Kiwi poker stars flock to the main event

The 13th annual tournament for New Zealand's longest-running poker event is this weekend. Photo / File
The 13th annual tournament for New Zealand's longest-running poker event is this weekend. Photo / File

Poker players will chase a big prize on offer at the New Zealand Main Event tournament at Christchurch Casino this weekend.

A prize pool of $135,000 will be on offer to the 90-strong field of local and professional card players, the 13th annual tournament for New Zealand's longest-running poker event.

Tournament manager Warren Wyllie said this year's tournament had a cheaper buy-in to lure local players, whereas previous years had focused on attracting Australian poker stars.

"We've almost sold out the event but we want more local players," he said.

A day's play could run from midday to midnight and participation in the main event cost players $1650.

Stars in the sport are largely unheard of in New Zealand but a list of prestigious kiwi card players will front the field, including New Zealand open winner Jackson Zheng.

Fellow New Zealander Phillip Willcock will also be among the favourites, after he finished second at Melbourne's APPT main event, pocketing $272,397.

Comedian and poker enthusiast Mike King will also compete.

The top 10 will receive a share of the prizemoney, with first place raking in $40,000-45,000.

- NZPA

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