APPT Auckland: It's NZ versus the rest of the world

Welcome to our coverage of the final table in the 2009 APPT Auckland/NZPT SKYCITY Festival of Poker Main Event from SKYCITY Casino in Auckland. Play will be wound back one level to 6000/12,000 with a 2000 ante for the start of play. We should be underway in the next 20 minutes, around 12.30pm local time.

The final table features players from six different nations including four contenders representing the host nation and three Auckland locals. There is one European, one American, one Asian and one Australian player, again underlining the global appeal of the game and the popularity of the APPT among players across the world. For profiles of the nine players chasing the NZD $209,085 first prize, click here.

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Assadour Assadourian, the father of Team Australia's Eric Assadourian, is assured plenty of support at today's final table

As the bleachers are assembled around the final table - resembling a pro wrestling steel cage for some strange reason - here are some unusual facts about New Zealand.

• The claim that there are 20 sheep for every New Zealander is wrong. It's actually about 9:1.

• Cropp River on New Zealand's South Island experienced 60 feet of rain during a 12-month period in 1997-98.

• New Zealand generates about 10 per cent of its electricity geothermally, or from volcanic heat.

• Wellington is the most southerly capital city of any nation on the planet.

• To become a New Zealand citizen, you still must swear an oath of loyalty to Queen Elizabeth II

• The claim by former NZ Prime Minister Robert Muldoon that "New Zealanders who go to Australia raise the IQ of both countries" has never been proved. APPT Auckland Main Event final table

Seat 1: Jason Brown (New Zealand) 709,000
Seat 2: Richard Lancaster (New Zealand) 568,000
Seat 3: Ke Sijia (China) 294,000
Seat 4: Assadour Assadourian (Australia) PokerStars Player 231,000
Seat 5: Simon Watt (New Zealand) PokerStars Qualifier 581,000
Seat 6: Gerome Guitteau (France) PokerStars Qualifier 1,204,000
Seat 7: Lance Climo (New Zealand) PokerStars Qualifier 350,000
Seat 8: Michael Shinzaki (USA) 620,000
Seat 9: Jens Walther (Germany) Poker Stars Qualifier 335,000

Watch APPT Auckland 09 : Day 3 Final 9 on

The structure available for today's play is:

Level 19: 6000/12,000 (ante 2000)
Level 20: 8000/16,000 (ante 2000)
Level 21: 10,000/20,000 (ante 3000)
Level 22: 12,000/24,000 (ante 4000)
Level 23: 15,000/30,000 (ante 5000)
Level 24: 20,000/40,000 (ante 5000)
Level 25: 25,000/50,000 (ante 5000)
Level 26: 30,000/60,000 (ante 10,000)
Level 27: 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)
Level 28: 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)
Level 29: 60,000/120,000 (ante 20,000)