Africa’s poker players and lovers of high stakes had an opportunity to up the ante at the latest edition of the World Poker Tour (WPT) National Championship, which was hosted for the fourth time at the Peermont group’s Emperors Palace casino in Johannesburg from April 8-17.
During 10 days of intense tournament action, a field of professional poker players and poker enthusiasts, along with defending champion Wesley Wiegand, took to the felt to win a share of a prize pool worth more than ZAR10m (E610,000).
Shaun Naidoo (pictured) was crowned as the champion of the main event, after defeating a record-setting field of 327 entries. Naidoo lead almost wire-to-wire on the final day, which started with 29 hopefuls. He received $43,300 (E38,500) in prize money, as well as a WPT trophy.
“Emperors Palace is honored to continue our long association with high-stakes poker tournaments, and we are gratified with the benefits of hosting events that positively affect the tourism industry in South Africa,” commented Peermont COO Bob Yearham.
“A large focus however, will always be to host tournaments for our local players – and the WPT National Poker Championship does just that. This tournament will launch players into the international poker event scheduled for November this year.”