Former EastEnder Michael Greco, who has become a professional gambler, is in the money after winning the regional leg of a national poker competition.

The ex-actor walked away with £100,000 following the climax of the third round of the Grosvenor Poker Tour in Cardiff during the early hours of Monday morning.

Michael, who played Beppe di Marco in the BBC soap from 1998-2002, triumphed in a field of more than 300 players during four days of competition.

A spokesman for the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour said: “The event, which is being shown on C4 later in the year, is the pinnacle of Greco’s poker career which started shortly after his spell on Albert Square.

“Although he has had minor successes in celebrity events, this was his first win in a recognised professional poker event.”

After beating fellow finalists Hoss Parhizkar and Swansea fish and chip shop owner Roberto Romanello, Michael also collected a Tutima watch and a place in the grand final of the competition in London at the end of November.

Jonathan Raab, the competition’s tour manager, said: “After a long, hard-fought poker session, Michael was a worthy winner.

“He has shown that he has what it takes to go all the way in this game and we look forward to him defending his title in Manchester.”