APPT Auckland: Final Table action for the Main Event live updates

By James Potter and Eliot James

8:28pm: Daniel Craker is the APPT Auckland 2008 Main Event Champion! Daniel Craker, $257,040 NZD ($153,399 USD), Matthew Konnecke eliminated in 2nd place, $162,792 ($97,153 USD)

The Trans-Tasman battle between New Zealander Daniel Craker and Australian Matthew Konnecke has finished after only eight minutes of heads-up play. Craker went into heads-up play with nearly twice the chips of Konnecke, putting him in a good position to secure the trophy and title, keeping first place on home soil.


The two young players didn't waste any time finding hands to tangle with and on the second hand of heads-up play Craken pushed all-in over Konnecke's raise. Konnecke called and put his tournament life on the line with As-9s. Craken rolled 2h-2c and our players were in a race. With the crowd anxiously watching the board was dealt out, Kc-6h-Td-5s-Qh, offering no help to Konnecke. The rail erupted into cheering and applause as Craken began his celebrations.


Our second placed Matthew Konnecke will take home an enormous $162,792, while our winner, Daniel Craken, takes home over a quarter of a million dollars, $257,040, and the innaugural winner of New Zealand's largest ever tournament, the APPT Auckland Main Event 2008.

Keep tuned, we will bring you a full wrap up of the event over the next day.

8:20pm: Heads-up has begun! Wang Che Jung has been eliminated in 3rd place ($85,680 NZD)

Just ten minutes back from the dinner break, we have seen the elimination of Wang Che Jung in third place. Jung led the chip count for much of the final table and takes home over $85,000 for his efforts.

Jung limped his button for 24k, before Daniel Craker raised 80k from the small blind. Jung added a further 220k from the button, which Craker called. Craker checked a flop of 9h-2c-3c and Jung moved in for his last 470k. Craker wasted no time in calling and turned 8h-8c to be well in front. An uneventful 3s and Jc on the turn and river left Craker with almost 2 million in chips moving into heads-up play.

7:35pm: Dinner break

Play has stopped as we go on a 30 minute dinner break here at the APPT Auckland Main Event. Three players remain, Daniel Craker on 980,000, Matthew Konnecke on 760,000, and our chip leader Wang Che Jung on 1.1 million.

We will continue to keep you updated as soon as our players return to continue the battle for the championship. In the meantime, check out another player interview brought to you by the crew:

Watch APPT Auckland 08: Nat Seet Final Table on

6:55pm Dan Sing eliminated in 4th place ($59,976 NZD)

Dan Sing has been elminated in 4th place, taking home $59,976 NZD, after being on the unlucky end of a bad beat. Sing and Jung got all of the chips in the middle on the turn, with the board showing T-7-A-J. Sing was quick to snap over KQo for the nut straight, while Jung resignedly rolled over JT for two pair. Luck fell in favour of Jung however, with a repeating jack on the river to give him a full house.

Dan Sing_08.jpg

Dan Sing, less than impressed with the turn of events.

The shortstack as we go three handed is clearly Daniel Craker who is taking his stack of 450k up against Jung and Konnecke who both have approximately 1.2 million in chips.

6:15pm Rollercoaster ride for Daniel Craker

Daniel Craker has been on a rollercoaster ride at the final table, adding excitment and entertainment to a table which has not seen an elimination for almost two hours.

Craker lost a significant portion of his chips in a battle of the blinds with Matthew Konnecke. After Craker raised from the small blind and called a re-raise from Konnecke, both players saw an ace high flop. Craker made a move, check-raising Konneke all-in. Konneke had no trouble calling with his AKo, and Craker, with J7o, was looking for running outs which never came.

Continuing the ride, Craker moved all in preflop the very next hand for 235k. Craker was called by both Konnecke and Jung in the small and big blinds and the action was checked through to the river on a board of K-4-T-7-2. Craker, pumping his fist, rolled K2o for two pair and scooped a 700k pot to get back in the game.


Craker awaits his fate as he is called in two spots.

6:00pm: Dan Sing doubles up

Facing a 50k raise from Jung on the button, Sing flat called from the big blind. Players saw a flop of A-8-7 rainbow. Sing checked to Jung, who fired another 50k into the pot, which was called by Sing. Both players checked the K on the turn and a 5 fell on the river.

