Gina Short(credit: Betfred Media)
Local lady Gina Short was walking tall after making her first appearance on the Betfred Ladies Poker Tour a winning one in the third leg of this year's event at Stanley Maxims Casino, Reading.
Gina, mother of Nikki and Melanie Short who figured prominently on last year's tour, made a stunning comeback after going down to just 300 chips from her initial 6,000.
At around 3.15am, nearly 12 hours after play had started, Gina found herself in the heads-up against Kay Harvey. A short-stacked Kay went all in with ace-jack and Gina, who had queen-10, won the hand with three of a kind as the flop yielded ace-10-10.
It meant Gina captured the first prize of £2,070 and, more importantly, a place in the Grand Final on November 22.
Gina joins Michelle Bennett and Karen Dennett in securing her seat for the final, where a £20,000 sponsorship package for 2009 provided by Betfred will be up for grabs.
Third place went to Kim Jagger, a regular supporter of the tour, while consistent Dee Mavor boosted her chances of earning a Grand Final place through the points table for those without a victory by improving on her ninth position in Liverpool by finishing sixth.
A total of 59 players contested the Reading leg and among the early casualties were Elizabeth Costa, Linda Blundell, Val Gray, Rebecca Neilson, Hazel Birchnall, Kim Ploszanski and Monica Martinsen, all of whom had featured on the final table in previous legs of this year's tour.
Wendy Richardson and Caroline Walsh went out simultaneously on the 'bubble' but both were given a seat into a future Ladies Poker Tour event by Betfred.
Final table finishing order in Reading:
1 Gina Short
2 Kay Harvey
3 Kim Jagger
4 Melanie Bowden
5 Sarah Dornford-May
6 Dee Mavor
7 Carey Hollick
8 Daisy Timson
9 Trish Dhiri
10 Victoria Yates
The next leg of the Betfred Ladies Poker Tour takes place on July 19 at Napoleons Owlerton casino in Sheffield. Full details of that and all the other planned legs of the event are available at betfredpoker.com