APPT8 Auckland: Season set for climax in Auckland

The final stop of Season 8 of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour sees us in the "Land of the Long White Cloud" as Auckland, New Zealand plays host to the NZ$2,500 APPT Auckland Main Event. Players from around Australia and New Zealand will be joined on the felt of the SKYCITY Auckland Casino by players from across Asia and Europe to take part in New Zealand's largest annual poker event.

This event is always a popular one to attend with players soaking up the warm Kiwi hospitality and enjoying the numerous quality bars and restaurants located within a short stroll of the casino. Players will have plenty of opportunity to check out the sites of Auckland this week with three day one flights on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, giving players at least two spare days to get out and about.

The other unique feature of the opening days of this event is the 10:15am start time. It's the first time that we can remember that a major poker tournament has started so early in the day, which could provide an interesting twist for some bleary-eyed poker pros. More on that a little later in our coverage.

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Last year's ANZPT Auckland champion, David Lim

Last year it was Perth's David Lim who broke the run of local success in this event. Last year Auckland was classified as an ANZPT event, with Lim claiming the top prize of NZ$110,760.

Technically, we'd have to go back four years to Season 4 for when the last APPT event was hosted in Auckland. That event was won by the "Godfather of New Zealand Hip Hop" when the legendary "Brotha D" conquered a field of 218 runners to claim the top prize of NZ$170,000. Before that, former champions of the APPT Auckland include Daniel Craker and WSOP bracelet winner Simon Watt. Hopefully we'll see a few of these guys back to attempt to become the first two-time APPT champ.

There will also be added intrigue for this event as the final leg of the 2014 ANZ Player of the Year race. Three of the top four on the ANZ POTY leaderboard have already qualified online on PokerStars for this event, so there will be plenty of pressure on ANZPT Melbourne champion Edison Nguyen to maintain his spot on top of the leaderboard.

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ANZ Player of the Year leader, Edison Nguyen

All the action from the APPT Auckland Main Event kicks off at 10:15am (GMT+12) on Wednesday and we'll have all the stories both on and off the felt for you right here on the PokerStars Blog. Stay tuned!

Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.