British university drop-out wins £1.3m at world’s most prestigious poker tournament

Chiara Giordano

A British university drop-out won £1.2m in his bid to become the youngest winner of the world’s most prestigious poker tournament.

Nick Marchington, from Hornchurch, Essex, walked away with $1,525,000 in winnings after his first appearance at the World Series of Poker event in Las Vegas.

The 21 year old had been vying to become the first British person and youngest player to win the Main Event.

He finished seventh overall, meaning he missed out on the top prize of $10m.

Mr Marchington turned 21 in December, making this the first tournament he was legally allowed to play in given the gambling age limit in the US.

Speaking as he went into the final, he said: “It’s absolutely crazy and feels so surreal – an unbelievable experience.”

Afterwards, he said he had had an “incredible run”, adding: “I am going to celebrate by getting some sleep.”

Mr Marchington went into the final stage of the competition with the shortest stack of chips and two players were then knocked out before he was eliminated.

Germany’s Hossein Ensan was in the lead at the time of his exit.

The relative newcomer to the world of professional poker fought off competition from 8,500 players to become one of the final nine battling for the grand prize.

He has only been playing poker for a year after deciding to leave the University of Hertfordshire two years into his computer science degree to bet full time.

PA contributed to this report