Sing led into Jung for 75k. Jung asked for a count and put Sing to the test for his last 113k. "Ok, let's go" yelled Sing, quickly followed by Jung rolling 86s. "What? A pair of eights?" Sing asked in disbelief, shortly before he rolled over A5s for 2 pair. Still at the bottom of the chip count, Sing is back in the game after a much needed double.


Dan Sing celebrates as he doubles through Wang Che Jung.

Approximate chip counts:

Daniel Craker: 850
Matthew Konnecke: 550
Wang Che Jung: 850
Dan Sing: 450

5:15pm: Action slows as the prizes climb

Play has almost ground to a halt in the SkyCity Casino Auckland as we play the final table. Now down to four players, there are no particular shortstacks and nobody appears to feel pressured to make a move.

Players are currently on a 10 minute break and when we return play will resume at 8000/16000 with a 2000 ante. Approximate chipstacks at the moment are:

Daniel Craker: 885,000
Matthew Konnecke: 392,000
Wang Che Jung: 1,130,000
Dan Sing: 380,000

There is currently over $565,000 NZD remaining in the prizepool for these four players, with over a quarter of a million dollars for the lucky player who secures the title of APPT Auckland Main Event Champion.

Despite the slowing pace on the felt, excitement is still high among the onlookers railing here. Local fans are still keen to see the title kept in New Zealand and tension will only climb as we continue. With three Kiwis and an Aussie in the remaining four there is guaranteed to be at least one New Zealander in the eventual heads-up battle.

Watch APPT Auckland 08: Michael Mariakis Final Table on

4:35pm: Stanford heads for the door, eliminated in 5th place ($46,276 NZD)

Already shortstacked from his recent fray, Luke Stanford pushed the last of his chips in with A8o. Dan Sing, who has picked up a couple of recent pots to jump over 500k in chips, was quick to call with KQo. A king high flop put Dan in front and a queen on the river only added insult to injury.


Luke Stanford, eliminated in 5th place.

We are down to four players in the APPT Auckland Main Event, all of whom are guaranteed $59,976 NZD minimum. Action is still flying here at SkyCity Casino as the players get ever closer to the quarter million dollar first place prize.

Watch APPT Auckland 08: Luke Stanford on

4:25pm Luck runs out for Luke Stanford as Daniel Craker doubles up

Local player Luke Stanford has taken two large pots recently when luck fell his way to crack his opponent's hands. Finally the luck has run out for the Kiwi as he doubles up Daniel Craker.

With both players all-in on a queen high flop, Stanford showed AQ to be well ahead of the shorter stacked Craker, holding QT. A ten fell on the turn to rocket Craker in front of Stanford, and the river subsequently blanked. Luke is now one of our shortest stacks, and wil be needing to find a spot to double up.

Approximate chip counts at the moment are:

Daniel Craker: 840k
Matthew Konnecke: 135k
Wang Che Jung: 1.46M
Luke Stanford: 140k
Dan Sing: 140k

Sidenote: APPT Auckland High Rollers

There was a high rollers event offered to the players here at the APPT Auckland SkyCity Festival of Poker. What the field lacked in size (17 runners) was certainly no reflection of the quality of entrants.

Notable runners included Team PokerStars Pro Lee Nelson, David “Superman” Saab, Eddie Sabat (APPT Macau Main Event Champion), Andrew Scott, Carter Gill.

They played down to the final 5 last night and have now got back under way on the table next to the Main Event final table. We will bring you the winner of this event once the event has been completed.

Seat 1: Lee Nelson
Seat 2: Shaun Gray
Seat 3: Josh Egan
Seat 4: Michael Long
Seat 5: Carter Gill

Prize Payouts:

1st: $83,000
2nd: $50,000
3rd: $33,000


The five high rollers left to battle it out for an $83,000 payday.

3:50pm Seet exits in 6th ($34,272 NZD)

Crippled three hands earlier, Seet jammed for 70k from the button and was called by Jung in the big blind. Seet showed Q5s to Jung's ATo and was run down by a board of K-4-2-J-Q, giving Jung the broadway straight.


The final blow is delivered for Nathanael Seet.

