Mark plays his cards right

Mark Driver who has come third in a UK poker competition and is going to Las Vegas with other winners to play out there. (d21041160)
Mark Driver who has come third in a UK poker competition and is going to Las Vegas with other winners to play out there. (d21041160)

A HECKMONDWIKE poker player is jetting off to Las Vegas after coming third in a UK poker competition.

Mark Driver took part in the Live Pub Poker League’s National Championships after playing free league poker games in pubs in the area.

Mark, 21, joined more than 450 other qualifiers from around the UK in an attempt to win the championships and be crowned the UK and Ireland Pub Poker League Champion for 2011.

The top prizes included trips to Las Vegas for the eight leading players — known as the final table in poker parlance.

He was the only person from West Yorkshire to make the final table and won the trip to Las Vegas for reaching third place in the championships. He is now looking forward to flying out to Las Vegas with the Live Pub Poker League as part of their exclusive team to the World Series of Poker.

There, he will play to enter the World Series of Poker to win up to $800,000.

Mark said: “When I first sat down on the Friday evening and looked around the massive showroom, I really didn’t think I would be still there as part of the final table on Sunday afternoon, but as the tournament went on my confidence increased. Soon enough the dream turned into reality and my name was being announced as I walked to the table knowing I had already won my Vegas package – then I just wanted to be champion!

“I’d have definitely taken third place at the start of the tournament and now I know I can do that, I’m just wanting to return next year and hopefully improve my place by one or two! I am also looking forward to playing my local venues again and qualifying again. The other local players will be targeting me no doubt and thinking if I can do it they can – but that’s the beauty of Pub League poker with the LPPL – it’s open to all, and as I’ve proved it really can be done!”

Mark flies to Las Vegas in June for a week’s stay at the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.