School Teacher Deals out a Lesson in Poker at the New Zealand Poker Champs

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Alan Goodrum a school teacher from the UK, saw off a field of more than 150 including current WSOP Champion Joe Hachem, to take out the 2006 New Zealand Poker Champs.

Alan Goodrum overcame a massive chip stack deficit at the final table to cap off an extraordinary week of poker which saw him take out both the Peter Peko Memorial Tournament and the New Zealand Poker Champs Main Event.

Earlier in the evening Alan had been languishing behind eventual runner up player; Nick “the Gun” Nicolau, with only two thirds the number of chips, before calling his bluff with a flush. Once the momentum swung his way, he never looked back and went on to win holding an unsuited 9 and 10.

Alan took home $62,000 and a seat at this year’s WSOP Main Event at Harrah’s Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for his efforts. “It’s just an amazing feeling. To win the Peter Peko poker title earlier in the week and then to go on and take out the big one is just unbelievable,” commented Goodrum.

The New Zealand Poker Champs are hosted by Kiwi Casino Poker’s parent company the land based Christchurch Casino. The Christchurch Casino was the first casino in New Zealand to offer poker on its gaming floor, and hosted the inaugural New Zealand Poker Championships that same year. Since then the tournament has gone from strength to strength with this year’s tournament attracting a record field of over 150 including current WSOP Champion Joe Hachem and 2006 Crown Casino Aussie Millions Champion Lee Nelson.

“It was like multi tabling online as a spectator” commented Kiwi Casino Poker management, “And with the big screen and commentary you could follow the action around.”

The week kicked off with a Celebrity Poker Tournament for charity, which saw local celebrities going head to head for charity. The final was a show down between singer James Reid and international cricketer Brendan McCullum. The eventual winner was Brendan McCullum who picked up $20,000 for his charity, Plunket, while James Reid entertained the crowd with a selection of his songs after the tournament finished.

With the celebrity tournament over, the real poker action got underway beginning with the Canterbury Champs where local boy Matt Lawry saw off Craig Daken from Auckland to keep the trophy at home. This was followed by the Peter Peko Memorial Tournament, a Pot Limit Holdem’/Omaha event held in memory of Peter Peko, the seven times Australian Poker Champion widely considered to be the best poker player to have come out of New Zealand. This was another hotly contested tournament with Alan Goodrum once again proving too strong for the rest of the field.

The next two events on the schedule were the New Zealand No Limit Omaha and South Island Champs. The New Zealand No Limit Omaha Championships was the first tournament of its kind held anywhere in the world and proved hugely popular. Following the conclusion of the South Island Champs the players were treated to a dinner where they were entertained by New Zealand comedian and avid Poker Player Mike King, and had the opportunity to question current WSOP Champion Joe Hachem.

The main event was run in two heats of over 75 where the field of 150 was whittled down to 40 for the following day. Early casualties in the first heat included 2006 Crown Casino Aussie Millions Champion Lee Nelson. Joe Hachem made it through to the next day, but by midnight only Goodrum and Nicolau remained.

Kiwi Casino Poker (http://www.kiwicasinopoker.com) was the only place online players could qualify for the New Zealand Poker Champs, and two of their players were treated to the vacation of a lifetime including seats at this exclusive event. Next year’s tournament is sure to be even better and Kiwi Casino Poker will be once again be running satellites online.

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Matt Sparrow
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