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Poker player turns $10 into $2.7 million jackpot at Crown Perth

Fri, Sep 9, 10:14am by Staff Writer

On Thursday, September 1st, Nigel Williams decided to spend a few hours of his afternoon at the Crown Perth casino playing roulette, and at the time, the 45-year old father of two was just looking to score some extra pocket money.

Instead, after a fortuitous decision to take his chips to the Crown Hold’em Poker tables, the Perth resident cashed in a life-changing jackpot of AUD$2.7 million.

By virtue of landing a royal flush, Williams triggered Crown’s Progressive Poker Jackpot, which is linked across the casino’s four poker-based table games: Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’Em, Crown Stud Poker, and the Crown Hold’Em game Williams played.

During a recent media tour with several local print and radio outlets, Williams described how the Crown Progressive Poker Jackpot works:

“I just put down a $10 jackpot. If it is a $5 jackpot and you get a royal flush you win $1.8 million, if it is $10 it is $2.8 million, and $15 it is $3.8 million.

“There was nobody else playing it was just me. On the sixth hand that I was playing I got a royal flush.”

The game of Crown Hold’em is a player vs. dealer hybrid of classic Texas Hold’em poker. Players put up an ante bet before receiving two ‘hole’ cards. From there, players can continue betting to see the ‘flop’, or the first three of five community cards. Two more community cards, the ‘turn’ and the ‘river’, are then dealt out individually, and the player’s best five-card poker hand – using one or both of their hole cards combined with the community cards – is scored against a pay table.

In order to win the Progressive Poker Jackpot, players must land a royal flush, or the 10-Jack-Queen-King-Ace straight with all five cards coming in the same suit (clubs, diamonds, hearts, or spades). Under the Texas Hold’em format described above, the odds of landing a royal flush are 1 in 30,940.

On Williams’ jackpot-winning hand, the flop brought the Ace, Queen, and Jack of diamonds, while he held the King and 10 of diamonds as hole cards. But as the proud emigrant of Zimbabwe recalls, he knew he had the 10 of diamonds in hand, but he couldn’t quite believe what he was seeing after taking a peek to recheck his second card:

“It was a King of Diamonds and it got surreal. I didn’t say anything at first. My mind was going, ‘Hang on, am I dreaming? Have I got a diamond? Is it a heart?’

“The dealer called over the pit boss and once they said, ‘Right, it’s official’, that’s when I stood up and screamed. I just screamed a big African scream, like a lion.”

Williams was paid out with 27 of the casino’s $100,000 denomination chips, and as he cashed the ducats in for cold hard cash, he couldn’t help but crack a joke or two about the ‘surreal’ situation:

“They brought me (the) chips and I took them to the cashier and they said ‘would you like cash or cheque, sir?’ And I looked at them and said ‘geez I should have brought a bigger bag’.

“Then I called my wife and she said, ‘What are you doing at the casino?’”

“And I said, ‘Did you hear what I just said?’ and she said, ‘What are you doing at the casino?!’”

The winning hand caused quite the commotion on the Crown casino floor, coming at 2:30 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon. And while Williams continues to celebrate the big win, Crown itself is also happy to see another loyal player break the proverbial bank.

Lonnie Bossi, who serves as Chief Operating Officer for Crown Perth, issued a congratulatory statement soon after the jackpot win was announced:

“To have a record breaking $2.7 million won at Crown Perth is fantastic. I am so excited to see this jackpot go off in what has been an already significant period of winning here at Crown Perth.

“This year our customers have won over $9 million on table games alone.”

As for Williams, who has lived in Australia for nearly three decades now and works as the Managing Director of a golf course management company, he doesn’t plan on letting the money change his everyday life all that much:

“I’ve got the greatest job in Australia — so what I will do is semi-retire, I’ll work five days instead of seven, and I’ll put the money in the bank.”

“I’m not going to do anything until March.”

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