Christmas has come early for an Ulster poker ace who netted more than a quarter of a million pounds in a top tournament in London.
Marty Smyth (31), from Greenisland, scooped £251,712 ($$500,000) when he finished second in the Ladbrokes Poker Million VI grand final at the weekend.
Marty, who has been a professional poker player for six years had admitted to a few nerves ahead of the tense contest but kept his cool during the seven hour game which was televised live on Sky Sports.
"It is an amazing prize to play for and it would be fantastic to win. But taking part is going to be great as well.
"I'm sure my girlfriend will be able to think of a few things to spend the money on if I scoop the top prize. "
Ladbrokes Poker Million is Europe's longest-running and richest poker game and saw Marty go head-to-head with five other professional players.
He had already battled it out against the poker elite and a range of celebrities, including Danielle Lloyd, Matt Dawson and Brian McFadden, to win his place in the final.
Samantha Alleyne, PR Manager for Ladbrokespoker.com said: "The 2007 Poker Million VI was the biggest and best yet. High profile players from around the world squared up against the cream of the UK players and online qualifiers. "Qualifiers for the Poker Million VII begin in the New Year and competition is sure to be as fierce as this year."
Londoner Joe Beevers took the title of Ladbrokes Poker Million VI Champion 2007.
Previous winners include snooker player Jimmy White and newcomer Raj Modha.