Shirley, 62, in World Series

Daily Star Sunday - - BUSHELL ON THE BOX - ■ by LAU­RIE STONE sun­day@dai­

GRAN Shirley Mar­shall’s head is still in a spin af­ter com­pet­ing in the planet’s big­gest poker tour­na­ment.

The 62-year-old re­tired fi­nance of­fi­cer won a seat in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Ve­gas.

Shirley, in­set, de­scribes her­self as a com­plete recre­ational player.

Yet for two days she bat­tled it out and held her own with the best Texas Hold ’Em play­ers in the world.

She said: “I watched my son Jonathan play on­line a few years ago and asked him to teach me. It looked a lot of fun, so I de­cided to give it a go.

“I love play­ing a few quid ev­ery day on­line with I can get hours of en­joy­ment. It’s some­thing dif­fer­ent from my cro­chet­ing.”

She added: “I won two $1 com­pe­ti­tions, which gave me a chance to spin the prize wheel. There was a wide se­lec­tion of prizes of dif­fer­ent val­ues. But it stopped on the $12,500

888poker pack­age to Ve­gas. “I thought noth­ing more about it un­til I got an email from 888poker con­grat­u­lat­ing me and out­lin­ing my itin­er­ary.” Shirley had won her $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat, a five-night stay at the lux­ury Vdara Ho­tel plus travel money and ex­penses. A to­tal 7,221 play­ers – the third high­est in WSOP his­tory – took part in this year’s ten-day tour­na­ment, held at the Rio Ho­tel and Casino.

The win­ner was Amer­i­can Scott Blum­stein, 25, who took home $8,150,000. But Shirley, from Birm­ing­ham, wasn’t disgraced.

She said: “My aim was not to be the first out on my ta­ble. And I wasn’t. I was ab­so­lutely thrilled to make it through to Day 2 even though I went back with a rel­a­tively small stack of chips.”

Shirley’s chips dwin­dled as the day went on and even­tu­ally she busted out of the tour­na­ment but she was in good com­pany.

She ac­tu­ally lasted longer than last year’s win­ner Qui Nguyen.

Shirley said: “The other play­ers were in­cred­i­bly friendly and there was great ban­ter. Poker shouldn’t just be for the pro­fes­sion­als and high rollers. We all like to have a game.”

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