STATE champion Thea Mapes will travel to Cessnock in New South Wales for this weekend's final of the Australian Pro Poker League.
She won the state championship in September at the Warwick RSL in a competition where seven of the nine players in the final were from the Darling Downs.
The Warwick finalists in the state competition were Mapes, runner-up Brad Rose, Michael Beeby, Karen O'Sullivan, Ian Parinder and Vivian Wright. Jim Wood, of Toowoomba, also made the final.
Mapes is one of the most experienced players in pro poker in Warwick and has also won entry into the Aussie Millions Satellite Tournament in Melbourne during January.
She is one of 10 players from the Darling Downs who will head to Cessnock this weekend.
Pro poker regional organiser Dave Dyson said all nine finalists in the state championships qualified for the nationals.
"Players can also qualify in special tournaments and by continued good performances on leader boards during the year," Dyson said.
The winner at Cessnock this weekend will win a $20,000 package which includes cash and a trip to play in the World Series final in Las Vegas in the United States.
Last year, Warwick player Peter McBain was second in the nationals and has qualified again.
"Thea, Peter and fellow Warwick player Wayne Baker are three of our best chances to win the national title," Dyson said.
Pro poker is played each Wednesday night and Sunday afternoon at the Warwick RSL and on Friday nights at the Stockyard Hotel. New players always welcome to see Dyson at the start of weekly competitions.
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