The New Zealand Poker Championships will take place at the Christchurch Casino in Christchurch, New Zealand, from April 1-8, 2006, and will boast a turnout of some of the world's best poker players, it has been revealed.
Widely regarded as the nation's top poker series, organizers are expecting about 150 players from around the world to enter, including 2006 Aussie Millions champ and New Zealand native, Lee Nelson.
The main event is offering a $200,000 prize pool, including a seat at the 2006 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event in Las Vegas this August.
The week-long series will offer players a number of different championship events, including a $20,000 Celebrity Challenge for Charity; the $500 Canterbury Championship; a $300 Pot-Limit Hold'em/Omaha event; the $500 New Zealand No-Limit Omaha Championship; the $500 South Island Champs No-Limit Hold'em tournament; and the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em New Zealand Poker Championships. Satellites to the main event will run during the series, along with a media tournament.
According to Christchurch Casino's Gaming Manager Peter Arbuckle, "Not only is this New Zealand's only nationwide poker competition with the richest prize pool, it is one of only a few competitions in the world with a seat at the World Series up for grabs."
He continued, "This is one of the few seats for the World Series that has been offered in the Southern Hemisphere. With a multi-million dollar prize pool, the World Series of Poker is the ultimate in international poker competitions and we are really excited by this honor."
"For kiwi poker players the New Zealand Poker Championships is the crème de la crème of home competitions. We have some extraordinarily talented poker players here and we are looking forward to seeing them perform against the world's best. This will be an exhilarating competition," Arbuckle concluded.