Nigel Williams won a jackpot prize worth $2.7 million while playing Texas Hold'em Poker, but it wasn't against any high-stakes pro poker player. It was actually against the house (Crown Perth casino) in a standard table game and not the traditional poker played in card rooms. This type of poker game requires very little skill, but the one thing that you need here in order to win is huge amounts of luck.
In Nigel's case, he made a $10 jackpot side bet wager. He can win a life-changing $2.7 million prize if he were to hit a royal flush, and he astonishingly did it! Nigel Williams, age 45, said he was playing roulette at first when he thought he needed a break and decided to play Texas Hold'em Poker.
Even if there's a huge jackpot prize up for grabs, hitting a royal flush doesn't happen just like that, so this is still considered a ‘sucker bet'. However, that didn't faze Nigel from giving it a shot. His small stake handsomely paid off. If he placed a $15 wager, the prize would be much bigger. But nonetheless, he would have to settle for $2.7 million.
Nigel told a local newspaper, "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, so a couple of people have already asked why I wasn't betting $15. On the sixth hand that I was playing I got a royal flush."
He added while laughing, "The dealer was stunned. There was nobody else playing it was just me. They brought me 27 $100,000 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'."
What to do with his winnings
Each jackpot winner has different plans to do with their money. Some spend it on homes, fancy cars, or a lavish vacation. Most decide to invest in businesses or quit their jobs and retire.
Nigel, a father of two and works as a managing director for a golf course management company, said, "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. I just want to spend more time with my children."
Do Jackpots Commonly Happen in ‘Real' Poker?
Side bet jackpots are actually common in casinos. For instance, blackjack tables offer a side bet in which players can potentially win money on top of the main bet. Jackpots are also common in several brick-and-mortar and online poker rooms worldwide. Know that these are slightly different from side bets against the house.
If a poker room offers jackpots, players are not forced to place a side bet to get action. Instead, money is automatically taken out of the rake from every pot. To win the jackpot prize, one or two players must hit a certain type of hand (such as a straight flush beaten by a royal flush). This is usually called a "bad beat jackpot".