World Series of Poker Europe APPT Auckland, Day 3: Daniel Craker Wins APPT Auckland, Day 3: Daniel Craker Wins 0001

The largest poker tournament in New Zealand history drew 306 players to the SKYCITY Hotel and Casino as Daniel Craker took down the Poker Asia Pacific Poker Tour Main Event for NZD $257,040 plus an entry into the APPT Main Grand Final in Sydney. With only eleven players returning for Day 3, it didn't take long for the final table to be set. After Edward Holdcroft (11th) and Eric Mutrie headed to the rail, the remaining nine players convened around the final table with chip stacks and seating assignments that looked like this:

Seat 1: Daniel Craker - 447,000

Seat 2: Nathanael Seet - 348,000

Seat 3: Wai Yuen - 162,000

Seat 4: Matthew Konnecke - 80,000

Seat 5: Wang Jung - 373,000

Seat 6: Luke Stanford - 860,000

Seat 7: Jani Karke - 49,000

Seat 8: Dan Sing - 198,000

Seat 9: Michael Mariakis - 262,000

Wai Yuen became the first casualty of the final table when Wang Jung outflopped her in a big hand. Yuen moved all in with {a-Spades}{k-Diamonds} over the top of Jung's preflop raise, and Jung made the call with {q-Clubs}{j-Clubs}. The flop of {j-Hearts}{4-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds} put Jung firmly in the lead, but Yuen picked up more outs when the {3-Diamonds} landed on the turn. The {10-Hearts} on the river wasn't one of them, and she was eliminated in ninth place ($14,565).

It was just two hands later when Michael Mariakis fell to Jung in eighth place ($19,706). Mariakis raised preflop, Jung re-raised, and Mariakis moved all in over the top. Jung quickly called with {7-Spades}{7-Diamonds}, a coin flip against Mariakis' {a-Spades}{q-Spades}. Once again, Jung hit a flop hard, this time making a set on the {7-Clubs}{4-Spades}{6-Diamonds} board. Mariakis was drawing dead on the {q-Clubs} turn, and the {j-Diamonds} on the river was the formality as he was eliminated.

Jani Karke started the final table with the shortest of the short stacks, but held on for a seventh-place finish ($25,704) at the hands of Daniel Craker. Craker raised preflop with pocket nines, Karke moved all in with {a-Hearts}{10-Clubs}, and Craker called. The flop of {4-Hearts}{2-Hearts}{3-Diamonds} helped no one, and the {8-Clubs} on the turn left Karke drawing ever thinner. The {2-Clubs} on the river was the last nail in the coffin, and he was done in seventh.

Wang Jung returned to his knockout-producing ways when he busted Nathanael Seet in sixth place ($34,272). Seet open-shoved with {q-Spades}{5-Spades}, and Jung called with {a-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}. Jung was ahead with ace-high, and made a Broadway straight on the river as the board read {k-Spades}{4-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds}{j-Hearts}{q-Diamonds}, sending Seet packing. Luke Stanford called a preflop raise from Dan Sing with {a-Spades}{8-Hearts}, and moved all in without looking before the flop of {9-Diamonds}{7-Clubs}{k-Clubs}. Sing called with {k-Diamonds}{q-Clubs}, and Sanford needed help to survive. The {8-Hearts} on the turn was some help, but the {q-Diamonds} on the river made two pair for Sing and busted Stanford in fifth place ($46,267).

It took nearly as long to eliminate the next player as it did to take out everyone else at the final table. Several hours of five-handed play ensued before Sing busted in fourth ($59,976). Sing raised preflop and found one caller in Wang Jung, seeing a flop of {10-Clubs}{7-Spades}{a-Hearts}. Sing led out at the flop and Jung called. The {j-Hearts} came on the turn and Sing made the same bet after a moment's thought. Jung moved all in over the top, and Sing quickly called with {k-Clubs}{q-Hearts} for the nut straight. Jung was behind with {j-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}, but he had outs to a full house, which came in the form of the {j-Spades}. With a full house on the river, Sing became another notch on Wang Jung's gun belt.

After eliminating almost every opponent at the final table, Wang Jung's luck ran out in third place when he was bounced by Daniel Craker. Craker raised preflop and got a call from Matthew Konnecke before Jung put in a big three-bet. Craker thought for a moment before calling, and Konnecke folded. Craker checked the {9-Hearts}{2-Clubs}{3-Clubs} flop, and Jung moved all in with {k-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}. Craker snap-called with {8-Clubs}{8-Hearts}, and he only needed to fade a few outs to bust Jung and take a dominating chip lead. The {3-Spades} was no help for Jung, and the {j-Clubs} on the river sent him packing in third place ($85,680).

Heads-up play only took two hands, as Craker's chip lead proved an insurmountable obstacle for Matthew Konnecke. In the final hand, Konnecke re-raised Craker preflop with {a-Spades}{9-Spades}, and Craker moved all in with {2-Hearts}{2-Clubs}. Konnecke made the call for his tournament life, and the flop came down {k-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}{6-Hearts}. The turn was no help for Konnecke as it brought the {5-Spades}. The {q-Hearts} hit the river, and Daniel Craker's pocket deuces held up to bust Matthew Konnecke in second place for $162,791. Daniel Craker took down $257,040 for his win in the Poker APPT Auckland Main Event.

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