A BUSINESSESMAN enjoyed an egg-cellent Easter after winning £6,500 in a major poker tournament having spent less than ten pounds.

Mark Harding, of Crook, County Durham, beat 302 rivals in the 888live local special Easter event which boasted a £119,000 prize pool.

The 42-year-old shop owner entered the online satellite tournament for £9.50 to win the £440 entry ticket into the three day holiday event.

The competition was held at the 888poker card room within the Aspers Casino, in Westfield , Stratford City, London

Mr Harding picked up £6,645 for his fifth-place finish - watched by his fiance, Janet Davies, 36, who runs her own cleaning business.

This was his first competition in a year after taking some time out from the game.

“The achievement is not because of how much I won it is because of what I turned the $12 into,” he said. “I have been playing for about five or six years but I have been on a break. This was my first one back.

“It is a hobby to me. This was just a one off. I must be alright at it.”

Mr Harding does not have any big plans on how he will spend his winnings and instead is already looking forward to his next competition.

The satellite specialist has also won a 1,100 Euros ticket to the 888live Poker Festival in Barcelona next month, which he scooped for just £23.

Now he is hoping to make it third time lucky by taking part in the online satellites for the World Series of Poker Main Event sponsored by 888poker in Las Vegas in July.

He is hoping to win a $12,500 package which includes a $10,000 entry into the tournament which boasts $10million to the winner.

Doron Ziony, head of 888poker Live, said: "Congratulations to Mark for an impressive result. He played superb poker against a field of more than 300 entries over three days and thoroughly deserved this win - especially as he was one of our online satellite qualifiers. 

"At 888poker, we are proud to give our players the opportunity to win big through our highly accessible 888Live Series, which offer amazing prize pools along with flexible, affordable buy-ins. 

"We’re looking forward to doing it all over again at our next 888Live event in Barcelona next month and we wish Mark - along with all our other players - the best of luck.”