John Hesp from Bridlington wins £2m in world poker contest


John HespImage copyright Jamie Thomson
Image caption John Hesp’s garish dress sense and friendly manner have won him legions of fans

A grandad from East Yorkshire has won $2.6m (£2m) by finishing fourth in the world’s most prestigious poker tournament.

John Hesp, 64, of Bridlington, made it to the final table at the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

The grandfather of seven swapped his local casino in Hull for Las Vegas to take part in the 7,221-player contest.

Mr Hesp’s progress captivated the poker world, with many of the game’s biggest names rooting for him to win.

The semi-retired businessman, who paid $10,000 (£7,000) to enter the tournament, won admirers for his colourful dress sense and cheerful demeanour at the table.

Image copyright World Series of Poker
Image caption Mr Hesp runs a caravan centre in Bridlington
Image copyright Jamie Thomson/WSOP
Image caption Mr Hesp made it to the final table, narrowly missing out on the top three

Speaking to PokerNews, he said: “I’ve absolutely loved it, I’ve lived the dream.

“I just hope I’ve spread a little light, happiness and fun in the game. I’ve been told there’s a lot of people watching it who have never watched it before, so it’s got to be good for TV ratings.”

He added: “I won’t be turning into a professional poker player. I want to stay an amateur, stay having fun and enjoying tournaments and competitions.”

Image copyright Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Image caption The main event is the finale of the WSOP’s yearly poker extravaganza, which began at the Rio in Las Vegas on 31 May

The final at the Rio casino is due to conclude on Saturday, with the winner earning $8,150,000 (£6.3m).

Mr Hesp, who runs a caravan centre in Bridlington, said: “I’ve tried to bring a bit of light to my small town where I was born and raised. I know they have all been rooting for me.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t do any better for you all, but I’ve had a ball.”

Professional poker player Danielle Anderson tweeted: “What a pleasure it was to see John Hesp bring fun back to poker’s biggest stage. Hope players follow his example. Let’s grow the game.”

View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-humber-40691415

Poker journalist Remko Rinkema posted: “John Hesp’s 4th-place for $2.6 million is the second biggest cash ever by a British player.”

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