John Girvan has won the New Zealand Deaf Poker Championship of 2014, the first event of its kind to be hosted in as New Zealand casino.
Deaf Poker Australian (DPA) has been holding poker events for the hard of hearing and deaf from 2005. This weekend, the DPA organized the first poker tournament for deaf players, the New Zealand Deaf Poker Championship 2014, to be held at a casino in New Zealand—the SkyCity Auckland Casino.
Although the player field of 39 was smaller than that of the deaf poker tournament held by the DPA last year, the organizers were happy with it. Some of the local participants were Tony Walton, Opeti Finaulangi, Dylan Louie, Amber Shaw, Robert Cairns, Julie-Anne Taylor, and Susan Hamilton. The event also attracted Australian players such as Adrick Martin, Kevin Smith, Scott Turner, and John Ziogas.
Although the first event of its kind, the style of play was so aggressive that the final table was reached in five-and-a-half hours. The finalists were Rhian Yates, Barry Bond, Christian Grey, Alan Cetinic, Sokong Kim, John Girvan, Michael Granger, and Matthew Kennedy. The chip leader was Alan Cetinic, followed by Aussie players.
The first player to bust was Sokong Kim and the last was Michael Granger. Only the top five players would finish in the cash, and the player who finished on the bubble was Matthew Kennedy. The first player to finish in the cash was Rhian Yates, known as New Zealand’s founder father of deaf poker. The final table play ended in a heads-up match between Christian Grey of New Zealand and John Girvan of Australia.
Here are the final table results of the championship. As the winner and the runner-up of the event, John Girvan and Christian Grey won NZD $1325 and NZD $830, respectively. The other three players who got paid were Alan Cetinic of Australia (NZD $530), Barry Bond of Australia (NZD $380), and Rhian Yates of New Zealand (NZD $270).
The organizers of the event later congratulated John Girvan on behalf of the deaf communities of Australia and New Zealand. They also expressed their gratitude to the Auckland Aces Deaf Committee, which had played an invaluable role in organizing this deaf poker tournament.
Australia’s next deaf poker tournaments are the second edition of the SA Deaf State Poker Championship, which will be held on Aug 30, and the DPA Championship 2014, which will be held in West Australia’s Crown Perth.