After a ten-hour battle yesterday, local poker player Matt Lawry beat an international field to take out the $13,300 first prize out of a total pool of $37,800, at the Canterbury Championships held at the Christchurch Casino.
29 year old Christchurch business owner Matt Lawry was locked in a battle with Auckland poker player Craig Daken that had both the players, as well as the crowd that was three deep in places, in raptures as the see-saw battle unfolded to reach a thrilling climax.
After taking out the $13,300 prize Matt Lawry was elated, “I thought it would be a hard task to take it out, the final table was my first goal, but everyone hopes in the back of their mind to win. I played a patient game but led from the front when I needed to. It was really cool to have a local take out the Canterbury Champs,” says Matt Lawry.
Matt Lawry has very practical intentions for his winnings, “I intend to use the money to do some renovations on my house and I’ll also help my parents out a bit.
“In saying that, after tonight’s success I am definitely looking forward to Friday night now,” he added.
Friday sees the start of the New Zealand Poker Championships at the Christchurch Casino.
Runner up, 31-year-old Aucklander, Craig Daken takes home $7,500 for his efforts but he wouldn’t be pressed on the regional rivalry, “Matt played really well but at the end of the day its player against player and regional rivalries don’t really come into it. I was just happy to make the final table and think I did really well to make it so far given that I started at the final table with the least amount of chips,” says Craig Daken.
Poker Operations Manager Mick Ryan said Matt made a comeback of huge proportions. “Matt played a really smart game, I thought he was finished when Craig got a straight off the river to beat Matt’s three deuces. It takes a strong player to come back from that, a lot of players would have lost their head after taking a blow like that.
“84 players started this tournament which is a record for ‘No Limit’ Poker in New Zealand and Matt played a smart game to take home the $13,300 prize,” says Mick Ryan.
Monday night the poker action continues with the sold out Peter Peko Memorial Tournament at the Christchurch Casino with the winner set to take home around $20,000 cash.
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