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Two wins. Two countries. And over NZ$700 000 in the bank!

Men from South Island Win Big with Poker in Two Countries

A Mr Scott Hamilton-Hill won NZ$210 000, after tax, at an event for seniors at a Las Vegas World Series of Poker, WSOP, event on the 17th of June. Mr Hamilton Hill swapped the Christchurch Casino that he was accustomed to for the glitz and glamour of the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas to play the WSOP, the tournament widely credited with being responsible for putting poker on the world stage in recent years.

The 50-year old man, a native of Cantabria, entered the USD$1 000 Seniors No-Limit Hold’em game on the 15th of June, as one of almost 6 000 players in the running for a prize pool of USD$5.3 million. After four days of playing ten hours at a time he came in third, and took home NZD$440 710.

A 50th Birthday Deal Between Friends

Mr Hamilton-Hill is a restaurant owner back home, and had made a deal with friends that they would travel over to Las Vegas, leaving the world of online pokies behind them for a while, when they turned 50-years old. One of his pals, a Mr Jeff Bucher, had won cash at a similar WSOP event formerly, and Mr Hamilton-Hill wanted to beat his winning.

More Poker Play on the Horizon

Mr Hamilton-Hill has said that he will use US$10 000 of his win to enter the Main Event of the WSOP, set to kick off on the 2nd of July, also in Las Vegas. He stated that his main objective had been to be able to do this, with his beating Mr Bucher dropping to second place, and putting a little extra in the bank coming in third. Safe to say there is more than a little extra.

Hamilton-Hill Says a Lot of Luck is Involved

Quoting many other successful players, Hamilton-Hill said that, in terms of a single hand, winning was a result of 90% luck, 10% skill. He said this changed to around 50% luck, 50% skill in a tournament, but it switched over to 90% skill and 10% luck with professional players who make a career from playing poker.

A Runanga Man Makes It Two for Two

On the very same day that Hamilton-Hill started his successful over in Las Vegas, Cliff Sandrey, a Runanga man, took his place at the Christchurch Casino Caribbean Stud table. He had decided to play two last hands before packing it in, and one turned out to be a Royal Flush! He took away NZ$440 000.

Sandrey speaks of his initial shock, since it had been a number of years since he’d played the game, and he was only doing so at that point to kill some time. He said that he would be spending some of his win on the six children that he and his wife have between them, and the rest would be invested. He said that two of his kids were overseas, one in the USA and the other in Canada, so some money would be spent on a trip to visit them as well.

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