A HAMPSHIRE mum was left terrified after seeing her son, who was halfway across the world taking part in a world poker tournament, caught up in an earthquake.

Jan Combes, who was watching Charlie online in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas from her Winchester home, said she was “worried sick”.

Ms Combes, who is in her 60s, said: “It was pretty scary from where I was sitting safely at home.

“Charlie knows I was keeping track online and so he messaged me to say he was OK. But I was worried sick when they suspended play.”

The play had to be suspended last Saturday as Southern California was hit by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake, with aftershocks big enough to cause tremors in Las Vegas.

Charlie said: “We were sitting at the poker table. The room was packed with hundreds of players when everything began to shake.

“There was a loud bang and everyone started running out of the room. It was really scary.

“I looked up and saw the heavy metal light riggings were beginning to shake. I thought I had better get out of here.

“I just left my chips on the table – like everyone else and took the things I had with me and headed for the exit.”

It was not all bad news for Charlie, who is engaged to his 36-year-old fiancee Nicola and his two ten-month old twins. The 33-year-old made made it through to the second day of the ten -day tournament, winning £19,655, after a buy-in of just £85.

He said: “It gives you the opportunity to take part in the biggest games in the world for just a fraction of the price where there is life-changing money up for grabs.”

Charlie first got into tournament poker while on holiday in Spain, aged 23. He and a few friends went out drinking into the early hours and missed their flight home to England; instead, he played an online tournament and won £140,000.

“I’ve never been happier to miss a plane,” he said.

At the age of 27 he won his biggest live pot when he finished sixth at a festival in Amsterdam and scooped £63,000. That same year he went to the World Series Of Poker for the first time.

His mum was also into poker, taking part in her first live tournament nearly eight years ago. There she won the ladies’ event, pocketing £8,700.

Jan went onto play in Monte Carlo the following year in 2012 when she finished fourth and won just over £4,000.The following year she found herself playing in the Bahamas where she finished sixth in two tournaments and won almost £5,000.

Jan said: “I haven’t had anything like Charlie’s success but I do love playing poker. It keeps my mind active and I really relish the challenge.”