Kiwi poker player leads $88 million tournament

Poker chips. Photo / Getty
Poker chips. Photo / Getty

New Zealand poker player Jan Suchanek is heading towards a massive payday in the biggest tournament in world poker.

The Nelson-based poker pro is leading the way with 83 players remaining at the highly lucrative World Series of Poker Main Event.

Suchanek is assured of a NZ$95,305 payday, but his eyes will be looking towards a multi-million dollar prize on offer at the prestigious event.

US$8 million (NZ$11,236,351) is up for grabs for the winner of the event which saw more than 6700 players pony up a US$10,000 buy-in to enter, creating a prizepool of over NZ$88 million.

Near the end of almost five grueling days of play, Suchanek has collected 9.8 million in chips to lead the tournament.

The prizepool continues to rise rapidly from here on in, with NZ$113,000 on offer for making the top 80, and NZ$245,000 the minimum payout for reaching the final 45.

A trip to the final table (final nine players) locks in at least US$1,000,000, with prize-money increasing as each player gets knocked out.

The tournament pauses when the final table is reached, and resumes in early November in a live-TV extravanagza known as "The November Nine".

It is the second straight time Suchanek has cashed in on the Main Event, after finishing 787th for US$15,000 last year.

Suchanek will also earn the most money ever by a New Zealander in the main event, eclipsing previous high-ranking finishes from Thomas Ward (313th in 2014) and Simon Watt (397th in 2010) respectively.

Watt is the only New Zealander to have won a World Series of Poker tournament, winning a US$1500 NL event in 2010. Suchanek's best finish is a runner-up finish in a US$1500 10-game mixed event in 2014.

However, nothing matches the prestige of the Main Event, and Suchanek is well in the mix for poker's biggest prize.

- NZ Herald

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