Local keeps APPT Auckland title in New Zealand

Simon Watt
Simon Watts wins the 2009 edition of APPT Auckland.

For the second straight year a local has triumphed at PokerStars APPT Auckland.

Simon Watt outlasted 263 players to win the biggest chunk of a $789,000 NZD prizepool in just the second APPT event ever held in New Zealand.

The event drew several recognizable players to the Skycity Casino, including Team PokerStars Pros Grant Levy, Emad Tahtouh, Tony Hachem, Celina Lin and Lee "Final Table" Nelson.

Nelson was eliminated in just the second hand of the tournament when he made a full house, but his opponent rivered quads.

The nine-player final table played out on Saturday with Assadour Assadourian the sole PokerStars sponsored player remaining. Unfortunately for Assadourian, he busted in seventh place for $23,670 NZD.

The final table eventually came down to New Zealander Watt and Frenchman Gerome Guitteau battling it out heads-up.

In the most pivotal hand of the tournament, Watt made an ill-timed bluff against Guitteau with ace-high and Guitteau on middle-pair.

Guitteau called him down and with over 90% of the chips in the middle, it looked like the Frenchman was destined to win the event. Instead, Watt spiked an ace on the turn and that was enough to secure the New Zealander the pot.

Two hands later, Watt busted Guitteau earning the APPT title and $209,085 NZD.

This is the second year that PokerStars has invaded New Zealand. Last year fellow Kiwi Daniel Craker beat 306 players to claim the inaugural title.

This year Craker put on an impressive performance in defending his title before finally busting out in 29th place for a cash of $5,523 NZD.

The next APPT event takes place Nov. 11-15 at the Shangri-La in Cebu, Philippines. Satellites are currently running on PokerStars.

Here are the complete final table payouts for the 2009 edition of APPT Auckland:

1 Simon Watt (New Zealand) - NZD $209,085
2 Gerome Guitteau (France) - NZD $142,020
3 Jason Brown (New Zealand) - NZD $82,845
4 Ke Sijia (China) - NZD $55,230
5 Richard Lancaster (New Zealand) - NZD $42,606
6 Jens Walther (Germany) - NZD $31,560
7 Assadour Assadourian (Australia) - NZD $23,670
8 Lance Climo (New Zealand) - NZD $18,936
9 Michael Shinzaki (USA) - NZD $14,202

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