Ben Mayhew hailed the role of divine intervention as he scooped the top prize at the UKIPT4 Nottingham 6-max poker tournament.
The 27-year-old from Stanton, who has played professionally for nine years after learning the game gambling his lunch money at school, overcame 458 players from 31 countries in a turbulent three-day tournament to clinch first place and take home a windfall of £72,840, his biggest win to date.
But for Mayhew, whose father passed away in March following a battle with alcoholism, believes his success was down to more than just luck.
“Turbulent is probably the best way to describe the tournament for me,” he said. “I had a lot of luck, which is exactly what you need.
“However, I think it was more than that, there may have been some divine intervention from my dad as well.
“I just seemed to get the right cards when I most needed them.
“It’s been a tough year, but I’m so lucky to have a strong network of friends and family around me who this wouldn’t have been possible without, I owe a huge debt to them.”
Despite the win, any images of frittering away all of his winnings on a spending spree could not be further from Mayhew’s priorities, whose previous biggest haul was around £20,000.
“I have learnt to be more professional about things and look after my money because at the end of the day it is the tool of my work,” he added.
“Much like a builder has to look after his tools, I have to keep an eye on my money otherwise I can’t work so I’d like to think I’m more professional with my outlook on things.”