Winner nets $110k

00:13, Jul 30 2012
David Allan
WINNER: The 2012 NZPT Queenstown SkyCity Snowfest champion David Allan, of Australia, with his winning hand and trophy in Queenstown last night.

A two-hour "heads up" brought a week-long poker tournament to an end in Queenstown last night with the overall winner taking home more than $110,000 in cash.

At 9.30pm, Australian David Allan was able to outclass Ken Demlakian, also from Australia, to become the 2012 NZPT Queenstown SkyCity Snowfest champion.

Mr Allan took home $110,600 in cash with Mr Demlakian winning $70,400 and third placegetter Jordan Westmorland, an American living in Thailand, taking home $41,200.

Casino general manager Michelle Baillie said a record number of international and national poker players took part in the fourth annual Pokerstars tournament in Queenstown.

This year the tournament attracted 149 poker players from 17 different countries, who each had to pay a $3000 buy-in to take part. The top 15 players shared a prize pool of $402,300.

The field was dominated by Australian players but included poker superstars Bryan Huang, from Singapore, reigning Asian Player of the Year Hung-Sheng Lin, from Taiwan, and Queenstown business man and last year’s runner up Matty Yates.


The highest placed New Zealanders were Chiu Yeung Lee, in 10th place, winning $9060 and Tatjiana Zizic, placed 15th, winning $7050.

The highest placed Queenstown player was Fergus Spary, who placed 25th.

Ms Baillie said the tournament, based on no limit Texas Hold’em poker rules, attracted a record number of players and Queenstown was proving to be a popular spot on the international poker circuit.

"It’s growing every year and all the players are raving about Queenstown," Ms Baillie said.

"It’s a great week for the town," she said.

The tournament started with qualifying rounds on Monday, before three days of heats whittled the number of players to 85 on Friday.

By Saturday the numbers had been cut down again with 31 competing for the top nine spots of start the final day yesterday.

The Southland Times