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Just Three Weeks Left to Win Your Way to Vegas

MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
24 May 2006

Countdown on - Just Three Weeks Left to Win Your Way to Vegas for World’s Richest Poker Tournament


New Zealand poker lovers have just three weeks left to register for their chance to win their way to Vegas for the 2006 World Series of Poker championship (to be held in July 2006).

SKYCITY’s first poker tournament culminates in a nail biting knock-out finals weekend (June 17 and 18), which will see the overall winner taking home an all expenses paid trip for two to Vegas including entry to the largest and richest poker tournament in the world. (Note, you must be 20 years of age or older to enter SKYCITY’s gaming areas).

SKYCITY began hosting its first series of no-limit Texas Hold’em WSOP Satellite Poker Tournaments on 1 April 2006. Held every Saturday and Sunday (from midday), the qualifying tournaments, which conclude on 10 June 2006, offer the winners of each event, one of the best chances to qualify for entry into the World Series of Poker from New Zealand.

As the final weekend draws closer, interest in securing a place in the final at SKYCITY Auckland is gaining momentum and SKYCITY management urges poker enthusiasts to register early to secure their place for each remaining poker tournament as soon as possible (details below on how to register).

Registrations have not been limited to the local poker scene with interest spanning the globe - one enquiry came from as far away as Dubai to enter SKYCITY’s tournament.

Each weekend satellite tournament offers players a buy-in registration of $60 with a maximum of 60 people playing and minimum of 40 people. The winner of each tournament gains automatic entry to the final weekend.

The only other way to gain entry to the final weekend, is to buy a seat at the finals for $500 – however these spaces are now sold out with a waiting list on stand-by.

The finals weekend will consist of a two-day knock-out event, held at SKYCITY Auckland, where 60 competitors will compete on Saturday 17th to be among the top 10 to feature on the final day on Sunday 18 June.

The overall winner takes away a prize package consisting of:

 Automatic entry to the World Series of Poker No-Limit Texas Hold’em World Championship Event – to be held in Las Vegas from July 28, 2006 (valued at $US10,000); and in turn the chance to be in the running for the World Title!
 Return airfares to Las Vegas, Nevada (to the value of NZ $7,500).
 Share accommodation in Las Vegas for nine nights.
 NZ $10,000 spending money.

All top ten finalists will be rewarded financially with a proportion of the total prize pool (or pot). Second place will take home around $5000 to $7000 (depending on the size of the prize pool).

While the top cash prizes are certainly incentive to enter, the most sought-after element of the major prize package is the automatic entry into the World Series of Poker championship event in Las Vegas. The standard entry fee of $US10,000 per person keeps most amateur poker players out of the running for the title. But, through SKYCITY’s satellite tournaments – as little as $60 gets you a chance to win a seat and to take home the major prize.

Geoff Hogg, SKYCITY Manager, Table Games, says the WSOP is unequalled by any other poker event in the world.

“It’s universally considered the ultimate achievement in any poker player’s career to gain the coveted title of World Champion,” says Mr Hogg.

“With a one in 60 chance of winning SKYCITY’s tournament, the odds are pretty good for all finalists hoping to live the dream,” he says.

In addition to the main event and upcoming grand final, SKYCITY is also hosting two Lindauer Ladies Texas Holdem No-Limit poker tournaments during the month of June (to be held at SKYCITY’s poker zone on Monday June 5 and Sunday 25 June 2006 from midday). Similar rules and a $60 registration fee apply - the winner of each tournament will take away a cash prize (from the prize pool available) on the day.

Geoff Hogg says that while SKYCITY recently had an Auckland female winner in the main poker tournament (who gains automatic entry to the finals weekend), female registration is on the whole, generally lower than male.

“This is starting to change with an international upsurge in female poker players,” he says.

“The Lindauer Ladies tournaments are simply a fun way for female poker players to learn the game and to have a go in a less formal environment to that of the main tournament.”

Due to customer demand, another popular version of poker, Omaha, will also be introduced at SKYCITY Auckland in June with a tournament to launch the game on 24 and 25 June.

SKYCITY Auckland introduced poker in December last year following the worldwide resurgence in the game’s popularity. To book a seat at one of SKYCITY Auckland’s World Series of Poker satellite tournaments, simply contact Poker@skycity.co.nz or visit the SKYCITY Auckland Poker Zone after 7pm Monday to Friday or after 11am Saturday and Sunday.

All SKYCITY properties are participating in similar poker tournaments. The overall winner at SKYCITY Hamilton and SKYCITY Queenstown (winners will be announced on 11 June) gain entry to the SKYCITY Auckland finals and the winner at SKYCITY Darwin, enters the SKYCITY Adelaide finals.

SKYCITY has two major prizes to Las Vegas to compete in the world series - one is a major prize for SKYCITY’s New Zealand properties and the other, for the Australian locations.


About poker:

Poker is a game of skill. The object of the game is to win the pot by forming the highest ranked five-card poker hand or have all the other players surrender the pot to you by folding to your bet.

There are two types of card:
1) “Community” cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table to be used by any player to make up their best hand.
2) “Hole” cards are a player’s concealed or exclusive cards.

Players can use the community cards with their hole cards to form their best possible five card poker hand.

Texas Holdem
There are a few variations on the game of poker. “Texas Holdem” – the most popular game internationally - is played with a full deck of 52 cards and players are dealt two cards each and may use any combination of the five community cards and their two ‘hole’ cards.

The Terminology – what you should know:

Five terms will help kick-start you in poker.

Play:
Means that the player elects to remain in the game by placing an additional wager after the cards have been dealt and he or she has had an opportunity to look at his or her hand.

Fold:
This means the cards are placed face down on the table to be collected by the dealer. This indicates a player no longer wishes to continue in that game.

Raise:
To make a bet increase during a betting round.

Pot:
The sum of all antes, blinds and bets wagered in a round.

Check:
When you want to abstain from betting, but wish to continue to stay in contention for the “pot” by retaining the right to call after all other players have either wagered or folded. A check may not be made should a wager have been made in the round.

ENDS

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