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Norfolk online poker champion nets $75,000

PUBLISHED: 05:57 08 February 2010 | UPDATED: 07:58 02 July 2010

Anthony Carroll

Spencer Benjafield is certainly flushed with success after he scooped $75,000 in an international poker tournament while he was surrounded by music and sports legends.

Spencer Benjafield is certainly flushed with success after he scooped $75,000 in an international poker tournament while he was surrounded by music and sports legends.

The 24-year-old from Great Yarmouth had a run of good luck as he won the PokerStars amfAR charity tournament in the Bahamas.

Mr Benjafield, an offshore worker, held his nerve as stars such as Gun 'N Roses guitarist Slash, German tennis player Boris Becker and former England striker Teddy Sheringham tumbled out of the contest.

Music stars Nelly and Kelly Rowland, American chat show host Montel Williams and 24 actor Carlos Bernard were also knocked out in the early stages of last month's charity tournament which raised money for the AIDS research charity amfAR.

After seeing off the host of famous faces, Mr Benjafield then overcame large odds to beat Brazilian PokerStars professional player Alex Gomes to claim his prize.

Mr Benjafield started the final on 4,000 chips compared to his rival's 36,000 but he turned the odds in his favour through a series of daring raises.

On receiving his cheque for $75,000 Mr Benjafield said: “I just can't believe it. I never thought I would win. Who would have guessed that I would have turned the chip stack around in the final.

“It has been such a great day meeting and playing with the celebrities and the pros. It will take some time to sink in.”

And the stars ending up toasting Mr Benjafield for another reason after he generously donated half of his winnings to amfAR.

Mr Benjafield, who has played in the Pokerstars Aussie Millions and World Series of Poker at Las Vegas, said he would spend the rest of his winnings on treating his girlfriend to a holiday before he returns to the poker tables.

The charity poker competition was held at the luxury Atlantis resort in Nassau.

At least $97,500 was raised for amfAR by Pokerstars - an online poker room which has 28 million members playing against each other.

Mr Benjafield was one of five Pokerstars players to take part in the charity event by qualifying through preliminary contests.

Each of the stars and professional poker players paid £5,000 to take part.

For information on PokerStars visit www.pokerstars.com

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