$17million Island was Once Won in a Poker Game for £60

2 weeks ago
$17million Island was Once Won in a Poker Game for £60
11:19
18 Jul

Poker has seen many bizarre wagers made at the table, with cars, homes and even wives bet on the turn of a card, but a stunning $multi-million island off the coast of Australia has to be up there with the biggest and best…

Pumpkin Island, which lies 10 miles off the Queensland Coast, is back on the market with a US$17 million pricetag, but back in the 1960s it belonged to an oyster farmer named Snigger Findlay.

It’s current owners, the Rumbles, shared its remarkable history – the island changing hands when Snigger lost it in a game of poker.

Roger and Merle Mason fell in love with Pumpkin Island, but Snigger did not want to sell it,” the Rumbles explained in a CNN travel article. “So when Roger challenged Snigger to a game of poker, he said that if he wins Snigger would have to sell the island to Roger. So Roger won and bought the island for £60."

That proved to be one of the best poker wins in the history of the game, the island’s worth increasing 2000-fold over the intervening years.


The Rumbles paid US$909,000 for it back in 2003, leasing it out to beer company Castlemaine for several years and this year describing it as “the ideal place to spend lockdown during the pandemic.”

If you thought the ‘betting your wife’ at poker in the intro was a joke, think again.

That’s exactly what Andrei Karpov did when facing Sergey Brodov, the married man weighing up his luxury car and Rolex against his wife – and it was Tatiana he ‘shoved’ into the pot.

Karpov not only lost, but had to suffer the shame of his wife divorcing him and marrying the man who ‘won’ her at poker.

“It was humiliating and I was utterly ashamed. But as soon as my ex-husband did that I knew I had to leave him,” she explained later, adding: “Sergey was a very handsome, charming man and I am very happy with him, even if he did win me in a poker game.”

Articles 1917

Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more

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