Dealin' done for Kiwi poker player
Nelson's Jan Suchanek came agonisingly close to becoming just the second Kiwi to win a World Series of Poker bracelet on Saturday.
Suchanek finished runner-up in Event 63 of the 2014 WSOP in Las Vegas, earning himself $US94,618.
He began the final day of the three-day Six-Handed 10-Game Mixed Event - which had a $1500 buy-in - as the chip leader with nine players from the original field of 445 remaining.
He maintained that lead for the majority of the final table until top young United States pro Bryn Kenney amassed a big stack.
Suchanek, one of the best mixed game players - which requires skill at a host of different types of poker - began his heads-up battle with Kenney behind in chips but drew almost level before a big No Limit Hold 'Em hand saw the Kiwi take his traditional aggressive approach, only to run into Kenney's trip nines.
Kenney collected his first WSOP bracelet, awarded to each event winner at the prestigious tournament, and over $US153,000 for his triumph.
Auckland's Simon Watt famously became the first and so far only New Zealander to win a WSOP bracelet in 2010 when he beat legendary high-stakes phenomenon Tom Dwan in a $1500 NLHE event to win over $614,000 and stopped Dwan from collecting millions in bracelet proposition bets made with other top professionals.
Suchanek, who also placed 17th in a $1000 NLHE event at the WSOP the previous week, is likely to play the $10,000 Main Event next week that culminates the yearly gathering of most of the world's best players.
Over 6350 players contested last year's Main Event, won by Ryan Riess of the United States, who collected $US 8,361,570.