By FOCUS REPORTER
THE Emerald Resort and Casino, South Africa’s undisputed home of competitive poker, has announced that the second World Series of Poker Africa tournament is to be held between February 21 and 26 next year.
The WSOP Africa tournament will comprise the main event and five others, each with opportunities to win tournament rings. A further four Mega Satellite tournaments will give people even more opportunities to win seats into the Main Event. The more people who participate in these Mega Satellites, the more seats will be won into the Main Event. A separate, one-day ladies’ tournament, with a WSOP Circuit ladies pendant as the prize, will also be held.
“There will be six WSOP tournament rings up for grabs over six days – making this the biggest and most prestigious poker tournament ever to be staged in South Africa,” says Emerald Resort and Casino CEO Martin Rice.
“The first WSOP Africa tournament, which was staged in October 2010, was a hugely popular event among players and fans alike, and we have little doubt that the festival of poker that will be WSOP Africa 2012, will be even more exciting!”
The inaugural WSOP Africa main event was clinched after more than 50 hours of nail-biting play by Johannesburg plumbing supplies salesman Warren Zackey, who beat 187 other contenders in his best-yet tournament finish.
For hours, Zackey had jockeyed with fellow South African Melanie Banfield, a Johannesburg hairdresser. In the final hand, Zackey won with two pairs (queens high) to take the first prize of R1 554 212 and the coveted WSOP Circuit Ring. As runner-up, Banfield – also in her best tournament finish ever – took home a respectable R941 398.
In winning the tournament, Zackey also defeated several of the world’s most exciting poker players, including Gus Hansen, Vanessa Rousso, Maria Ho (who placed 6th), Beth Shak, Tyron Krost and reigning WSOP Europe Main Event champion James Bord.
“Warren Zackey’s signal victory in the first WSOP Africa proved that South African poker players can compete with the best in the world, and win. We’re expecting some of the world’s finest players to make their way here in February – and all of us at the Emerald can hardly wait to see how well they fare against our local talent this time around,” says Rice.