Rajesh Modha, a middle aged London nuclear physicist and father of
three was celebrating a million dollar poker achievement this week
as he banked a $1.2 million check from the Ladbrokes Poker Million
having started the tournament as an outsider in a field of 25 000
After nine months of intense competition, the starting crowd of 25 000 was reduced to just one as Modha capped a sensational fight back to scoop the richest prize in European poker history - the Ladbrokes Poker Million – despite entering the competition through a $9 satellite qualifier and going into the final a 22-1 outsider.
The 44 year old fought off a Scandinavian invasion after a tense four hours of poker play to scoop the bumper $1.2 million payout and make him the newest poker millionaire.
The victory of Northampton resident Modha was broadcast live from Sky’s studio to over 100 million viewers around the world, with the families of the finalists watching from Ladbrokespoker.com’s celebrity poker party at The Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square. The big guns table included an eclectic mix of personalities including infamous poker player Mel Judah and Belfast born Marty Smith who both played a risky game to get their hands on the first prize and the coveted trophy.
‘Foggy71’ as he’s known on Ladbrokespoker.com, qualified for Poker Million back in April and was one of 72 poker enthusiasts who made it through to the televised stages of the competition. He has been playing poker now for just over a year and practices regularly on Ladbrokespoker.com.
Rajesh Modha the Ladbrokespoker.com Poker Million V winner said, “I can’t believe I’ve won! I always knew it was going to be a tough game and I was playing against some strong characters at the table but I just played the only way I know how and it worked for me tonight! Claus and the other players played some great poker and I’m just overwhelmed that I’ve won. It couldn’t have come at a better time and I’m looking forward to a great Christmas!”
Danish ace Claus Markessen took second place after playing a strong game from the start and looked set to steal the glory on a few occasions. He’ll be heading back to Denmark a happy man with a win of $500 000. In third place came Norwegian Andreas Hoivold (winner of the Ladbrokes Tallinn Challenge where he won his seat) who scooped $250 000.
Celebrities who entered Ladbrokes Poker Million but did not make the final table included Austin Healey, Leilani Dowding, Helen Chamberlain, Tim Lovejoy, Steve Davis and Jimmy White.
Ladbrokes eGaming Managing Director David Briggs commented: “What a tense evening of poker! The result just shows that what a great player Raj is as he entered the competition as the underdog and has come through to be crowned the Ladbrokes Poker Million V Champion – we’re delighted for him and his family. The atmosphere this evening was absolutely amazing and when it got down to the final two, it was anyone’s to win. This year’s tournament has been the biggest ever, more money has been won and more people have watched it on television than ever before. The rise and popularity of poker seems to be increasing unabated.”