Soren Eriksen Captures Back-To-Back New Zealand Poker Championships!

Posted at 23:09 2010-04-18

After three action-packed days of tough tournament poker, we have finally reached the final table of the New Zealand Poker Championships Main Event.

Five cameras were set-up around the final table, including hole card cams, as each final tablist was made to feel like they were playing for way more than the NZ$180,000 prizepool on offer. Consequently a delayed start to proceedings didn’t halt the action as Cole Swannack came out of the blocks nearly virtually doubling up James Honeybone on the first hand when he ran a bluff with {Qs}{4h} but ran into Honeybone’s Aces.

Reigning Champion Soren Eriksen was by far the most active in the early goings three-betting here and there and taking down nearly every second pot at some point as comedian Mike King stayed alive when he cracked Cole Swannack’s Aces with {Kd}{7d}. Unfortunately however his new-found chips would soon be shifted to Michael Spilkin when a third three found its way onto the flop to crack King’s pocket Queens.

One-time chip leader Alfred Saliba would be the next to fall after he four-bet all in holding {Ah}{Kc} and was called by James Honeybone’s {Qh}{Qc}. Although Saliba managed to flop a gutshot and two overs, blanks would fall on the turn and river to see him exit in eighth. Andrew Middleditch managed to double up his short-stack with Ace-Queen only to run into the pocket Jacks of Joseph Allis when he three-bet shoved from the big blind with {Ad}{8h} over Allis’ button raise to fall in seventh place.

Six players headed to the first break with Michael Spilkin leading the charge over Joseph Allis and James Honeybone. Once play returned, short stacked Cole Swannack found a blind-on-blind double to put him back in the game and send Joseph Allis to the bottom of the leaderboard before he fell next. Allis opened with an under the gun raise holding {Qd}{Td} and was called by Spilkin and his {Qs}{9d}. The {Kd}{Tc}{6d} flop saw Spilkin check-call a bet before the {Js} spiked on the turn. Check, all-in and then no Ace, Nine or diamond saw Allis eliminated in sixth place after never being able to gather much momentum today.

Shortly after James Honeybone would fall when he played out the biggest pot of the tournament – close to half the chips in play – against Michael Spilkin. Honeybone’s {Jd}{Jc} looked strong on the {6c}{7d}{2d}{6s} board, but Spilkin’s {Qh}{Qd} were just one better and held up after the river fell the {3c}.

Richard Lancaster’s quiet day came to an end in fourth place when his shove from the small blind with {Kh}{Js} was easily snapped off by Soren Eriksen and his {Qs}{Qd}. The eight-high board was enough to send the APPT Auckland final tablist to the rail to leave the final three in a fairly even predicament.

Swannack however soon relinquished some recently acquired chips when he ran a bluff against Soren Eriksen with just ten-high only to find them once again when he flopped Broadway with {Ah}{qd} against Michael Spilkin’s {Ks}{Qh} after all the chips went in preflop. A successful bluff a few hands later saw Swannack capture the chip lead for the first time in the tournament and leave Spilkin and the reigning champ battling it out for the runner-up spot.

Heading into another break with the three players fairly even in chips, Michael Spilkin came out ready to gamble after he called a four-bet all in with {Qd}{Jd} to be in a race against Soren Eriksen’s {Tc}{Ts}, and after a Queen fell on the flop, Spilkin held two-thrids of the chips in play while Eriksen was left with less than six big blinds. Eriksen however wouldn’t just double once or twice, but three times in secession before everyone would be back to even once again.

After chips were traded back and forth, Michael Spilkin would commit in the wrong spot holding just middle pair in a battle of the blinds against Soren Eriksen’s top pair. Eriksen improved to two-pair on the river and Spilkin hit the rail in third place to take play to heads up.

Soren Eriksen – 705,000  Cole Swannack – 375,000

Both would steal each others blinds a few times before Eriksen called Swannack’s four-bet all in with {7d}{7c} to be in a race against {Ad}{Qc}. The Jack-high board would see Swannack eliminated in second place as Eriksen was crowned Champion for the second consecutive time – a feat only accomplished by a select few in Main Events!

For another tremendous showing of skill, composure, patience, timing and just a bit of luck, the relocated Swede now boasts a second New Zealand Poker Championships Main Event title and is a worthy recipient of the NZ$60,000 first prize and title of New Zealand’s finest adopted tournament players.

1st – Soren Eriksen (NZ$60,000)

2nd – Cole Swannack (NZ$33,000)

3rd – Michael Spilkin (NZ$24,000)

4th – Richard Lancaster (NZ$18,000)

5th – James Honeybone (NZ$13,000)

6th – Joseph Allis (NZ$10,000)

7th – Andrew Middleditch (NZ$8,500)

8th – Alfred Saliba (NZ$7,500)

9th – Mike Kim (NZ$6,000) 

Many congratulations go to Soren Eriksen for his amazing feat of going back-to-back along with the staff at the Christchurch Casino, New Zealand for not only running a fantastic tournament, but catering for the players needs better than I or the players have ever witnessed.

The PokerNetwork Team – or as Crown Tournament Director Mike Tarr puts it; ‘The One Man WolfPack’ – is now off to the Harbour City to cover the ANZPT Main Event along with the $330 Tony Hachem Feature Event and $10,200 High Rollers Event live from Star City from the 20th – 25th of April. See you there!

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Soren Eriksen Wins New Zealand Poker Championships Soren Eriksen Wins New Zealand Poker Championships

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