Trans-Tasman battle at the Christchurch Casino

Posted at 07:00 2006-04-04 Ten players started at the final table at tonight’s New Zealand Championship-No Limit Omaha poker tournament at the Christchurch Casino. Five of them were Kiwis, the remaining five, Australians. As the other players continued to drop out at regular intervals the battle of the Tasman came down to two players, local Christchurch souvalaeki shop owner Dimitris Mereditis, and retired computer engineer Jirair Ebeyan of Melbourne. The battle was tight, but the mood was candid as the two experienced players chipped away at each other. In the end it took a succession of “all-ins” by Jirair to flush the local man out after Dimitiris enjoyed a huge chip lead when the two first locked horns. In the end a pair of nines was enough to take it out. “It was a very enjoyable tournament,” says Jirair Ebeyan. “It was especially good as I won the first prize of $7,600,” he added. Jirair Ebeyan says it takes much more than luck to win big tournaments. “You need much more than luck. It takes patience, psychology and strategy, but a little bit of luck never hurt anybody.” Playing opponent Dimitris Mereditis only made it to the tournament because it fell on one of his days off. “Work is more important than playing poker, I won’t leave work to play,” says Dimitris Mereditis. Dimitris Mereditis says he would love to have played at the New Zealand Poker Championships at the Christchurch Casino on 7 and 8 April but work commitments rule him out. Meanwhile Jirair Ebeyan is a sure starter. “The New Zealand Poker Champs is the big one, it is what I came to Christchurch for. Winning tonight was a bonus but I am pretty confident I can do well on Friday and Saturday,” says Jirair Ebeyan. Jirair Ebeyan says he has enjoyed his time in Christchurch and is keen to come back. “It is a beautiful city, much better than I imagined. We have been to Lyttleton and Hanmer Springs and have seen the Cathedral in the square. I would love to come back to Christchurch, especially because it is where I won my first trophy and all theplayers, dealers and organisers are very friendly.” Earlier in the tournament rookie poker player and possum trapper Ed Scandlyn of Waipiro Bay near Gisborne was ecstatic to make the final table in his first tournament. “Playing at the Christchurch Casino was a great experience, I was pretty nervous before hand, especially as I started at the final table with the least chips, but I am confident with a small stack and I know I can make it even further tomorrow at the South Island Championships,” says Ed Scandlyn. Tomorrow night (Wednesday April 5) the Poker action continues with the South Island Championship with the main event following on Friday April 7 and Saturday April 8 where some of the world’s best poker players will fight it out against over 150 poker players from around the world.

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