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Sky City Festival of Poker set for October

15 September 2008

PRESS RELEASE -- SKYCITY Auckland is delighted to announce some of the greatest names in world poker are to play in New Zealand's biggest ever poker tournament this October.

The inaugural SKYCITY Festival of Poker runs from October 4 to 12 and will aim to offer a $1 million prize pool, the largest ever in New Zealand, with hundreds of players expected to enter over the tournament period.

The following world class poker stars are already confirmed to attend:

pre> Joe Hachem, 2005 World Series of Poker Champion Chris Moneymaker, 2003 World Series of Poker Champion (first appearance in NZ) Greg Raymer, 2004 World Series of Poker Champion (first appearance in NZ) Lee Nelson, 2006 Aussie Millions Champion and New Zealand's Celebrity Joker Poker co-host Grant Levy, 2007 APPT Sydney Grand Final Champion Eric Assadourian, 2007 APPT Macau High Roller Champion & 2007 NZ Poker Champs winner Emad Tahtouh, 2006 EPT London 2nd Place and noted Australian player

The week-long event will see SKYCITY Auckland Casino transformed into a poker player's paradise, with single and multi-table satellite tournaments culminating in a three-day main event.

Ejaaz Dean, SKYCITY Auckland's Executive Manager - Table Games said: "The massive popularity of poker worldwide has taken its time reaching New Zealand. With the likes of international poker stars Greg Raymer and Chris Moneymaker here to inspire players in a local tournament of this scale the possibilities in New Zealand are endless – we're just at the very beginning of our own poker craze.

"We are committed to making SKYCITY the home of New Zealand poker. We want the SKYCITY Festival of Poker to become an annual fixture on the world poker circuit and an absolute must for all top poker players."

Lee Nelson, local poker celebrity and Team PokerStars Pro said: "I am thrilled to be able to play in a tournament of this quality on home soil. With the numbers expected for the event and the prize pool at stake there is a good chance that new local talent will be discovered and the title be taken by a New Zealander."

Satellite tournaments for entry into New Zealand's biggest ever poker tournament are being held by casinos and pub poker leagues nationwide. For more information on how you can take on the world's best poker players, visit www.festivalofpoker.co.nz.

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