A F PARTYGAMING TUCKER KEELING WINS WORLD BLACKJACK CHAMPIONSHIP PARTYGAMING TUCKER KEELING WINS WORLD BLACKJACK CHAMPIONSHIP
Tucker Keeling receiving his check from Dinesh Choudary and Irina Cornides of PartyCasino.com. (PRNewsFoto/PARTYGAMING ...
GIBRALTAR, March 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- 38-year-old Tucker Keeling
from Bixby, Oklahoma, won the inaugural $250,000 PartyCasino.com World
BlackJack Championship on board the PartyPoker.com Million V in the Caribbean
last week. Tucker took home $113,000 but has suffered from ALS, a motor
neurone disease, for five years. In 2001 he was given between two and five
years to live. He credits his good luck charm - a little Buddha statue - with
bringing him the luck to win the tournament.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060224/206633 )
"I suppose I've beaten the odds in more ways than one," said Tucker.
"I've been beating the odds for five years, I'm delighted to win. My illness
meant I had to quit work some time ago."
"I had a serious amount of luck in the tournament. Even going into the
last hand I didn't think I was going to win but I hit 20, which proved to be
enough. In the semi- finals, I only won by $25 after betting all my chips and
catching BlackJack. It was one hell of a ride."
Tucker certainly knows his BlackJack. He dealt cards in Vegas for 12
years. He qualified for the tournament online through a raffle on
PartyPoker.com. He also tried to qualify for the main $5 million limit
hold'em poker event but didn't get through the special satellite qualifier on
the first Sunday of the cruise.
"My little Buddha statue brought me great luck. I'd have him sat at the
table by my cards. In the first round I nearly went out but I didn't have him
with me then. In every other round I had the statue sitting there bringing me
Tucker is married to Lori, 32, a pit manager of a casino in Oklahoma, who
works while Tucker rests at home and she was delighted by the win. "It is
really great news, he really deserves it," she said. As for the money, Tucker
is no doubt about what he's going to do with it, "I'm going to enjoy it," he
A PartyCasino.com spokesman said: "Tucker's story is inspirational. We
are both glad and sad for him at the same time. There couldn't have been a
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SOURCE Partygaming PLC