Piggs Peak, Swaziland, January 09, 2010 --(PR.com
)-- Johannesburg business man, Gareth Kalil, became one of the youngest members to join the elite All Africa Poker Millionaires Club when he became Tournament Champion in March 2009. It was the first time “No Fear” Kalil had played in one of these events, and bought his tickets on a whim, just two days before the kick off.
When Piggs Peak Casino Swaziland hosted the next All Africa Poker Tournament in May 2009, Nicolas Zakhem won the competition, taking home the coveted R1 million prize money.
With a 23 player strong team, including Zakhem, Team All Africa Poker then left for the largest and most prestigious poker tournament, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Tournament held in Las Vegas July 2009.
Warren Zackey finished in 22nd place at WSOP where he scored a tidy US$352,832 for his effort. That is roughly R2.87 million. Zackey is the second Southern African poker player to progress this far at WSOP. However, Zackey wasn’t the only member of Team All Africa Poker who flew the SA flag high. Robert Kay took 7th place in Event 56 and was the first Southern African player participating in this year’s WSOP to make it to the top 10 in a bracelet event. Both Ryan Brauer and Melanie Banfield had a very successful WSOP Main Event when they made it into the money. All Africa Poker’s commentator, Ryan Brauer was the 2nd best finisher in the Main Event from Team All Africa Poker when he exited in 500th position.
WSOP presented an ideal opportunity for All Africa Poker to launch their dynamic online communication strategy. Various platforms were used to keep the local poker community up to speed with the latest developments at WSOP, including blogs, Facebook and Flickr to Twitter and YouTube.
Memorably, at the May 2009 All Africa Poker Tournament, Piggs Peak Casino launched Southern Africa’s first state of the art poker broadcast studio, which completely revolutionised how Southern African poker is viewed. The new studio boasts in excess of R1 million worth of cutting edge production facilities and records the poker action live for DStv’s All Africa Poker Channel 112.
Piggs Peak Casino also launched the online All Africa Poker TV – www.allafricapoker.tv – where poker fans watch the action from the global and local poker tournaments, including poker programme’s like “Ask the Commentators”.
The August 2009 All Africa Poker Tournament held in August 2009 went down in the Southern African poker archives as a competition of records. Wessel Jacobs from Durban took the R1 million winning pot, in what will be remembered as the longest final table in the history of the Tournament – a grueling 10 hours. The Tournament saw two women make it to the final table - an extraordinary achievement considering the small proportion of female poker players in the local market. Sherill Loser was eliminated in eighth place, while Melanie Banfield exited the game in third position.
The fourth and final 2009 All Africa Poker Tournament held in November saw Ilija Martinovic take the glory. Fondly known as the White Eagle, Martinovic was one of the most popular players throughout the tournament. He came back from a minuscule chip stack to take a commanding lead from day two and never looked back.
Icons of poker in 2009 are certainly two of our fantastic local celebrities – the gorgeous Lee Ann Liebenberg, and popular singer Danny K - who represented the All Africa Poker brand throughout the year, adding an element of glitz and glamour to any games they played in.
So much shuffling and dealing it takes your breath away and we can only wet our lips and wait with baited breath for what 2010 holds for poker lovers.
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