A professional poker player, who is wanted in the US accused of murdering his wife, has failed in a High Court bid for bail pending extradition proceedings.

Marcus Bebb-Jones, 46, from Kidderminster, is alleged to have killed his wife, Sabrina Bebb-Jones, in 1997 and dumped her body before spending her money during a “playboy” weekend in Las Vegas.

A judge ruled there was a “significant risk” that the gambler, who had received a job offer in China, might abscond if given bail.

Bebb-Jones was arrested last September at his home in Kidderminster, where he was living with his teenage son and mother, after a warrant was issued in the US.

Since his return to the UK, he has built a reputation as a highly successful poker player on the UK poker circuit, including winning the Grosvenor Grand Prix in 2007 which netted him £90,000. He will appear before City of Westminster magistrates court for a full extradition hearing on Thursday.

Defending Mr Bebb-Jones, Ben Cooper, asked Mr Justice Langstaff at London’s High Court to allow him bail as he faced protracted extradition proceedings that could take many months to conclude.

Mr Cooper said he was facing a possible death sentence or mandatory life imprisonment without parole, if found guilty of killing his wife.