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Joe Vagana winning the tournament CREDIT: SKYCITY Entertainment Group
Geoff Burton from MWC Media, Nikki Burgess from Vodafone, Joe Vagana and Ejaaz Dean Executive Manager of Table Games for SKYCITY Auckland with the cheque and trophy from the event. CREDIT: SKYCITY Entertainment Group
Last night, five Auckland Rugby players and five Vodafone Warriors players battled it out not on the field but on the poker table at SKYCITY Auckland to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand.
The SKYCITY Blue September Challenge of the Codes poker tournament was held at SKYCITY POKER in the SKYCITY Casino in Auckland with players and sponsors coming together to raise money for one of New Zealand’s most deserved charities.
The sponsors who participated in this worthy event were Auckland Rugby, the Vodafone Warriors, Vodafone, SKYCITY and The Coffee Club.
The night began with speeches from Prostate Cancer Foundation president Barry Young, prostate cancer survivor and New Zealand’s most famous poker player Lee ‘Final Table’ Nelson and fellow prostate cancer survivor, Auckland Regional Council head, Mike Lee.
The battle between the two rugby codes raged on all night but in the end the Vodafone Warriors came out on top taking the tournament from Auckland Rugby by 110 points. The winning player was Joe Vagana, who outlasted a field of 18 players to snatch the trophy from Auckland Rugby player Tom McCartney when it came down to the final two.
The players that took part in this inaugural event were:
Players from Auckland Rugby:
· Paul Williams
· Dean Budd
· Tom McCartney
· Charlie Faumunia
· Jamie Helleur
Players from the Vodafone Warriors:
· Awen Guttenbeil
Through the SKYCITY Blue September Challenge of the Codes poker tournament and other fundraising initiatives at SKYCITY throughout the month of September, $11,500.00 was raised for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand.
Each year, over 2,500 men in New Zealand are diagnosed with prostate cancer. A further 600 will die from the disease. Prostate Cancer is a preventable disease. It is estimated that on average at least half of those annual deaths could have been avoided had the sufferers sought advice from a health professional in a timely manner.
Prostate cancer can be cured if detected and treated early while still confined to the prostate gland. The tests for prostate cancer are the prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test and the digital rectal examination (DRE). These tests do not give a conclusive diagnosis of cancer but can indicate the presence of prostate cancer. While prostate cancer is most common in men over the age of 50, younger men with a history of prostate cancer in their family are at greater risk.
Early (localised) prostate cancer is when the cancer has been found early enough that it hasn’t spread from the prostate. Early prostate cancer rarely causes symptoms.
Advanced Prostate cancer is when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body such as the bones and lymph nodes.
For more information and to make a donation to help fight this disease that is taking the lives of hundreds of fathers, brothers and sons see www.blueseptember.org