A disabled poker player who communicates his decisions through an iPad won a major Queenstown tournament – with the hand tattooed on his arm.
Australian Jonathan ‘Jono’ Bredin outplayed 125 rivals to take home $93,600 at SkyCity casino last night.
In a remarkable turn of events and amazing everyone watching, the 23-year-old’s winning hand of king of spades and king of clubs matched a tattoo on his left arm.
Playing his first major tournament, he was crowned New Zealand Poker Tour Queenstown Champion.
“It was fantastic to get this win,” Bredin says.
“It is the first time I have won a live tournament against professionals like these.”
Bredin has cerebral palsy and is wheel chair bound. His limited speech and movement required the assistance of a helper at the table to handle the chips and cards, while Bredin controlled all of the action by communicating through his iPad.
Melbourne-born Bredin chose kings for his tattoo because he though a pair of aces, the best pre-flop hand in Texas Hold ‘em, were boring.
Bredin won into this tournament through an online satellite on PokerStars and his best live result before today was fifth place finish at the Australian Poker League Main Event III where he received $23,800 – pub-based event.
The heads up battle last night at the Beech Street casino against accomplished Australian professional Daniel Laidlaw lasted over an hour and saw many swings.
Bredin will use the money to buy a specially-adapted car and take a trip to Las Vegas.
Queenstown local Kenny Frisby placed eleventh, taking home $7,650.
SkyCity Queenstown’s general manager Michelle Baillie says: “We are thrilled to have hosted such a great poker tournament and we are proud of the positive impact the tournament has had on Queenstown tourism.
“As well as the players, friends and family being in Queenstown for a week supporting local businesses, there has been a group of international poker bloggers including video bloggers who have broadcast some fantastic footage of Queenstown out across the world.
“We congratulate Jono for an amazing result and thank the players and the team from PokerStars.net for their support.”