QUIRKY WORLD ... Chef’s poker face scoops a tasty $10m at World Series



A Swedish man who got his start playing online poker after late restaurant nights while he trained to be a chef is $10m (€8m) richer after winning the top World Series of Poker main event prize.

Martin Jacobson, 27, had three 10s to beat Felix Stephensen of Norway and his pair of nines. “There’s no such thing as a ‘perfect tournament’ but this was close to perfect, maybe,” Jacobson said after the confetti blasts signalled his win had been cemented and friends and family ran to embrace him.

Jacobson would come home after working nights in a restaurant and none of his friends would be awake, so he started playing online poker, said his mother Eva.

Jacobson exhibited a calm stillness throughout the two days of poker playing. He often stared at his opponents across the table, blinking through his clear glasses.



The Bible, Charles Darwin’s The Origin Of Species and Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time have been named as the books which have had the greatest impact on the modern world.

The survey of more than 2,000 Britons, conducted by YouGov for the Folio Society, asked people to rank the books which have had the most influence on today’s society.

Religion and science took the top spots, with Albert Einstein’s Relativity in fourth place. Fiction also made the top 10, with Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, coming fifth.



Venezuelan socialism has embraced Barbie, just in time for Christmas.

In toy stores across Caracas people are taking advantage of the government’s order that large chains sell the plastic figurines at fire-sale prices during the festive shopping season.

The socialist government has long imposed price caps on scores of essential products, from milk to detergent and nappies. It is making the Barbie doll a highlight of this year’s Operation Merry Christmas initiative, which President Nicolas Maduro says is meant to prevent speculators from ruining the holidays.



A Utah man is accused of threatening his teenage daughter with a rifle during an argument that began over a game of Battleship.

Police say the 68-year-old man was with his 17-year-old daughter when he accused her of cheating and broke the game.

Utah County authorities say the girl tried to leave the trailer where they were playing, but the man dragged her back by her hair and pointed the loaded rifle at her head.

The Daily Herald reports she called 911 and authorities traced the GPS signal to a campsite. She escaped from the trailer after deputies arrived.

The Deseret News reports the father was arrested on suspicion of intoxication, aggravated assault and other charges.



Authorities say a man who was freed from a space between two walls of a Colorado department store may have been there for several days yelling for help.

The Longmont Times-Call reports firefighters used a circular saw to cut into the side of the building to free Paul Felyk on Tuesday.

Employees at the store reported hearing someone yelling on Monday but couldn’t tell where it was coming from. On Tuesday, staff found the man yelling through a hole in the wall.

Reports say Felyk entered the building through a roof vent for unknown reasons.

Police are investigating.


Can you imagine Spanish churros, Moroccan tagines or even Christmas cakes without its fragrant taste?MIchelle Darmody: Warm smells of cinnamon

Rachel Howard visits the South Moravia region to sample this eastern European country’s finest tipples.They’re big on beer but could the Czech Republic be raising a glass to wine tourism too?

Lisa Salmon catches up with a cardiologist, who explains how a patient’s own stem cells can repair damage from heart disease and heart failure.How stem cells are mending broken hearts

Hannah Stephenson discovers America’s dark past and Martin Luther King’s vision for its future by following the civil rights trail.Charting America’s path to freedom on a road trip through the Deep South

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