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Skycity To Host North Island Poker Championships

Skycity To Host Inaugural North Island Poker Championships This Weekend

SKYCITY Auckland is to host the inaugural 'No Limit Texas Hold-em' North Island Poker Championships this Labour Day weekend (21, 22 and 23 October).

The event consists of a three-day knock-out tournament. There will be heats on Saturday and Sunday and the top finishers of these heats will make it to the grand final on Monday, where 60 competitors will battle it out to become North Island Poker Champion.

Satellite tournaments to secure a spot in the North Island Poker Championship weekend have been running every week since early September at SKYCITY Auckland and SKYCITY Hamilton. The top finalists of those satellites will be competing this weekend with 'direct entry' players for a seat in the finals.

SKYCITY General Manager, David Christian, says this means that the best poker players from the heats on Saturday and Sunday, will fill the 60 seats in the grand final, to be held on Monday.

"With this tournament there are unlimited entry spots for the heats, so the prize pool should be impressive. Entries will be accepted right up to the start of the tournament (Saturday 21 October, at around midday)," he says.

Poker enthusiasts keen to join this tournament must ensure they are at the Poker Zone (level 3, SKYCITY Auckland) tomorrow morning at 11am to register. They will need their ID for proof of age and the registration fee of $660.

Overall winners of the competition take home cash prizes (percentage of the total prize pool which changes depending on the number of entrants) plus entry into the New Zealand Poker Championships to be held in Christchurch later this year. The first prize winner also takes away the coveted title of North Island Poker Champion.

Each heat can seat up to a maximum of 60 players. To date there are approximately 90 pre-registered entrants confirmed for Saturday and Sunday's heats - around 10% of the entrants are female.

"Poker is continuing to grow in popularity here and around the world," says Mr Christian.

"Here in Auckland, we've recently extended our Poker Zone to accommodate the increasing levels of interest."

SKYCITY will also host satellite tournaments for the larger international competitions - the Aussie Millions (held in Melbourne in January 2007) and the 2007 World Series of Poker (starting July 2007).

SKYCITY launched poker in December last year, following a worldwide resurgence in the game's popularity. Poker tables are open daily from 7pm until late and offer players a variety of table limits. In poker, players play against each other - not the casino or the dealer - to win the pot.

For those keen to get started, there is a learn-to-play Poker School held at SKYCITY Auckland every Monday night in the Poker Zone (level 3, SKYCITY) from 7pm (reserve your spot by emailing ). You must be 20 years or older to enter SKYCITY's gaming areas.

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.

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.

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.

To make a bet increase during a betting round.

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

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.


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