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Succesful World Poker Tour New Zealand breaks SKYCITY records

One of the biggest poker tournaments ever staged in New Zealand has left organisers delighted and players vowing to return.

For the first time in New Zealand, SKYCITY held the New Zealand World Poker Tour in Auckland over Queens Birthday weekend 1-4 June. The successful event broke previous SKYCITY record becoming the largest SKYCITY casino main event held on site, with 360 players and a total of 1,621 players in all events throughout the tournament. 

SKYCITY Auckland was proud to provide New Zealand poker players with an opportunity to play professionally and against some world champions including Joe Hachem, WPT champion, 2005 WSOP winner and one of the top tournament money winners of all time.

SKYCITY Auckland Senior Gaming Operations Manager, Martin Coughlan, is delighted with the success of the first New Zealand World Poker Tour, sharing how fantastic it is for SKYCITY to provide a globally recognised opportunity for Kiwi poker players.

“It’s really exciting; this was the biggest poker tournament ever in Auckland and it’s really great be able to bring an international tournament to Auckland for New Zealand players.”

As well as being the biggest poker tournament New Zealand has held, Mr Coughlan is thrilled with the level of support the event attracted.

“When you bring a big tournament down under, people want to come and join in. We’ve had people from France, Belgium, Germany, Noumea and lots of Aussies who’ve come across. It’s fantastic to see this level of support for such a great event” says Mr Coughlan.

The tournament created a hive of activity around SKYCITY Auckland’s entertainment and dining precinct and Sammy’s Lounge on the main casino floor was transformed into a dedicated poker area packing in 25 tables.

With a total prize pool of $720,000 for the main event the tournament champion Nauv Kashyap walked away with $169,200 after three exciting days of play. Kashyap was ecstatic with his win as well as being crowned the first champion of New Zealand’s biggest poker tournament. Kashyap shared he was excited to celebrate with his family who were staying at the SKYCITY hotel.

Kashyap reflects on his win saying “I’m so happy with how the final table turned out. It was a bit of a rollercoaster but I ran with the luck I was given, you can’t really change the way the cards go, but it worked out well in the end”.


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