New Zealand’s Jan Suchanek Eyes WSOP Main Event Final Table

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Jan Suchanek

Jan Suchanek is playing the poker game of his life.

With less than 60 players left in the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas, Suchanek has a legitimate shot at the $8,000,000 first-place prize.

An experienced poker player, Suchanek’s previous biggest finish was a second place in a WSOP side event for $108,594 in 2013.

“I’m trying to play poker as best as I can and I’m hoping for good cards,” said Suchanek.

“I was heads-up for a bracelet two years ago but this is way better. It’s way more fun.”

From Canada to New Zealand

Suchanek, who is also a sports bettor, was born in the Czech Republic and raised in Canada but currently lives in the small New Zealand city of Nelson.

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Headed for biggest score ever.

“My family also moved to Saudi Arabia in between Canada and New Zealand so I’ve actually lived on four different continents,” he said.

Essentially a citizen of the world, Suchanek says he struggles to identify with any one country. That said he’s happy to represent New Zealand while he’s at the World Series of Poker.

Various newspapers in New Zealand have picked up on his run at the WSOP Main Event and have featured him prominently in their coverage.

“That’s way cool,” he said.

“I’m there for as long as they’ll have me. New Zealand is great. It’s a similar culture to Canada. I really like it down there.”

Playing Poker in Nelson, New Zealand

Nelson obviously doesn’t have quite the opportunities for poker as Las Vegas but Suchanek is content to play the pub poker scene in the city of 50,000 people.

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ESPN's cameras on Jan Suchanek.

Several of the pub poker players from Nelson actually made the trip to Las Vegas for the WSOP and have been cheering on Suchanek in the Main Event.

Suchanek also makes the trip to Melbourne, Australia, for the vaunted Aussie Millions ever year.

“I love it there,” he said. “I’ve been there like 10 years in a row. They always have it at the same time as the Aussie Open.”

Suchanek is guaranteed at least $116,963 no matter where he finishes today but he no doubt has his sights set on the WSOP final table, where every player is guaranteed at least $1m.

The final table, which will be made up of nine players, will be reached tomorrow night. Those nine players will then go on an extended three-month break before playing to a winner in November.

Suchanek would be the first New Zealand resident to make the WSOP Main Event final table.

You can follow Suchanek's progress through PokerListings' on-demand live updates.

Update: Jan Suchanek finished in 49th place to take home $142,447.

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