Tas poker player cleans up in Vegas

Ethan James
(Australian Associated Press)


Former aged-care and disability worker Heidi May learned to play poker as an 18-year-old at university.

A few days ago she beat a field of 717 players at a World Series of Poker event in Las Vegas to win a cool $135,098.

The now-27-year-old, who hails from Hobart, took out the $10,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship in the biggest payout of her career.

The six-figure sum dwarfed her return of $35,000 from five previous WSOP entries.

“I think the other tournaments, I got kind of unlucky. I just got ‘coolered’ a lot,” May, who turned professional about four years ago, told media afterwards.

She became the first Australian woman since Jackie Glazier in 2013 to be awarded a highly-coveted gold bracelet given to event winners at the annual WSOP.

May said the ladies-only championship was more relaxed than competing against male players.

“It’s a bit more recreational than when you come to a tournament and it’s all these guys that stare you down with hoodies and stuff,” she said.

“It’s a bit too serious for some people. This was a really fun tournament.”

The win, which came on a floppy full house, takes May’s WSOP winnings to more than $170,000.

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