ANZPT Auckland: Old School Tasman Travels

One is a member of the Australian Poker Hall of Fame. The other is such a stalwart of poker in New Zealand that his nickname features the name of New Zealand's national bird. The Aussie goes by the nick name "The Mechanic" and the New Zealander by "KiwiG". Needing no introduction are two of the most experienced players in Australia and New Zealand poker history. One goes by the name Leo Boxell and the other Graeme Putt. Both of these poker veterans are in tonight's Day 1a field and both will be looking to win the ANZPT Auckland title.

Leo Boxell has done it all. Some would say he has conquered the Asia-Pacific poker world. With more than $1 million in tournament winnings, Boxell was a welcomed addition to the Australian Poker Hall of Fame (APHOF) when he was inducted in 2011. Putt was one of the names thrown around as being in contention for that illustrious group of players, but was overlooked as APPT President Danny McDonaugh took a place among legends. We are sure that wasn't the last time we would hear Putt's name mentioned along with the APHOF.

Leo_Boxell_Auckland.jpg

Aussie poker legend, Leo Boxell

Up until 2011, Boxell and Putt had one thing in common and that's that neither player had been able to secure a PokerStars.net APPT or ANZPT title. Of course, Boxell changed that stat just over a year ago when he took down the APPT Melbourne Main Event for a cool AUD$330,000. I was lucky enough to be blogging at that event and it was truly heart-warming to see a legend of Australian poker take down such a prestigious major title.

While Putt may not have a PokerStars title to his name, there is still a huge amount of success littered throughout his poker resume. This includes almost $400,000 in lifetime tournament winnings, with results coming from almost a dozen different countries. Unfortunately it is in his home country that Putt hasn't been able to post a big result, but he will be looking to change that this week in the ANZPT Auckland Main Event.

Graeme_Putt_Auckland.jpg

Kiwi poker legend, Graeme Putt

In a field that is besieged with young gun internet players, Putt and Boxell stand out like a sore thumb. That's not because they are much older (and probably wiser), but because they have already stood where the young players are aiming to get: the top of the poker mountain. This week, both of these veterans will be looking to add even more prestige to their careers. An Australian champion looking to claim a Kiwi title and a Kiwi Champion trying to join the Aussie as a PokerStars champion.

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Auckland