|38-year-old Tucker Keeling from Oklahoma has won the inaugural $250,000 PartyCasino.com World Blackjack Championship on board the PartyPoker.com Million V in the Caribbean. Tucker won himself $113,000, and stunned reporters when he revealed that in 2001 he had been given between 2 and 5 years to live after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease. |
'I suppose I've beaten the odds in more ways than one,' said Tucker. 'I've been beating the odds for five years and I'm especially delighted to win because my illness meant I had to quit work some time ago. 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.'
Tukker qualified for the tournament online through a raffle on PartyPoker.com, and has attributed his luck to a statuette which goes everywhere with him. '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,” he said.
A PartyCasino.com spokesman said, 'Tucker's story is inspirational. There couldn't have been a better winner.'