New Zealander wins PokerStars.com APPT Auckland

Daniel Craker

New Zealander Daniel Craker won the very first PokerStars.com Asia Pacific Poker Tour Auckland in front of an ecstatic crowd of poker fans yesterday.

Craker, a 30-year-old Plasterer from nearby Wellington, outlasted 305 opponents and out-dueled Aussie Matthew Konnecke in heads-up play to win the title and over $200,000 NZD ($156,393 USD).

Although the last day of APPT Auckland began with 11 players it only took nine hours for Craker to emerge as the ultimate victor.

In the final hand Craker got all-in with pocket deuces against Konnecke's A-9. It was a classic coin-flip to settle celebrated Auckland event.

"I am so excited to take out New Zealand's biggest poker tournament at Skycity Casino," he said. "I felt confident throughout the day though now that I have the title I think it will take at least until tomorrow morning for the victory to settle in."

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APPT Auckland was the biggest poker event ever held in New Zealand with the prize pool roughly doubling the previous biggest tournament. Organizers were likely very pleased by the amount of support than came from the host country with 157 New Zealanders all getting in on the action.

"The second season of the APPT is showcasing the phenomenal growth of poker and poker culture across Asia Pcific," said APPT President Jeffrey Haas. "We are delighted to hold the biggest poker tournament in New Zealand history and look forward to working with Skycity in the future."

The APPT, now in its second season, is slowly becoming a big player in the poker world. This year it successfully expanded to five markets and the first event, held in Macau during September, broke records for both the largest prize pool and number of players in Asia.

The next stop for the tour will be Manila in the Philippines at Hyatt Hotel & Casino on November 13-16. Satellites for the event are currently running on PokerStars.com.

Our tournament reporting crew will be on assignment in Manila so be sure to check out our live tournament section. In the meantime you can read an interview with Craker and a recap of the final day of APPT Auckland.

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