Jamie Adams (2007)

Cindy beats 'big boys'

CINDY Morgan proved she was the Queen Bee of the Tweed poker scene by placing 17th at the $500,000 Wild Turkey Poker Classic at Melbourne's Crown Casino last weekend.

Mrs Morgan was the last female standing in the tournament, and only one round from the last table when she was cruelly wiped out by a pair of kings when she had an ace and jack in the pocket.

Mrs Morgan joined fellow Tweed players Jade White and Glenn Sims in the finals on Sunday, then outlasted both to finish in the top 20 of the 528- person tournament and take home $5000.

Now the mother of four won't have to fight for computer time with her 11, 13, 16 and 18-year-old kids anymore, after rewarding herself with a brand new laptop from the prize money.

But the win wasn't just about the cash, because in one of her first serious tournaments, the Queen Bee has forged herself a reputation.

The first table Mrs Morgan was at she was surrounded by some “very big poker boys” and they tried to intimidate her from the first hand.

“I thought I was out of my league, but I walked away, got my composure, put some aggression into my hands and showed I had the guts to put my chips down on the table ... then they respected me as a player,” Mrs Morgan said.

“It was definitely a smarter and harder game of poker; I was folding big hands I would usu- ally have played.”

Mrs Morgan's progression through the tournament was a rollercoaster ride of skill and luck. Sometimes exhaustion did creep in, but encouragement by Tweed Australian Poker League manager Marc Halliday steeled her resolve.

Each player started on $10,000 and played through 10 blind levels on the first day, then had to be in the top 200 to progress to the finals on Sunday.

Mrs Morgan's Saturday was hard work.

“I grinded all day, I was pretty much low stacked all day, I had to fold quite a lot of my hands just to stay in the heat.”

An “emotional” bet with only 17 minutes to play came off for Mrs Morgan and she was into the finals ranked 50th, holding 32,000 in chips.

Luck kept on going her way on Sunday, but it ran out only one table from the grand final.

But this is only the beginning for Queen Bee and she is looking forward to the Big Bucks tournament on March 1 and the WSOP Satellite on March 22, where she could win a trip to Las Vegas, USA, to play for $14 million.

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