With four New Zealand players starting the final table here at the APPT Auckland Main Event, four still remain. In their midst is Australian Matthew Konnecke. Trans-Tasman rivalry will be feirce as the four Kiwis look to keep the title in New Zealand, and the local fans cheer from the rail.

3:45pm Nathanael Seet crippled on the river

After raising to 27k UTG, Luke Stanford shoved for an extra 267k from the button. Painfull, Seet considered his options and where he would be if he lost. Finally Seet announced "call" and rolled over As-Kh. Stanford was behind with Qc-Tc and needing help from the board.

The board ran out 3c-3d-4s-8d-Qd, with the crowd of locals erupting into cheers and and applause as Stanford scooped the pot on the river.

Fellow Singapore player Ivan Tan jokingly asked Tournament Director Danny McDonaugh if they could run it twice. With that loss, Seet is under 60k and is the clear shortstack at the table.

3:10pm: Jani Karke eliminated in 7th place ($25,704)

Just one hand before their first break, Jani Karke and Daniel Craker managed to tangle in an all-in pot. It was another race situation as Karke took ATo up against Craker's pocket nines. A low board kept the nines in front and Karke's final table appearance has come to an end.


Jani Karke, with his girlfriend and fellow pro Teresa Nousiainen, shortly after elimination.

3:00pm: Jung first to join the millionaires club

After eliminating the first two of our players from the final table, Jung has taken a commanding chiplead. Jung is using the chips to his advantage and playing some very aggressive poker. In his most recent hand, Jung fired a 300k bet into a 431k pot against Luke Stanford, our former chip leader heading into the final table.

After painful deliberations, even going to the tournament screen to check the prize structure, Stanford finally called time on himself. APPT Tournament Director Danny McDonaugh counted down the last ten seconds and Stanford finally announced fold with four seconds remaining. Jung was quick to flip nine high and the rail erupted in cheering and appluase.

With that last pot, Jung now has 1.1M in chips, roughly fourty percent of the chips in play.


Wang Che Jung stacking chips after reaching the millionaires club.

2:40pm: Wai Kwan Yuen first elminated ($14,565 NZD), Michael Mariakis follows behind ($19,706 NZD)

As predicted things have started moving here on the final table of the APPT Auckland Main Event. We have had two eliminations in quick succession and are now down to our final seven players, with those left guaranteed over $25k.

Yuen was the first to fall. After a UTG raise from Jung and a call in MP from Sing, Yuen pushed her last 31k into the pot. Jung re-raised a further 145k, pushing Sing from the hand and playing the pot heads-up.

Yuen showed As-Kd to Jung's Qc-Jc. The first card out of the door was Jung's jack, on a flop of 2d-4d-Jh. The turn of 3d left Yuen calling for any of her 17 outs to get back in front. The Th wasn't one of them, and we lost our first player, and only female to make it through to the final table.


Our first elimination, Wai Kwan Yuen.

Just two hands later another big pot began to brew with Mariakis opening to 24k from middle position. After a call directly behind from Craker, Jung re-raised from the small blind a further 75k. Mariakis moved all-in for a further 115k and, after Craker folded, Jung quickly called.

Jung flipped 7-7 and was in a classic race with Mariakis' AQs. A seven high flop quickly decided the outcome and Jung scooped another huge pot to be propelled to the top of the chipcount with a stack just shy of 900k.


Michael Mariakis, on the wrong side of a coinflip.

2:20pm: Final table settling in

Players have settled in at our final table and the play has been subdued during the first 45 minutes of play here at SkyCity Casino. We have just moved up levels, and the blinds are now 4000/8000 with 1000 antes.

As yet, no players have had their life put to the test. The few all-ins we have had thus far have been from our shorter stacked players who have managed to pick up the blinds and antes. Approximate chipcounts at the moment are:

Daniel Craker: 410k
Nathanel Seet: 450k
Wai Kwan Yuen: 115k
Matthew Konnecke: 150k
Wang Che Jung: 495k
Luke Stanford: 600k
Jani Karke: 127k
Dan Sing: 175k
Michael Mariakis: 300k

With the blinds having just moved, and the players now comfortable, we can expect the eliminations to begin. We will be keeping you posted throughout!