Plucky Dragon's Den hopeful Steve Bellis has become something of a celebrity in UK poker circles. Not only did he go down in history as the only man to successfully get a better deal than he originally asked for in the hit BBC show, but he is also one of the men behind the pub poker revolution. He has obviously put the £65,000 investment from the Dragons to good use as he is now expanding the Nuts Poker League into the tourism market.
Bellis has teamed up with travel firm TR4 to organise 'Poker Holidays'. He is set to take a party of poker players to Lanzarote for a week of sun, sea and poker. Bellis said "We went out there last year with 50 players and it was a great success. A lot of places have karaoke and bingo but there are lots of people who want to play poker. Then we had a meeting with TR4 Travel in Holywell and discussed the possibility of taking 120 people."
Steve noticed the gap in the market when he did an internet search for poker holidays and found that most of them were in Las Vegas and catered towards more serious players. "We wanted to offer something that was a bit closer to home, more relaxed and less expensive."
This is just another feather in the cap for the very successful Nuts Poker League. After success in the Dragons Den, they faced objections from the Shropshire Police concerned about illegal gambling. Bellis successfully argued that as no money was being exchanged in the 'play for points' poker league; no laws were being breached. As a result, the Police removed their objection.
Since then the Nuts Poker League has thrived, even going as far to launching their own online poker room. If history is anything to go by, then these poker holidays will be a big success and one day Steve Bellis might become the Richard Branson of UK Poker.
Ed note: Hit the tables online at the brand new T6Poker poker room