Lee Nelson claims victory in the Canterbury Poker Championships
PokerNetwork Player of the Year for 2006 Lee Nelson battled a small but strong field for 13 hours to emerge the champion at the Christchurch Casino Canterbury Poker Championships in the early hours of Monday morning.
Nelson, 64, beat out 88 other competitors to claim the NZD$21,800 first prize. The final table was a minefield of solid players but two departed early - the winner of Star City's Poker Face Off Zhi Hong Ma (9th, NZD$1,870) and Aussie Millions $1,100 NL Holdem with Rebuys champ Gary Benson (8th, NZD2,490). A trio of New Zealand natives fell by the wayside: Nick Webb (7th, NZD$3,120), Paul Gorman (6th, NZD$3,740) and Glen Council (5th, NZD$4,360), as well as another Aussie Hemi Farrell (4th, $4,980).
Christchurch has proved a happy hunting ground for Sydney's Nick Nicolaou, who finished second in last year's NZ Poker Champs Main Event. Unfortunately Nick is still chasing a win in NZ after his QQ couldn't stay ahead of Lee Nelson's AK, and his departure in third place left Lee heads up with Martin Comer. The normally aggressive Kill Phil author was forced to slow down,"Martin is a very aggressive poker player, so I was just biding my time a little over the last couple of hours before matching his all-in bet,” he says. “ I figured he didn’t have a very high pair so [I] went for it.”
"You always feel confident heading into a tournament", Nelson added, "but being the highest ranked you are expected to win. There will be several decision points in the tournament that I have to make the right call on to be in with a chance".
The poker action continues at Christchurch Casino with the Peter Peko Memorial Tournament, the South Island Champs $550 No Limit Holdem on Tuesday, the NZ Pot Limit Omaha Champs on Wednesday, and also the $4,000 Main Event which starts on Thursday.
Final results $700+$70 Canterbury Championship
1st - Lee Nelson - 21800
2nd - Martin Comer - $12460
3rd - Nick Nicolaou - $6230
4th - Hemi Farrell - $4980
5th - Glen Councll - $4360
6th - Paul Gorman - $3740
7th - Nick Webb - $3120
8th - Gary Benson - $2490
9th - Zhi Hong Ma - $1870
10th - Monica Eastick - $1250
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