Black Cap Shines in Christchurch Casino Event

Posted at 08:00 2006-04-01

On a night when all the stars came out to play, the twinkle in Black Cap Brendan McCullum’s eye shined the brightest. The cool headed cricketer staged a come back of legendary proportions. Brendan McCullum was able to beat off the challenges from seven other celebrities in the "Celebrity Challenge" that kicked off the New Zealand Poker Championships at the Christchurch Casino. The tournament pitted the stars against each other in a winner takes all Charity Tournament. The tournament included the likes of Jessie Gurunathan, Nicky Watson, Kerre Woodham, Raybon Kan, James Reid, and Pulp Sport’s "Bill and Ben". McCullum was picked by many to win the $20,000 prize. Canterbury Plunket was McCullum’s charity because as a father he knows the importance of this organisation. "Brendan played like a professional tonight and as an athlete he had a distinctive advantage as it’s the top two inches that really count," says Gaming Manager Peter Arbuckle. "The way Brendan and James Reid played head to head as the last two was at the standard you would expect from professional poker players." Following the game a stunned Brendan McCullum was buzzing with excitement, "I still can’t believe I won", says Brendan, "I’m absolutely stoked for Plunket, they stayed here and watched me the whole time and the look on their faces when they won made it all worthwhile, it was great to give something back to them after all they have done for us after the birth of our first child", he added. Brendan was in a show down with James Reid of the Feelers who played a cool hand and surprised no one when he made the final two. After the defeat James was in good humour, "next time I won’t go so easy on you Brendan." Brendan says he was nervous when it was just the two of them left, "it was a real case of the athlete versus the artist, James really dominated from the start and played a great game, but about half way through things started to go my way and it was great to come out on top". Comedian and Sunday Star Times columnist Raybon Kan had a different take on things, "I blame society for my loss, I played the perfect game. The others just weren’t up to my standard and in the end it counted against me." Nicky Watson says she will definitely be back, "Earlier I won on a pair of twos, I went for the bluff and it didn’t work out for me. It was a very fun game I would love to play again."

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