ANZPT Auckland: The Tower in the Sky
A quick Google search tells me that Auckland was voted as the third most livable city in 2011. That wouldn't surprise anyone who has visited this beautiful city. The poker players come here to of course play poker, but for a lot of people, it's more than just a poker tournament, it's simply holiday with a chance to win a six-figure sum.
One of the most popular attractions in Auckland is the Sky Tower. Situated on the doorstep of this very Casino, the Sky Tower has hundreds of visitors every day. Some people just want to have a look at the stunning structure, while others want more and crave some thrill seeking. Well, they have come to the right place.
At 328 metres tall, the Sky Tower is the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere. Clearly that makes it a prime candidate for people wanting to jump off it. Only in New Zealand, the world's adventure capitol, would people insist on jumping off something so massive. Known as the "SkyJump", many of the poker players here this week will give it a crack. It is probably less scary than having aces on a two-toned and draw heavy board, so why not jump from a building to feel a rush.
It's not only for thrill seekers though. The Sky Tower also features two restaurants and a café, one of which is New Zealand's only revolving restaurant. Rotating 360 degrees every hour, diners can get their own kind of thrill by having to keep their food in check while going around in circles. Round and round the restaurant goes, just like the faithful dealer button around the poker table.
Tonight is only Day 1a of the ANZPT Auckland Main Event. There are still two more Day 1 flights, along with the end stages of the tournament. That's plenty of time for players to step away from the felt and enjoy a meal in the rotating restaurant, or better yet, jump over 300 metres off a giant free-standing structure. The players will be walking past the Sky Tower every day on their way to the poker room, so no excuses.
Don't think poker players would be interested in jumping off a tall structure? Well, Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElKy" Grospellier did exactly that at the Sky Tower's sister structure in Macau. Check out a clip of that below, along with an introduction to this tournament and this beautiful city from the equally beautiful Lynn Gilmartin.