A WOMAN who reads the fortunes of celebrities in her tarot cards has found a new passion in Texas Hold‘em poker.

Cheryl Simmons, who grew up in Redbridge and lives in Loughton, turned to tarot cards when her mother died battling cancer and two months later her 13-year-old daughter, Bianca, was diagnosed with leukaemia.

As she sat for hours at Bianca’s bedside during her three-year road to recovery, Cheryl explored deeper into the ancient art of tarot and became determined to read the cards for herself.

She said: “In tarot cards I saw a chance to help others as I had been helped.

“It amazes me the accuracy of past and present situations I am able to see and from that predict future guidance.

“It can be very emotional as people come to terms with certain realities."

Cheryl has gone onto read tarot cards for people across the country and celebrities including Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis.

Nine years ago, Cheryl was introduced to the game of Texas Hold'em poker and soon found she had a natural flare for the game.

She said: “I just love all cards really.

“Poker is a fantastic game of skill and psychology with a little bit of lady luck thrown in as well.

“I’m really good at reading people, I use the same intuition I use in tarot reading for playing poker.”

Cheryl is now gearing up to play the 888 Easter Edition poker tournament, boasting a £100,000 cash pot, at Aspers Casino, in Westfield Stratford City.

From Thursday to Monday (April 13-17), Cheryl will be hoping her intuition for the game lands her a big win within the 888poker Card Room.

She added: “"I think I had better start reading my own tarot cards to see what my chances are of winning.”

For more information about the 888live local special Easter Event and WSOP satellites visit: www.888poker.com

Reporter, Joe Roberts, will be heading to down the tournament on Friday (April 14) to sink or swim among the players.