Steve Smith claims the 2013 New Zealand Poker Championship


The New Zealand Poker Championships (NZPC) are easily the most prestigious and highly regarded poker championships held inside New Zealand. Hosted at the Christchurch Casino, Christchurch, 2013s tournament easily surpassed 2012s record NZPC entrants featuring a massive 90 players in the Main Event. 2013 not only saw record breaking crowds to the overall tournament it was the NZ$ 1,500 Main Event which drew the big crowds as 127 players, breaking last years record, entered the event to create a never before seen prize pool of over NZ$ 190,000.


The Main Event began on Friday 23 August with two Day one flights on offer. Any player falling at the first hurdle on Day one A would have a second chance to re-enter on Day one B which would work as a simple freeze-out to get the Main Event rolling.


127 players were seated for the Main Event all paying NZ$ 1,500 to create a total prize pool of NZ$ 192,500. The top 16 players would finish in the money with a guaranteed NZ$ 3,300 while the minimum payout at the final table would be NZ$ 5,000.


2013 NZPC Final Table Line-up

Seat 1: Gordon Petrie – 84,500

Seat 2: Dave Heskin – 461,000

Seat 3: Tom Brittenden – 368,000

Seat 4: Slade Fisher – 348,500

Seat 5: Mike King – 163,500

Seat 6: Mathias Chincuini – 220,000

Seat 7 Dan Bates – 223,000

Seat 8: Steve Smith – 532,000

Seat 9: Mike Tyler – 237,000

Seat 10: Akash Mazumdar – 548,500


As the final table began Akash Mazumdar led the way with over 540,000 in chips with Steve Smith not far behind. The likes of Dave Heskin, Tom Brittenden and Slade Fisher were also in a decent position to make at run at Mazumdar and the NZPC crown. Short Stack Gordon Petrie was always going to find the going tough but with some solid play and excellent poker skill he managed to navigate himself into a credible chip count and safety for at least the opening exchanges. The first final table pillar to fall was Dan Bates (10th) who failed to stay ahead of Slade Fisher who finished him off with a pair of Aces. Tom Brittenden (9th) was next to head to the rail quickly followed by Mike King (8th), Dave Heskin (7th), Gordon Petrie (6th) and Mike Tyler (5th).


With the final four set tournament organizers made the decision to suspend play and have the players return Monday playing down to a winner. Mazumdar still held chip lead with 1,010,000 while Chincuini 789,000, Fisher 787,000 and Smith 600,000 all held healthy stacks to give Mazumdar trouble. The final table got underway with chip leader Mazumdar eliminated by Fisher with Chincuini following close behind. Both Mazumdar and Chincuini entered the final four as one and two in the chip count but as Fisher and Smith demonstrated poker chips count for nothing if you don’t have the poker skills to back them up.


Having sent home both Mazumdar and Chincuini Fisher not surprisingly held a big chip lead over Smith going into the heads-up battle. The heads-up contest would last far longer than many expected as Smith battled hard to slowly chip away at Fishers menacing stack before taking chip lead himself and complete control of the tournament. The final hand would see Fisher call all-in with Q-9 against Smiths K-K. The flop read 9-2-8 giving Fisher hope but with the turn and flop both showing 4s Slade Fisher finished runner-up while Steve Smith claimed the crown and the first place prize of NZ$ 47,000.


2013 NZPC Main Event – Final Table payouts (NZ$)

1st – Steve Smith $47,000

2nd – Slade Fisher $33,000

3rd – Mathias Chincuini $22,000

4th – Akash Mazmudar $15,500

5th – Mike Tyler $13,200

6th – Gordon Petrie $11,000

7th – Dave Heskin $9,000

8th – Mike King $7,000

9th – Tom Brittenden $5,500

10th -Dan Bates $5,000


Congratulations to Steve Smith on winning the 2013 NZPC. For more information visit NZPC online or stay tuned to FTR.




Paulo No wins Seoul Poker Cup


Paradise Walkerhill Casino poker room, South Korea, was the venue for the second annual Seoul Poker Cup this weekend attracting an impressive 170 players for the KRW 1,100,000 Main Event.


Play at the Paradise Walkerhill poker room kicked off on Friday 23 August with the first of two flights. The Day 1b flight followed on Saturday offering another shot for those eliminated during the opening Day 1a flight. The final session began on Sunday 25 August with 67 players all battling it out to claim the second annual Seoul Poker Cup. Tristan Shi from the United States entered the final day as chip leader with 103,400 closely followed by Vandan Erdenbayar 90,500 and Uugan Bayar 88,900. As always Japan was well represented at the tournament with 14 players managing to make it to the final day led by Yuki Yoshii with 64,600 in chips.


The Main Event saw a steady reduction of players early on getting the tournament down to 21 players, three short of the cash, with relative ease. Play then slowed to a halt as nobody wanted jeopardize their place in the tournament and to leave empty handed with well over an hour before the next elimination occurred which was followed by a double knockout bursting the bubble in a matter of minutes and locking in the final 18 players who would take home a minimum of KRW 1,700,000.


