Skycity to host inaugural North Island Poker Championships

This weekend Skycity Auckland will host the inaugural No-Limit Texas Hold'em North Island Poker Championships at the Poker Zone. The winner of the three-day event will get cash plus entry into the New Zealand Poker Championships later this year.

The event starts with heats on Saturday and Sunday with the top finishers making it to the 60-seat grand final taking place on Monday. Players can buy-in for $660 or they could have won seats during satellite tournaments that took place every week since early September in Auckland and Hamilton.

"With this tournament there are unlimited entry spots for the heats, so the prize pool should be impressive," said David Christian, Skycity general manager. "Entries will be accepted right up to the start of the tournament."

There are approximately 90 pre-registered entrants already confirmed for the event, and 10% of those are female. Players have until 11 a.m. Saturday to register and pay the buy-in.

"Poker is continuing to grow in popularity here and around the world," said Christian. "Here in Auckland, we've recently extended our Poker Zone to accommodate the increasing levels of interest."

The top players of the competition will take home cash prizes based on a percentage of the total prize pool. Plus the winner will get to go to the New Zealand Poker Championships taking place in Christchurch.

Skycity also plans to host future satellite tournaments for larger international competitions such as the Aussie Millions taking place in Melbourne, Australia, in January, and the 2007 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

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