Sunderland dad wins life-changing sum in casino poker game while celebrating his late father's birthday

A Sunderland dad-of-one has won a life-changing £114,000 after taking part in a poker game while out celebrating his late father’s birthday.

Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 4:55 am

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Michael Wharton, from Tunstall, scooped the life-changing prize on December 17 after taking part in a poker tournament at Sunderland’s Grosvenor Casino while out celebrating the birthday of his late dad, Michael Wharton Snr.

The 51-year-old took part in a poker tournament alongside his son, Mikey, however was knocked out early on but decided to take part in the casino’s National Bad Beat Jackpot.

£114,000 winner Mickey Wharton (right) celebrates his life changing win with Grosvenor Casino general manager Mark Hunter.

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But now a delighted Michael has revealed what he is going to do with the money.

He said: "We were out celebrating my dad’s birthday, who died when he was 61 in 2009, when I got a call from my son inviting me down to the Grosvenor Casino to take part in a poker tournament.

"I wasn’t sure but my mum Kathleen said maybe dad would give me some luck and I am so glad I listened to her.

“When we first saw the hand that I had, we didn’t really realise that we’d be in with a chance of winning the jackpot so I just couldn’t believe it when they told me that I had actually won £114,000.".

Mickey was out celebrating his late father's birthday when he won the life-changing amount.

"It was only when the manager came over and told us that they would have to check to ensure that it was a legitimate hand and even then, we didn’t know then how much I had won.

“I’m going to buy a house with the winnings, but first I’m going to celebrate with a family trip to Las Vegas and Mexico – we’re just going to enjoy the money.”

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On the same night, Adam Smith, who is also from Sunderland, took home £57,000 in winnings after beating Mickey with a straight flush.

Michael Wharton with his son Mikey.

Mark Hunter, General Manager at Grosvenor Casino Sunderland, congratulated them both.

He said: “We are so pleased for Mickey and Adam who rounded out 2021 in the best possible way and won a life changing amount of money.

“We’re proud that this historic win took place in our casino, and we look forward to more to come.”

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