Epsom woman takes out poker tourney

Angie Fitzgerald. Photo supplied
Angie Fitzgerald. Photo supplied

For the first time, a major poker tournament at Auckland's SkyCity casino has been taken out by a woman.

And she finished in style, hitting one of the best hands in the game - four of a kind - when heads up against North Shore's Simon Watt for the championship.

Angie Fitzgerald from Epsom was the last player standing – or, rather, seated – when the chips were gathered up after the two-day-long Main Event at SkyCity late last night.

She collected over $32,000 and the title of the 2010 Lee Nelson Deep Stack Series Main Event winner. Watt picked up $21,000 for second place.

Play began at noon on Saturday with 108 hopefuls sitting at the tables.

Some regular faces to New Zealand poker tournaments sat down for the start of the inaugural Lee "Final Table" Nelson tournament.

Lee himself was among the starters, as were Dan Sing, Richard Lancaster, comedian Mike King, local poker promoter Brooke Howard-Smith plus past champions of Auckland tournaments in Simon Watt and James Honeybone.

International flavour was provided by Tony Dunst, an American-born poker pro now resident in Melbourne, Australia.

After the 12 rounds of Day One were complete, King, Dunst, Watt and Honeybone all survived, along with 18 other players to return for play on Day Two.

By 5.30pm yesterday, player numbers dropped to the final nine and the Main Event final table was brought together.

Play continued on the final table with a crowd of over 50 spectators leaning against the rail for a view of the action.

Shortly after midnight, Fitzgerald went 'all-in' on the final hand with a pair of 4s against Watt's suited 7-5 combination.

It was Fitzgerald's time, as she hit a dream hand – two more 4s for four of a kind, over her opponent's three of a kind (7s).

The results for the main event were:

1 Angie Fitzgerald - Auckland - $32,610
2. Simon Watt - Auckland - $21,600
3. Xidong Du - Wellington - $12,960
4. Danny Tavita - Auckland - $10,800
5. Matthew Mitchell - Rotorua - $8,210
6. Goy Zheng - Auckland - $5,400
7. James Honeybone - Tauranga - $4,320
8. Asokan Sing - Auckland - $3,780
9. Wilbur Tarn Yu - Auckland - $3,240
10. Jeffery Fitzpatrick - Auckland - $2,920
11. Kevin Peters - Rotorua - $2,160

The next major event on the Auckland poker calendar is the SkyCity New Zealand Poker Open from 5-7 June.

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