POKER FACE: Bundy's Hayden McCarthy (left) is jet-setting off to Las Vegas after winning a Dream Maker event in Hervey Bay and National Poker League's Bundaberg coordinator Ben Taranto said another lucky winner will join him.
POKER FACE: Bundy's Hayden McCarthy (left) is jet-setting off to Las Vegas after winning a Dream Maker event in Hervey Bay and National Poker League's Bundaberg coordinator Ben Taranto said another lucky winner will join him. Toni Benson-Rogan

Stakes are high for Bundy's ace poker player

A YOUNG man has won the trip of a lifetime, becoming Bundaberg's first National Poker League competitor to be awarded the chance to face off in a massive world-wide event.

Hayden McCarthy, 22, has been playing poker since he was a kid and learned what he knows from his family and searching online.

"When I was old enough, I heard they have it at pubs ... and I've been playing since," Mr McCarthy said.

"It's something I like doing, it's just a hobby." Now he plays about four times a week, and was in for a surprise when he competed in an NPL Dream Maker event last month.

After playing 15 NPL Wide Bay games with the league in a three-month period to qualify for the game, Mr McCarthy came first and won himself a Vegas package valued at $3000, including the chance to compete in the World Series of Poker Colossus.

"I've never left the country before so it'll be a first, (Vegas is) somewhere I've always wanted to go," he said.

Head of NPL Bundaberg Ben Taranto said another lucky winner would join Mr McCarthy in Nevada after winning the second Dream Maker competition this weekend.

"This weekend is (Bundaberg's) first Dream Maker event, and we're sending a player to Vegas," he said.

He said at least 100 players from across Central Queensland will go head to head at the Railway Hotel from 9.30am on Saturday, with a slot in the overseas trip up for grabs, as well as cash and other prizes.

Contact Mr Taranto on 0473 168 280 for more information on these competitions happening every three months.



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