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Poker Greats To Teach Skills To Become Champions


Poker Greats To Teach Skills To Become Champions

SKYCITY, in conjunction with World Poker Seminars, is proud to announce two of the biggest names in professional poker will hold a Poker Academy when in town for the SKYCITY Festival of Poker next month.

Joseph Hachem and Lee Nelson will be holding a one-day personalised seminar where fans can learn the skills of tournament Texas Hold ‘em from the world’s best poker players. Hachem is the headline act of the seminar. He has previously won US$7.5 million as 2005 World Series of Poker Champion.

“I am truly looking forward to my first visit to Auckland in October and playing in New Zealand’s premier poker tournament at SKYCITY Casino. It also gives me great pleasure to announce that along with my colleague Lee Nelson, we will be holding our first ever educational seminar at SKYCITY on October 9. Look forward to seeing you there.”

Lee Nelson was the 2006 Aussie Millions Champion, winning AU$1.43 million, and is the co-host of both the New Zealand and Australian versions of the popular television series Celebrity Joker Poker.

Places for this unique event cost $750 per person for the day-long seminar and include lunch and a participants-only tournament where the winner will gain free entry to the SKYCITY Festival of Poker Main Event (valued at $3,000). With seats strictly limited, the seminar is expected to sell out. Book a seat today at or call 0800 SKYCITY.

Ejaaz Dean, SKYCITY Auckland’s Executive Manager - Table Games said: “I expect both local poker players and those travelling from overseas for the Festival will be very keen to learn the skills that have earned both Joe and Lee many coveted titles as professional poker players.

“Tournament poker is one of the world’s fastest growing sports and has huge television appeal and viewership. SKYCITY is proud to bring players of this calibre to our shores. I’m sure Kiwi poker fans will be excited at the prospect of not only matching skills against them in a game, but also learning what has made them amongst the world’s best.”

About the SKYCITY Festival of Poker

The inaugural SKYCITY Festival of Poker runs from October 4 to 12 and will aim to offer a $1 million prize pool, the largest ever in New Zealand, with hundreds of players expected to enter over the tournament period.

The following world class poker stars are confirmed to attend:
• Joe Hachem, 2005 World Series of Poker Champion
• Lee Nelson, 2006 Aussie Millions Champion and Celebrity Joker Poker co-host
• Chris Moneymaker, 2003 World Series of Poker Champion (first appearance in NZ)
• Greg Raymer, 2004 World Series of Poker Champion (first appearance in NZ)
• Grant Levy, 2007 APPT Sydney Grand Final Champion
• Eric Assadourian, 2007 APPT Macau High Roller Champion & 2007 NZ Poker Champs winner
• Emad Tahtouh, 2006 PokerStars EPT London 2nd Place and noted Australian player

The week-long event will see SKYCITY Auckland Casino transformed into a poker player’s paradise, with single and multi-table satellite tournaments culminating in a three-day main event.

Lee Nelson said: “I am thrilled to be able to play in a tournament of this quality on home soil. With the numbers expected for the event and the prize pool at stake there is a good chance that new local talent will be discovered and the title be taken by a New Zealander.”

Satellite tournaments for entry into New Zealand’s biggest ever poker tournament are being held by casinos and pub poker leagues nationwide. For more information on how you can take on the world’s best poker players, visit


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