Kiwi Takes Out Skycity Festival Of Poker

Published: Mon 13 Oct 2008 12:41 AM
New Zealander Daniel Craker Takes Out Skycity Festival Of Poker – New Zealand’s Biggest Ever Poker Tournament

Daniel Craker in action
Tonight Daniel Craker from Lower Hutt became the first ever SKYCITY Festival of Poker Champion, outplaying 305 rivals over four days to take home the 2008 SKYCITY Festival of Poker Championship trophy and $257,040.
The Final Table began with nine players left from an original starting field of 306 battling for a total prize pool of more than $850,000. More than half the starting field was made up of locals, and four of the final nine were New Zealand-based players, while the others came from Australia, Britain, Singapore and Finland. Daniel took the Championship title from Australian Matthew Konnecke with pocket twos. Konnecke takes home $162,791 for second place. Daniel Craker says:
“I’m so excited to take out New Zealand’s biggest ever poker tournament at SKYCITY. I felt pretty confident throughout the day, though now I actually have the title I think it will take at least until tomorrow for the victory to sink in! I’m dedicating my win to the Wainui boys!”
The SKYCITY Festival of Poker attracted a world-class field of some of the sport’s finest talent, including Team PokerStars Pros Greg Raymer, Joe Hachem and New Zealand-based Lee Nelson. Coming from 21 different nations, the 306-strong field was cheered on by hundreds of local fans at SKYCITY, creating a high-energy tournament experience.
Ejaaz Dean, SKYCITY’s Executive Manager – Table Games, said: “We’re delighted we were able to have such a talented field of local and international players compete in the inaugural SKYCITY Festival of Poker. The emerging poker boom in New Zealand can at least partly be attributed to the commitment of professionals like Lee Nelson and local players such as James Honeybone who travel the world in pursuit of poker glory.

SKYCITY Festival of Poker Champion Daniel Craker
“It was great to see those players as well as other local talent in action, and to see a Kiwi win the Championship title is fantastic. The other Kiwis who made it to the Final Table – Luke Stanford, Dan Sing and Wang Che Jung – are also to be congratulated for their efforts. “Successfully staging such a big festival is a huge step forward for tournament poker as a sport in New Zealand. We more than doubled the prize pool of any previous tournament in this country. “We look forward to building on the success of the inaugural SKYCITY Festival of Poker with and even bigger prize pool and greater number of players next year.” The final standings and monies earned are as follows: 1. Daniel Craker – Lower Hutt ($257,040) 2. Matthew Konnecke - Sydney ($162,791) 3. Wang Che Jung - Blenheim ($85,680) 4. Dan Sing – Auckland ($59,976) 5. Luke Stanford – Auckland ($46,267) 6. Nathanael Seet – Singapore ($34,272) 7. Jani Karke – Finland ($25,704) 8. Michael Mariakis – Sydney ($19,706) 9. Wai Kwan Yuen – United Kingdom ($14,565)
About Daniel Craker Daniel Craker is a 30-year-old plasterer from Lower Hutt. Though, in his own words, hopefully not a plasterer for much longer. He flew up to Auckland to play in the SKYCITY Festival of Poker, but also plays regularly online. He says he has a ripper home game in the Hutt with the “Wainuiomata Boys”.

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