First Annual SKY CITY Festival of Poker Begins in October
It was just announced by SKY CITY Auckland that New Zealand will be hosting the first ever SKYCITY Festival of Poker on October 4th through the 12th. The Festival will have the largest prize pool ever awarded in New Zealand, a NZD $1 million prize. Hundreds of players are expected to attend including many pros in the world of poker.

Poker pros already confirmed for the Festival are Joe Hachem, Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer, Lee Nelson, Grant Levy, Eric Assadourian and Emad Tahtouh. All of these pros have won some form of tournament whether it is World Series of Poker, Asian Pacific Poker Tour, European Poker Tour or Aussie Millions.

The Festival will take place at the SKYCITY Auckland Casino with single and multi table satellite tournaments being played. Satellites are currently being held at casinos and pub poker leagues nationwide to gain entry into the Festival.

SKYCITY Auckland’s Executive Manager of table games, Ejaaz Dean, stated: “The massive popularity of poker worldwide has taken its time reaching New Zealand. With the likes of international poker stars Greg Raymer and Chris Moneymaker here to inspire players in a local tournament of this scale the possibilities in New Zealand are endless-we’re just at the very beginning of our own poker craze. We are committed to making SKYCITY the home of New Zealand poker. We want the SKYCITY Festival of Poker to become an annual fixture on the world poker circuit and an absolute must for all top poker players.”

One of pros expected, Lee Nelson is a local celebrity in New Zealand, he is also a member of Team PokerStars. Nelson stated that he is thrilled to play in a tournament on home soil. Nelson also stated he believed that the event will unearth new local talent.

- 2008-09-17

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