Once the final 18 was set play resumed its fast and furious pace as players began to fall in quick succession. The first to bow out in 18th position was Sokyung Kim from the USA taking home KRW 1,700,000. Roy Sung (17th) and Yuki Yoshi (16th) also both took home KRW 1,700,000 for their finishes. Shintaro Inoue (15th), Yun Hsiang ‘Terry Fan’ (14th) and Kuan Hung Pan (13th) were the next group to fall who each took home KRW 2,120,000 for their respective finishes. Tae Shik Shin (12th) and Julien Guerrand (11th) earned themselves KRW 2,970,000 for their troubles while Thibaud Georges Robin (10th) took home KRW 3,820,000. Play then slowed with players becoming more conservative and less aggressive with Japan’s Masato Shimizu (9th) the only player to hit the rail for over an hour collecting KRW 4,670,000 for his efforts.


Fenh Shi (8th), San Mitsuta (7th), Duncan Smyth (6th) and Yu-Chieh Tsao (5th) all collected healthy cash-outs leaving the Seoul Poker Cup crown to be played between Seungworl No, Masanori Ishihara, Emi Hibuse and Quan Bin Zhong. Play then came to an almighty stop as the players reached a stalemate for close to three hours seeing the blinds reach 50,000/100,000 with only 3.2 million chips in play. Eventually China’s Quan Bin Zhong finally succumbed in 4th position taking home KRW 12,750,000 but not before doubling up an incredible three times hitting the key card on the river to stay alive. Chip leader Emi Hibuse had her chances to win but ended settling for 3rd place and a cheque for KRW 17,000,000. Hibuse’s elimination meant that the heads-up battle would see Japan’s Masanori Ishihara take on Paulo No from South Korea. No held a slight advantage but with the blinds at such a high level the heads-up battle was not going to last long. No eventually took the crown and the first place KRW51,850,000 prize following some brilliant and intelligent play with Ishihara settling for 2nd and KRW 31,110,000.


Seoul Poker Cup Payouts

1st: Seungworl (Paulo) No – KRW 51,850,000

2nd: Masanori Ishihara – KRW 31,110,000

3rd: Emi Hibuse – KRW 17,000,000

4th: Quan Bin Zhong – KRW 12,750,000

5th: Yun-Chieh Tsao – KRW 10,620,000

6th: Duncan Smyth – KRW 8,500,000

7th: San Mitsuta – KRW 6,800,000

8th: Feng Shi – KRW 5,520,000

9th: Masato Shimizu – KRW 4,670,000


Congratulations to Seungwol No for the win, for more details on the Seoul Poker Cup visit online or alternatively stay tuned to FTR for all the latest news and results from around the world.



Lifeng Shen overcomes a legend to take Asian Poker Tour Korea


The latest stop on the Asia Poker Tour (APT) saw players head to the Ramada Casino, Jeju, Korea for the $2,700 Main Event.


The APT visited Jeju earlier in the year for a similar tour stop featuring a $1,000 Main Event buy-in, attracting 166 players from all over the region. This weeks stop saw a much less and disappointing turnout as only 45 players took to the felt in the $2,700 Main Event. APT CEO Jeff Mann said following the announcement of the numbers:


“Earlier in the year we came to Jeju for our very first APT Jeju which was part of our Asian Series features a buy-in of US$1,000 and attracted a respectable 166 players but our partners here wanted to try the bigger, higher buy-in event this time. We have had fewer players although that was to be expected but we are very confident that we have the foundation now for staging at least two APT events in Korea in 2014”

The announcement from APT CEO Jeff Mann regarding 2014’s event schedule is encouraging given that 45 players for a major tour Main Event is not good numbers however one bright spark from APT Jeju 2013 was that Poker Legend and 10-time WSOP Gold Bracelet winner Johnny Chan made an appearance making it deep into the tournament.


With such a small field it did not take long before a final table was set as Daniel Lee, Song Saohuan, Jae Kyung Sim, Lulu Yang Xi, Lifeng Shen and Johnny Chan all making the final six.


Daniel Lee was the first to fall (6th) collecting $5,770 for his days work with Shaohuan Song following not far behind (5th) earning $14,300. Jae Jyung (4th) headed to the rail next as the last woman standing Lulu Xi Yang bowed out in 3rd place close behind collecting $18,900 leaving a heads-up battle between poker legend Johnny Chan against China’s Lifeng Shen.


The heads-up contest did not last very long as Shen cleaned up with A-K against Chan’s Q-Q. The window card was an A giving Shen the lead with the rest of the board offering no help for Chan eliminating him in 2nd place and $23,800 richer.


Following his victory, Lifeng Shen said “To go heads up with Mr Johnny Chan was a dream come true. He has been an idol of mine since taking up the game of poker. It was an honor to play with him and I learned so much.”


Asian Poker Tour Korea Main Event Payouts

1st: Lifeng Shen – $35,300

2nd: Johnny Chan – $23,800

3rd: Lulu Xi Yang: $18,900

4th: Jae Kyung Sim – $15,900

5th: Shaohuan Song – $14,300

6th: Daniel Lee – $5,770


Congratulations to Lifeng Shen, for more information on the Asian Poker Tour visit online or alternatively stay tuned to FTR for the latest News and Results from around the world.