ANZPT Auckland: New King of Auckland to be Crowned

There will be a new champion of Auckland poker! Two Auckland champs started the day, that is Danny "Brotha D" Leaoasavaii and Simon Watt, but neither of them are still at the tables. We thought we would take a walk down memory lane as we bid them farewell from ANZPT Auckland.

It was "Brotha D" who hit the road quickly here on Day 1c. Leaoasavaii never seemed to be able to gain momentum and was eventually eliminated during the first half of the day. Leaoasavaii was the last victor of Auckland poker, defeating a field of 218 players to take down the 2010 APPT Auckland. Already somewhat of a celebrity in New Zealand for his exploits as a hip-hop artist, Leaoasavaii would become a celebrity in the poker world as he pocketed NZ$170,000.

Leaoasavaii then went on and confirmed his status as a great poker player by becoming the first player to win back-to-back APPT / ANZPT titles when he finished 1st in ANZPT Darwin a month later. That was another AUD$57,000 to Leoasavaii and then, we didn't see "Brotha D" on the tour for quite some time. However, he was here this week and we had hopes that we would see him make an ANZPT final table yet again. Unfortunately that didn't up being the case as he was sent to the rail early on Day 1c.


No repeat success for "Brotha D" in Auckland

Before Leoasavaii won his event in 2010, it was Simon Watt who would take down the 2009 APPT Auckland. Watt was relatively unknown at that point in his poker career, but would turn a few heads when he crushed a 263-player field in Auckland to bring home

Following his result in his home country, Watt would then claim notoriety when he defeated Tom Dwan heads-up at the 2010 World Series of Poker, bringing home a gold bracelet for Kiwi land and a massive US$614,248 in prize money. For that effort, Watt was event given the nickname "Durrrr Killer". In total Watt has just shy of US$900,000 in tournament winnings on his poker resume. Unfortunately he won't be adding any more to that tally here at ANZPT Auckland and for that to be said, Watt had to get extremely unlucky.


Simon Watt was no longer smiling when his aces were cracked

When Watt recently looked down at A♣A♠ he was obviously quite happy to keep the raises coming against Stephen McKay preflop. McKay was unlucky to have K♦K♠ and would also be happy to put in plenty of raises. Eventually all the chips went in and it was looking like Watt would be staring down the barrel of a six-figure stack. Poker isn't that simple though.

By the time the dealer had spread out a board to the turn, Watt was looking down at 8♦5♥8♠2♠ and was comfortable in his chair. That's when it all went haywire as a K♥ was flipped over on the river, sending the prominent Kiwi home and a huge pot to McKay.


McKay can now be known as the "Watt Killer" in Auckland

Following the above hand, McKay now sits as the first player to surpass 100,000 in chips here on Day 1c. Let's see if any other player can catch that stack as we near the last couple of levels of the night.

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Auckland