A look at a student who won big

Rehman Kassam, a law undergraduate student at Nottingham University, is bound to one of the most popular people on campus after a big win of £35,000 in a World Poker Tour warm-up tournament at the Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham, Europe’s largest poker venue. While most university students worry about how they pay their bills when the average student loan isn’t enough to live, but Rehman has no such worries following his very impressive win.

The 20-year old from East London, first started playing poker with some of his school friends, had already won £8,000 at a tournament earlier in the year. Very few opponents may take the young Rehman too seriously, but he kept his composure and beat players far older than him, including a 50 year old carpet fitter. Rehman couldn’t believe his luck and admitted it took some time for his winning figure to actually set in. He has enough to pay off his student loan but admitted he may put some of the money towards future tournaments.

Online poker is becoming just as popular as the classic game in traditional land-based venues. Choosing an online casino with sign up bonus can be a great way to get started, especially for newer players who are still learning and understanding the game. There are also a number of online only poker tournaments with prizes as big as won by Rehman.

Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham has only been open for nine years, but in a very short space of time it has become the biggest poker hall in Europe and has gone a long way towards putting Nottingham on the poker map. Rob Yong, a big fan of popular casino games, is the owner and manager of Dusk Till Dawn and he started up the business after playing poker at various locations around the world.

In November 2014, Dusk played host to the World Poker Tour 500, one of the most lucrative events in the poker calendar. It was the first time in history that they event was held outside of London and attracted fans and players from all over the world. Across the three week competition, more than 6,000 players took part, including champion boxer Carl Froch. The competition was described as having a festival-like atmosphere as the hall was packed out with players around all 80 tables.

In a similar scenario to Rehman Kassam, Alex Goulder has become a rising star in the world of poker. He came to study at Nottingham University but ended up leaving so he could focus on playing the game full time. Today, Alex lives in Barcelona but makes his living from travelling around the world and competing in major tournaments. The Dusk Till Dawn, along with players like Goulder and Kassam, could put Nottingham on the fast track to be a poker capital of the world.

Photograph by Howard Lake

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