NZer makes poker history in US

By Steve Boughey

Auckland poker sensation Simon Watt. Photo / SkyCity
Auckland poker sensation Simon Watt. Photo / SkyCity

A New Zealander has become the first Kiwi to win one of the poker world's most coveted trophies - a World Series bracelet.

Auckland software developer Simon Watt, 27, won US$614,248 in prize money in the Las Vegas event.

Watt was the winner of the third US$1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em championship at this year's World Series of Poker.

"I won a gold bracelet!" was all the stunned Watt could say, moments after his historic win.

A World Series of Poker (WsoP) bracelet is the holy grail of poker professionals.

Few are given out - many seek them.

The play at the tournament's Final Table was arduous - starting at lunchtime on Sunday and not being decided until 3am Monday morning.

Watt defeated US star Tom Dwan in a tense heads-up finale. Dwan is an internet poker phenomenon and High Stakes Poker star, best known by his nickname 'Durrrr'.

The Kiwi's ultimate winning hand was a full house, Aces over 9s, against his opponent's bluff.

Simon Watt usually plays his poker at Auckland's SkyCity casino - where he's had considerable success.

His previous biggest payday was a winner's prize of over $200,000 at the Asia Pacific Poker Tour Main Event in Auckland last year.

Earlier this year, he was just edged out into second place by another Auckland local, Angie Fitzgerald in another big tournament at SkyCity.

Watt's bio says he started playing poker in 2005.

- NZ Herald

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