A Wollongong employment consultant who pocketed almost $600,000 in a poker tournament says he will plough the funds into sensible bricks and mortar - after he quits his day job and embarks on a year-long tour of some of the richest poker tables in the Asia-Pacific.One-time Big Brother house-mate Aaron Benton says he has Lady Luck to thank for his small fortune after a six-day poker session that concluded in Sydney on Sunday. "It's the easiest money I ever made," Mr Benton told the Mercury yesterday."I was very lucky." The 32-year-old gazumped fellow online qualifier Ernst Hermans from the Netherlands to win the Sydney grand final of the Asia Pacific Poker Tournament.The tournament is Australia's second-biggest, and is part of the PokerStars franchise.Mr Benton took a six-month sabbatical from employer Hays Recruitment shortly after pocketing $286,800 in an online poker tournament in May.He spent the time travelling the Asian circuit, with competitions in Macau, Auckland, Cebu, then Sydney.He took up the game about three years ago, and eventually built up a routine of five or six live games a week, plus countless more online."I started playing with friends and got more serious when I started winning," he said."Every night I would go to a different venue with mates."The former Smith's Hill High School student paid tribute to his band of about 20 supporters during the Sydney grand final, mainly made up of fellow players from Wollongong.He has yet to return a message from his boss."I've got a message from the global (managing director) this morning saying, 'Congratulations, I don't suppose I'll see you back in January?' I haven't replied yet but he's probably right."Mr Benton plans to buy a house for his mother and brother to hold down while he travels to tournaments including the Aussie Millions event in Melbourne in January, and the World Series of Poker in June and July.