Danny Chevalier Wins First NZ Poker Tour Queenstown

Danny Chevalier, the 46 year old poker player from Australia, has just been crowned the 2009 NZPT Queenstown-Skycity Alpine Adventure champion.
The tournament drew a top class field from around the world, including Australia, Argentina, Germany, the United States, Finland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Canada. Although such notable names as Eric Assadourian, Grant Levy, Celina Lin, Tony Hachem, Emad Tahtouh and New Zealand-based Lee Nelson, had entered the tournament, in a good omen for New Zealand poker, six of the nine players at the final table were New Zealand based.
Having battled his way through 134 opponents over a 6 days period, Chevalier is delighted to be walking away with the NZ $87,435 first prize and said: “I play high-stake cash games, so tournaments [like this] are like the icing on the cake.”
Mr Chevalier said that the first round of the tournament was particularly tough going and that luck had played its part in him progressing further in the competition. “I was going backwards all day and played to survive,” he said.
By the time the second round started, he found himself with only $13,000 chips but was able to turn that amount into $185,000 for the final table. “I shifted gears and played aggressively…It was boom or bust,” he said.
Eventually he found himself heads up with Andrew Hinrichsen, and when his A 7s turned into the ‘nut flush’ the writing was on the wall for his Australian opponent, who walked away with $57,285.
Danny Chevalier was delighted to have won in Queenstown and said: “Queenstown is my second home and it was like playing in front of my home crowd . . . it was like a dream,”
Danny’s previous wins include a preliminary event and coming seventh in the 2009 Melbourne Poker Championships, and said he would now be returning next year to Queenstown to defend his title.
Michelle Baillie, Executive Manager for SKYCITY Queenstown, said: “We’re delighted we were able to have such a talented field of local and international players compete in the inaugural NZPT Queenstown. Having such a remarkable tournament in Queenstown has put Queenstown on the world map for poker tournaments.”

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