My first trip to Auckland was last year for the 2009 Asia Pacific Poker Tour’s third season. I absolutely fell in love with the city, so if you’re still contemplating whether or not to join us next week for Season Four of the APPT in Auckland, then I’m about to tell (and show) you why you should.
Auckland is known as the youngest city in the world, part of Australia’s little brother– New Zealand. It’s the largest city of its motherland with 1.3 million people calling it home. Auckland is one of only a few cities that harbours on the shores of two major oceans, and despite its land mass being as large as Great Britain, New Zealand is one of the world’s least crowded countries. Its population of only four million makes it a sanctuary for those seeking a relaxing holiday, or a playground for a thrill seeking adventure. Throw in some of the friendliest people on Earth, and one of the most elite poker tournaments in the Southern Hemisphere, and you have yourself one hell of a vacation destination. Here’s a quick little tour we did around Auckland last year during the PokerStars.net APPT’s third season:
It’s no secret that we love to stir up the Kiwi’s for their unique “twang”. So much so, that we made a video dedicated on it starring Tony Dunst, Aaron Benton, Garry Gates and Dennis Huntly, just to name a few:
Auckland is known for providing whatever adrenaline rush you’re looking for, and you don’t have to travel far when in Auckland. In fact, you don’t even have to leave SKYCITY, as directly above it is the Sky Tower, offering a 200 meter jump for a creative way to de-tilt on dinner break.
Also titled the “city of sails”, Auckland has the highest per capita rate of personal luxury yachts, and there’s a reason for it. New Zealand may be an island in itself, but it’s also surrounded with plenty of other smaller islands and volcanic fields to visit. If you have time for a day trip, take a short ferry ride across to the stunning island of Waiheke. Taking a few happy-snaps is the most you’ll get out of the 92 kilometers of beaches at this chilly time of year, but with over 30 vineyards to visit, you could make quite a boozy afternoon out of the trip. My favorite wines are produced in New Zealand so I simply could not leave without trying some direct from the vineyard, and if you’re the same then perhaps a tour such as Wine on Waiheke is right up your alley.
There’s plenty of Aussies filling up the mountains in New Zealand right now, taking advantage if the awesome ski season during these winter months. If you have more than a day free to venture out to the slopes, then Queenstown on the South island is the best place to go.
We’ve seen the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team and their ever-so-intimidating Haka. Imagine sitting at the table in SKYCITY Casino and getting greeted face to face with it? Well, that’s what you’re in for if you come along next week, and it’s a real eye opener. Click on the video below for a sample:
And of Course, There’s Poker
Danny McDonagh sure knows how to structure a tournament. So if you end up getting sucked out of the Main then there’s plenty more side events, of course including the Ladies Event which I’m going to have another crack at.
The title has remained on New Zealand ground for the past two years, and last season’s champion Simon Watt will return next week with not only the 2009 APPT Auckland trophy, but also sporting a 2010 World Series of Poker bracelet after that memorable final table where he saved a lot of well known poker players from paying off Tom “durrrr” Dwan in prop bets. Here’s a refresher on how the final table panned out last year:
So I hope that’s given you a taste for what’s in store for you in Auckland and we see you on the felt for the PokerStars APPT Auckland Main Event!
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Lynn Gilmartin gets ready to return to Auckland for the PokerStars.net APPT
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