AFTER a gruelling 12-and-a-half hours facing off around a poker table at Crown Casino, Warrnambool’s Chris Flynn emerged as winner of the February Victorian State Champs.
The 26-year-old beat 438 other players to claim the title, which was only decided last weekend.
The poker session began at noon on Sunday with only two small breaks totalling 20 minutes.
The championship was held at the Southbank casino for the first time.
“At the start I was a little bit nervous because it was a new venue,” Mr Flynn said.
“It’s the eighth time that I have been at the state titles but the best I’ve done before this was placing 35th.”
The McDonald’s employee held his nerves to be declared champion.
“It was the best poker I’ve ever played,” he said.
“I was shocked. I actually stood there for a couple of minutes and couldn’t believe it was happening.
“I just kept a level head and I had fantastic support from the south-west people that stayed there just for me.”
Mr Flynn has been playing poker since 2008 after being persuaded by a mate.
“I was no good the first night, but I kept on going back and now I love it. I absolutely love it.”
A regular at Warrnambool poker matches, Mr Flynn plays most months at qualifying games.
“To go down to the tournament, you have to qualify at one of the events here,” he said.
“I finished on top of the leader board here in Warrnambool at the Royal Hotel.”
Mr Flynn took home prizemoney and a glass trophy from the state titles and is looking forward to future tournaments.
“My main goal is to go over and play in Las Vegas in the World Series of Poker,” he said.
He is planning to start practising with online poker games and will return to Melbourne for the Main Event Poker Championship in May.