On October 14th, 2008, plasterer Daniel Craker from Lower Hutt became the first SkyCity festival of poker champion, outlasting 305 other participants over the course of four days to win the 2008 festival of poker championship trophy and $257,040. The final table of the event started with 9 participants from the original starting field of 306 players battling it out for a total cash pool of more than $850,000.
More than half of the playing field was made up of local players and four of the final 9 players were New Zealand-based poker players, while other participants came from Australia, Britain, Singapore and Finland. Craker took the title from Matthew Konnecke of Australia with his pocket twos. Konnecke finished in 2nd place with $162,791.
Craker that he is very happy that he was able to win New Zealand's largest poker event at Sky City. The other local players who made the final table were Luke Stanford, Dan Sing and Wang Che Jung. Players from 21 countries participated in the event. Sky City's executive manager Ejaaz Dean commented that the event was a big step for tournament poker as a sport in New Zealand.
November 11, 2008