Poker player skips niece’s wedding to play cards in Vegas, hits it big

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A retired North Dakota office supply store owner missed his niece’s wedding to play poker in the Mid-Stakes Poker Tour Venetian in Las Vegas last weekend. Harlen Miller’s gamble paid off — and he said his niece’s wedding present is going to be aces.

The 63-year-old cards player “hit a king on the river with 8-to-1 odds at the time of the flop” to take home $367,801, according to the Bismarck Tribune, who spoke to the lucky local man.

“I just had a really strong feeling about this tournament,” Miller said. “I had to go.”

So he headed to Sin City instead of Montana, where his niece Macie Vogel, who’s from Bismarck, N.D., was tying the knot.

Miller said he didn’t think he’s be missed much at Vogel’s wedding — his 18 siblings were there.

“I can get (Macie) a better wedding present now,” he said.

Miller estimates he’s won a half-million dollars in his 15 years of playing poker. According to Miller, his penchant for drawing a “miracle card” at the most opportune time is what his opponents call getting “Harlenized.”

He told the Tribune that his niece won’t be the first person to benefit from his winning. Miller, who now works in foster care, claims he handed “a few hundred dollar bills” to homeless people he came across after cashing in.

“It felt pretty good to be able to do that,” he said.