Shane McCubbin.
Shane McCubbin. The Northern Star

Poker's a full house of fun for Shane

PLAYING poker has taught Shane McCubbin a lot about body language.

“One night I could see a woman's heartbeat in her throat and I could tell she had a good hand.

“Sometimes I can tell what cards people have just by looking at them, but then, I can read it very wrong as well,” he said.

The Byron Bay factory supervisor says poker is a game 'you can never master', but he's having a good time practising.

He spends four nights a week at local hotels and clubs, and many more hours playing online.

With a $10 entry fee to play all night at a pub, he sees it as a better option to poker machines, which could eat up that amount in 10 minutes.

Shane said he started watching poker on television a decade ago, but couldn't find a venue to play it locally.

The opportunity finally arose when National Poker League games began on the Northern Rivers in 2006.

Dave Baird-Watson organises the Poker League nights and said the card game is growing in popularity.

Player numbers have increased by 10 per cent in the past 12 months, he said, and the game has spread to 14 venues, including Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads and Suffolk Park.

This weekend, two regional poker finals will be held at Mullumbimby and Evans Head, with a prize pool of at least $1000 each.

Winners will qualify to play in the $40,000 state final in Sydney.

Shane McCubbin is likely to play in the finals.

“The money doesn't worry me. It's nice to win obviously, but for me it's just something to do to have fun,” he said.



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