Cheryl Young has gone from poker novice to playing the tables at one of the world’s top tournaments in four years.
The Aspers Casino croupier is battling it out in Barcelona at the Dealer EM 2015 with three colleagues and hundreds of professionals from across the globe.
Ahead of the contest the 47-year-old told The Wharf she would be armed with her Aspers card protector for the knockout challenge and hoped for plenty of Ace Kings – her favourite lucky hand.
Cheryl jetted off after scooping one of four packages offered up by the Stratford venue designed to encourage staff to win a place at the event.
“I was quite confident from the start – I kept telling myself I was going to win,” she said.
“And I kept saying to everyone: ‘Who’s coming to Barcelona with me?’ I was determined to win and, because I had that determination, I was always positive. I’m going to bring the title home to Stratford.”
The east Londoner traded in a career in admin for life surrounded by chips, cards and rounds of Texas Hold’Em.
Her first experience of a full house and a winning flush came at Aspers when she received on-the-job training for her role.
“I would never have thought it,” she said. “Before I started I had never picked up a pair of cards. For me, it’s next stop, Vegas.”
The tournament finishes on Friday, September 4.