Poker hopefuls head south

By Steve Boughey

Fifteen lucky card sharps are headed from Auckland to Queenstown this week for a chance to strike it rich on the poker table.

The group are all qualifiers from a special tournament at SkyCity Auckland casino last weekend that offered places in the New Zealand Poker Tour (NZPT) Queenstown 'Alpine Adventure' tournament, which carries a tidy purse.

The expected total prize pool could be anything up to $400,000.

The Auckland leg started on Saturday with a mixed field of 38 international and domestic players from nine countries including representatives from Australia, Singapore, Korea, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Canada and New Zealand.

Local players did well, making up the bulk of the 15 successful punters who are headed south for a tilt at all that prizemoney this weekend.

As part of their reward for making it through, the players get their Queenstown travel and accommodation costs met by SkyCity.

AUCKLAND QUALIFIERS (and chip amounts):

Yannick Frenette (Canada) - 167700
Tim Macbeth (NZ) - 77900
Stephen Smith (NZ) - 75600
Richard Kit (NZ) - 73500
Jordi Urlings - Netherlands - 65000
Lindsay Andrews (NZ) - 52200
Campbell Melville (NZ) - 36900
Brian Huang - Singapore - 35500
Rewi Emmerson (NZ) - 35100
Mike Tyler (NZ) - 33000
Robert Wang (NZ) - 32900
Kani Edwards (NZ) - 25100
Ben Price - Australia - 19900
Oleg Vitsenko (NZ) - 19200
Renae Baker (NZ) - 11000

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