"I've Been Beating the Odds for Five Years" - Tucker Keeling From Bixby, Oklahoma Wins Partycasino.Com $250,000 World Blackjack Championship

Mar 24, 2006, 00:00 ET from Partygaming PLC

    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
 good fortune."
     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
 better winner."
     Partygaming Plc (LSE: PRTY)

SOURCE Partygaming PLC