As the traditional Maori Haka echoed across a silent poker floor at midday today the players of the 2010 SKYCITY Festival of Poker were welcomed to SKYCITY Auckland, New Zealand’s Home of Poker. The welcoming performance and speeches by SKYCITY Auckland’s General Manager of Casino Operations Ejaaz Dean and Tournament Director Danny McDonagh marked the beginning of the 2010 SKYCITY Festival of Poker. SKYCITY Celebrity Invitational winner Brotha D was asked to announce the shuffle up and deal and play was underway for Day 1a of one of New Zealand’s largest poker tournaments.
Over the last few days poker players from all corners of the globe have converged on SKYCITY Auckland making it their temporary home for the next seven days while they compete for a chance to be the next SKYCITY Festival of Poker 2010 champion.
89 players took their seats just after midday with players still signing up once the tournament had started. Notable players competing in today’s field were SKYCITY New Zealand Poker Open winner Jackson Zheng, New Zealand Poker Tour Queenstown winner Julian Cohen, SKYCITY Celebrity Invitational competitors Brotha D, Savage, Jarm Joseph and SKYCITY Poker Ambassador Brooke Howard-Smith.
Players will play 7 levels today and those who make it through to Day 2 will come back on Friday with the players who make it through Day 1b on Thursday.
Seats are still available for Day 1b. Buy-in into the Main Event is NZD $3,250.00 with the field capped at 360 players. For more information, including structures, schedules, terms and conditions and how to buy into this tournament, see www.festivalofpoker.co.nz.
SKYCITY Poker is located at SKYCITY Auckland and boasts 18 world-class tables and plays host to four tournaments throughout the poker year, including the SKYCITY Auckland Anniversary Poker Champs, Lee Nelson Deep Stack Series, SKYCITY New Zealand Poker Open and the SKYCITY Festival of Poker. SKYCITY Poker also hosts the annual SKYCITY Blue September Challenge of the Codes charity poker tournament which raises money and awareness for the New Zealand Prostate Cancer Foundation of NZ.