Final nine battle for $110,000 top poker prize in Queenstown

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The final table of the New Zealand Poker Tour’s Queenstown leg gets underway at about 12.30pm today (Sunday).

After three days of poker at Queenstown’s SkyCity Casino, the field of 149 players has been reduced to nine.

Australians dominate the final placings, taking seven of the seats. Talented American pro Jordan Westmorland, who lives in Thailand, and Singapore Team Pokerstars pro Bryan Huang (pictured) are also in the running.

The winner will take home $110,000 and the wordy title of Pokerstars.net NZPT/ANZPT/APPT Queenstown Snowfest champion.

Tournament director Danny McDonagh says: “The total prize pool was $402,300, which is very good for a little casino.

“We’re down to our last nine. Anyone who has made the final table will take at least $11,000. There are no New Zealanders though unfortunately.

“It has been great all week, a really good atmosphere and the town is starting to embrace it. I can see the tournament continuing to grow in the future.”

Westmorland, who has more than $500,00 US lifetime winnings, has the second largest stack of chips at the final table.

Aussie structural engineer Ken Demlakian, from Sydney, is in the lead with 529,500. His devastating set over set hand crippled previous leader Michael Kanaan and sent him to the final.

Aussie David Zhao is a close third on 511,000. Seven of the players at the final table qualified through satellite tournaments run on the Pokerstars site.

The final table: Matthew Wakeman (Australia, 165,000 chips), Jordan Wesmorland (US, 523,500), David Evans (Aus, 95,000), Ken Demlakian (Aus, 529,5000), David Zhao (Aus 511,000), Bryan Huang (Singapore, 263,500), Ricky Krosen (Aus, 191,000), Ivan Zalac (Aus, 92,500) and Dave Allan (Aus, 393,500).