Bridlington poker player takes home £2m payout after Las Vegas competition

John Hesp and wife Mandy after coming fourth in the World Series of Poker Main Event
John Hesp and wife Mandy after coming fourth in the World Series of Poker Main Event
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Amateur poker player John Hesp from Bridlington has crashed out of a big-money poker competition - but takes home $2.6m (£2m)

In the early hours of today the larger-than-life caravan-selling business boss, who has become a global poker superstar in just days, crashed out of the World Series of Poker Main Event, in fourth place, out of a field of 7,221.

Benjamin Pollak takes John Hesp's "lucky hat" from him

Benjamin Pollak takes John Hesp's "lucky hat" from him

John, a previously unknown outsider, more used to playing for £50 at a casino in Hull, was comforted in defeat by wife, Mandy and their four children.

The grandfather - who wears snazzy good-luck shirts and jacket and Havana-style hat - will celebrate with a holiday at their caravan on a park in Pateley Bridge, near Harrogate.

And he says he has ambitions of bringing a major poker tournament to his home town to revive the fortunes of the seaside resort and put Bridlington back on the map.

John's goal had been reach the last 1,000 players and win back his $10,000 dollar entry fee before going home to Bridlington and saying to Mandy: "I did it."

John Hesp salutes his fans

John Hesp salutes his fans

His previous biggest win at Napoleon's Casino in Hull was £785 - and until now his total winnings just over £1,500.

He said he would have gladly have paid double the $10,000 entry-fee just to enjoy the experience of a life-time: "I have lived the dream. I Just hope I have spread a little light and happiness in the game. I have been told there are a lot more people watching the broadcast that have never watched before so it has got to be good for TV ratings.

"People do like fun. I play poker recreationally and I will continue to do so. But one thing I won't be doing is turning into a professional poker player. I want to stay an amateur and continue having fun and enjoying tournaments and competitions.

"I have tried to bring a little bit of light to Bridlington where I was born and raised and where my caravan company is based - I am just sorry I couldn't have gone a bit further."

John, sponsored by, has been amazed at the following he has built up around the globe and said the messages of support were "incredible."

He said he had no regrets about how he played on the Final Table even though at one stage he was chip leader of the tournament.

"If I have done anything, I have shown this game does not have to be boring."

He said: "The money is obviously nice. But you don't have to have money to be rich in life. And I couldn't be happier."

Meanwhile, the Final Three players in this year's Main Event are battling it out for the final glory as chip leader, American Scot Blumstein, takes on fellow American Dan Ott and Frenchman Benjamin Pollak.

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