts”

Gary said:

“I’ve always played cards. I started playing with my grandfather and with my Mum and Dad when we were younger.

“The players who are really good will know all the statistics, but I just like a game of cards and tend to go on gut instincts.”

Poker at Swanage Royal British Legion
David Elms

All smiles for the poker night at the Royal British Legion Club in Swanage

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