£65,000 Backing For Great Poker Idea

A British businessman certainly played the right hand appearing on a British television network program “Dragons’ Den” – he won £65,000 backing to help start a national pub poker league.

Pitted against each other, the show sees entrepreneurs voice their ideas in an effort to secure investment finance from the show’s “dragons” – a team of elite business entrepreneurs.

On Thursday night’s show, Steve Bellis tried to persuade the panel of tycoons to invest £50,000 in his venture.

However the ‘dragons’ were so impressed they offered him an unprecedented extra £15,000.
Mr Bellis stated: “I was totally unprepared, but it certainly paid off. With hindsight, I think I should have asked for more.”

Mr Bellis gave up his own business in the chemical industry to try his hand at setting up the poker league.

Giving up his own business in the chemical industry Steve started the Nuts Poker League in Wrexham, Wales, in November 2005, having seen the idea work in Canada while visiting his father.

Now being extended across the UK, including Manchester and London, and having been asked to start a similar system in France the idea has really taken off.

He said: “It’s really taken off. More than 50 pubs, sports clubs and even a restaurant have signed up and we’ve got 2,500 players registered.

“I just dipped my foot in the water, but now I’m right up to my neck in it.”
Currently it is still illegal for entrants to gamble for money, but those with the highest points tally have the opportunity to participate for prizes in regional finals.

Entrance fees for the final are donated to the Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham.
A spokesman for the television network said it was the first time a competitor had walked off with more money than they asked for.

Mr Bellis plans to use the money to increase the league and acquire up to 100 self-employed agents to help run it.

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