A Blackpool podiatrist is swapping the treatment room for the casino hall after winning a place at a prestigious poker tournament.
Phil Clayton was left flushed with delight after winning a place at the Redtooth Poker Finals in Las Vegas next May.
The 54-year-old, who has worked on the Fylde coast for more than 15 years, aced his rivals at a regional poker competition in Manchester on Sunday to win his spot in America.
And now the father-of-two, who works as a podiatrist in Anchorsholme Lane, Cleveleys, is set for a trip of a lifetime to what he calls “the Mecca” for poker players from around the world.
He added: “It was really exciting.
“There were around 140, 150 people there on the day and eventually it was whittled down to nine people on the final table.
“I played for around eight hours to get to that stage.
“The cards went my way and I won the all expenses paid trip to Las Vegas – it is the Mecca for players to go there.
“I was given a trophy and a golden envelope with the prize details – I felt like I had won the golden ticket like Charlie in the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
Phil started playing poker four years ago and plays with friends at the Thatched House Hotel in Poulton as part of the Redtooth Poker League.
He qualified for the regional finals and won his transatlantic trip after competing at the Grosvenor Casino in Manchester.
He said he will take his wife Lorraine on the eight day trip, during which he will compete against other players from Britain, with a venue yet to be confirmed.
Las Vegas is known for being the gambling capital of the world, with hotels such as the MGM Grand, The Bellagio, Caesars Palace and The Mirage big attractions for gamers and visitors.
He added: “The idea of the competition is to give British players the chance to experience playing abroad.
“Last year the competition was held at the Orleans Casino which has 35 poker tables.
“This particular tournament has 100 people playing for a £5,000 prize, so at least I have a 100 to one shot!
“It is just a great chance to play there.”