Leeds United fan wears home shirt as he wins more than £250k in huge Las Vegas poker tournament

Jamie O'Connor - CC 888Poker
Jamie O'Connor - CC 888Poker

A Leeds United fan proudly wore his home shirt as he won more than £250k in a huge Las Vegas poker tournament.

Jamie O’Connor, 30, finished third in the 888 Poker sponsored World Series Of Poker $5,000 buy-in Six Max tournament - taking home a mouth-watering £253,658 at the Rio Hotel and Casino complex in the gambling capital of the world.

Jamie proudly wore his Leeds United shirt for the Final Table which he promised himself he would do if he reached the last six.

Just minutes after collecting his pay-out he put in a call to his girlfriend of ten years, Adrianne, who was back home in Wakefield, with their one-year-old son Theodore.

Jamie said: “The feeling is amazing.

“[It is] mind-blowing money for four days work.

“It’s going to enable us to put down a deposit on our own home.

“You’ve got to be sensible with this type of success.”

Jamie spent his early childhood in Pontefract and attended Carlton High School.

After starting to play poker he felt he had a natural knack for the game, but only for very small stakes and was happy to win £200 a week - which he thought was a good wage without having to hold down a nine-to-five job.

He said: "It gave me the freedom to work my own hours. It was the perfect job for me.”

Back home in Wakefield, Yorkshire he plays online six days a week for 12 hours a day.

He said: “I’m very dedicated and take poker very seriously.

“In the beginning when I started playing, I read everything I could.

"I bought strategy books written by the top professional players and watched endless hours of poker videos.

"I had a real hunger to get better."

His big breakthrough came in 2012 when he invested in a £1,000-to-play tournament in Luton with a line-up of the UK’s top players.

He ended up on the Final Table with Londoner Luke Schwartz, who was at the height of his poker fame and one of Britain’s best players.

However, Jamie ended up knocking him out in fourth place before going on to win the tournament and collect his biggest purse of £46,000.

This year on his way to Nevada he took his brother Ashley, who is 21, to watch Anthony Joshua’s shock knockout defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Jamie admits when he arrived in Vegas for the 888 Poker World Series Of Poker, which this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary, he hadn’t played many live events and was feeling a bit rusty.

He entered 15 competitions and didn’t win a penny, so thought he would give the Six Max a go.

The four-day event attracted 850 runners.

Jamie said he thought it was going to be another Joshua-style performance that wouldn’t see him go the distance.

But just before the final day he got his chips in the pot with a pair of sixes against two other players and trebled up when his hand won the day.

From that point on he was in with a chance and finally finished third for his massive payoff.

For Jamie there was still that disappointment of missing out on first place in an 888 Poker World Series Of Poker event and getting his hands on one of the coveted gold bracelets which goes to the winner.

But then again, he said there was "always next year".

For more information about the 888 Poker-sponsored World Series Of Poker visit: https://www.888poker.com