Laura plays her cards right to win trip to Vegas

Laura Duff, poker player, who won a tournament in Newcastle at the weekend, which won her a trip to Las Vegas in 2015. Picture: George McLuskie

Laura Duff, poker player, who won a tournament in Newcastle at the weekend, which won her a trip to Las Vegas in 2015. Picture: George McLuskie

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A Fife poker player, well known for her ice hockey tweets, has won the trip of a lifetime to Las Vegas.

Laura Duff, from Pitlessie, was one of 60 players who travelled to the Grosvenor Casino in Newcastle to take part in a Redtooth Poker Tour event on Sunday.

And despite suffering from illness, the 26-year-old Fife Flyers fanatic took the title to claim a fully paid week-long holiday to Las Vegas.

“I’m still trying to take it all in,” Laura told the Press.

“I started well and knocked out the first player so I gained a lot of chips.

“But I must have ate dodgy food because I was battling a sore head all day and when I got to the final table of 10 I had to run away to be sick.

“After that I managed to compose myself and started to play much better poker.

“I lost some chips but I managed to come back and win, and I’m absolutely delighted.

“It will be the trip of a lifetime - something I would never be able to afford to do on my own. I can’t wait.”

Laura, who has amassed over 2200 followers on Twitter (@hockey_laura) through her popular live updates from Fife Flyers games, started playing poker six years ago after being introduced to the game by friends at college.

The former Bell Baxter High School pupil competes in the weekly Redtooth Poker League run in the Ceres Inn and has qualified for a regional final that will take place in Aberdeen in August.

“It’s a hobby, and I enjoy meeting new people, but I’m in it to win it,” she said.

“My aim is to be as good as I can and progress as far as I can.

“I’m a better player now than I was two years ago.

“I’m learning as I go along but winning the trip to Vegas is one of the biggest things I can do as an amateur poker player.”

The ability to stay patient, Laura explained, is the secret behind her success.

“You need to have patience to win tournaments,” she said.

“We played for eight hours in Newcastle so if you don’t have patience and bide your time you’ll go out early on.

“You also need a little bit of confidence to make the right moves when you need to.

“You also need to be able to bluff, and be prepared to take a gamble.”

Laura follows in the footsteps of Cupar poker player Richard Arnott, who won a trip to Vegas in 2012, although she is the first Fife female to win this excellent prize.

“It’s going to be an eye-opening experience,” Laura explained.

“And the best bit is, the ice hockey season will have finished by then, so it’s perfect timing!”