Winning ways: Last year's New Zealand Poker Tour Queenstown event winner Marcel Shreiner of Germany - he cut a deal to split the prizemoney prior to the finish with eventual runner-up Matty Yates, a Queenstowner. Both walked away with $77,150 each
Picture: Joe Giron
World-class card sharks are circling Queenstown for a lucrative poker tournament this week.
SkyCity Queenstown Casino will hosted a capped field of 200, including some of the best poker players in Australasia and from around the world, for the fourth annual Pokerstars.net NZPT Queenstown tournament and Skycity Snowfest starting tomorrow (Tuesday).
The tournament has a whopping prize pool of more than half a million bucks with previous winners walking away with six-figures sums.
SkyCity Queenstown boss Michelle Baillie says the benefits to the region are greater than some may think.
“The event is good for the local economy and is a great way to show-case Queenstown to millions of poker fans all over the world through video blogs and coverage from international poker news websites.”
Top local player Matty Yates, a Queenstown businessman, has secured his spot at the event table, which costs $3000 a seat.
Yates, who was runner-up last year, will be taking on visiting hotshots like Team PokerStars.net pro Bryan Huang from Singapore, Team PokerStars.net Online player Rohit Bhasins and Australian Poker Hall of Fame members Leo Boxell and Billy ‘the Croc’ Argyros.
Danny Chevalier, the winner of the inaugural Queenstown NZPT event in 2009, is also returning.
Pokerstars.net NZPT Commissioner Danny McDonagh is thrilled with the quality of players.
“It’s always a pleasure to come to this beautiful part of the world. We’re expecting to set records this year for attendance but this event is about more than just a great poker tournament.
“Queenstown is a fantastic place for poker players young and old. Families have a great time with so much outdoor activity while the younger players enjoy the amazing night-life Queenstown has to offer,” he says.
On top of the poker action, it's expected players, friends and family members will enjoy actitivies during the week including the Pokerstars.net Frisbee Golf Tournament at Queenstown Gardens and a mock poker match up Coronet Peak.