Bermudian hits poker jackpot in New Zealand

  • Brian Graham, left, with his wife, Carol, and grandchildren Conor, Tally and Brooke, at home in Christchurch, New Zealand (Photograph supplied)

A Bermudian now living in New Zealand is celebrating a big win after a three-day poker tournament ended in a jackpot.

Brian Graham, formerly the director of what is now the Bulley-Graham-Rawlins Funeral Home in Pembroke, placed third in the New Zealand poker championships last month.

His takings of $48,000 in New Zealand currency adds up, roughly, to $30,000.

Mr Graham, 71, who emigrated from Bermuda in 2003 and now lives with his family in Christchurch, has been playing poker online for about 20 years. “Growing up in Canada in the 1950s, people would play cards for entertainment in the long, cold winters,” he said.

Mr Graham’s family moved to Bermuda when he was 15, and he became Bermudian by status.

He added: “I played in Bermuda tournaments. But certainly nothing like this happened to me before.”

Mr Graham was one of 238 players who put in $2,000 each to play.

Thirty long hours of poker came to an end finally on August 23, with John Pyle taking first place.

“I came third and had fun,” Mr Graham said. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Not life-changing, but fun.”

Mr Graham was relaxed about his plans for the winning, saying he had indulged in “a nice bottle of Scotch”.

“I’m a small-time gambler who got a big-time amount.”