Queenstown man wins big poker pot


A Queenstown man has won an official cash prize of $60,000 as runner-up at the New Zealand Poker Tour’s Queenstown leg. 

Matty Yates, 34, spent more than 12 hours at the SkyCity Casino Queenstown poker table at the weekend, finally losing to overall winner German Marcel Schreiner at about midnight on Sunday. 

The pair battled each other for more than three hours in the final stretch. Schreiner picks up a first prize cheque for $94,300. 

Yates says he’s pleased for Schreiner but coming second was a bit disappointing. 

“We both wanted that title very badly. I was playing good poker and feeling confident all the way through. I felt I could have won it. 

“What can you do, that’s the game. I enjoyed it – and my mission was to make sure I enjoyed the moment.” 

Earlier on, Yates had knocked out Australian Joe Hachem, who collected $9 million in 2005 for winning the World Series. 

During the last hand against Schreiner, Yates says he had far fewer chips. 

“The short-stacked player is more aggressive and you end up putting your tournament life on the line trying to get the other player to fold – unfortunately I ran into a better hand.” 

Yates started playing poker years ago in Queenstown in weekly sessions dubbed Panorama Poker because the venue was a Panorama Terrace home. Yates continues to play the weekly match “religiously”. 

The part-owner of Queenstown nightspot Tardis and owner of 3fold Print is now eyeing a tournament with a similar prize pool in Melbourne in September – but Yates adds might not go because of the Rugby World Cup.