New Zealanders vie for shot at WSOP seat

The National Pub Poker League in New Zealand has wrapped up the main portion of its second season and the Auckland Regional Final will take place Saturday. Players who make it past the regionals and into the final will have a shot at a World Series of Poker Main Event seat.

The NPPL was established in Australia and launched in New Zealand six months ago. This is the league's second 13-week season.

Auckland is one of four regional finals in New Zealand. One already took place in Dunedin, and there will be one in Christchurch May 5 and in Wellington May 12. The top 16 players from each final proceed to the final in Australia.

At the Champion of Champions final, the poker players will be vying for a trip to play in the 2007 WSOP Main Event.

According to Hamish Drury, brand manager for Jack Daniels in New Zealand, which is a partner of the NPPL, up to 800 people are expected to participate or come out to watch the Auckland Regional Finals.

"Poker really has become a world-wide phenomenon over the past couple years, and the recent spate of celebrity poker television programs certainly proves how popular the game has become amongst both men and women," Drury said.

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