Tue, Aug 27, 1:03pm by Staff Writer
Poker player Darragh Curtin holds the chip lead on the final day of the New Zealand Poker Championship Main Event at Christchurch casino.
238 poker players put up $1950 to enter Christchurch casino’s marquee tournament, generating a prize pool of $428,400.
After the completion of day one on Friday and Saturday, with day two taking place on Sunday, Curtin holds 2.017 million chips, where the average for the remaining four players is 1.487 million.
On Friday, he became the 2019 New Zealand Poker Championship South Island champion, taking home $35,000 for his first place finish.
The main event champion will take home $107,000, according to the NZ Herald.
Remaining at the table are Scott Hamilton-Hill with 1.799 million, Jon Pye with 1.237 million and Brian Graham with 933,000.
In early 2018, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas was sold to Virgin Hotels.
At the time, Virgin founder Richard Branson announced a plan to renovate the property in the next couple of years, before rebranding it as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
The property has remained open since the sale.
It had earlier announced it would mostly remain open while renovations were completed, only closing for a few months just prior to the reopening.
Now, it sounds as though the Hard Rock will be closed a bit longer, shutting its doors in February 2020 not reopening again until the renovations and rebranding are complete.
Poker players of the highest calibre in New Zealand will head to Christchurch to participate in the New Zealand Poker Champs tournament taking place this Saturday.https://t.co/L3b842qWBi
— Kiwi Casinos (@kiwicasinos) August 14, 2019
As KTNV in Las Vegas reports, after closing next February “the hotel and casino is expected to reopen no later than January 2021,” although “it could be done by October 2020.”
According to investor Richard Bosworth, president and chief executive officer of JC Hospitality and the CEO of the new property, the original plan for a “phased closing of four months” was determined to be “not efficient from a construction process nor could we provide a hospitality service experience our guests deserve.”
A statement from the Hard Rock notes that current employees at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino are being offered incentives to return once the property reopens via a “Stick Around and Come Back” program that includes a lump sum retention bonus, up to 10 weeks of pay during the interim and other programs including “wellness workshops, lifelong learning classes and social mixers.”
Recent protests in Hong Kong have grown in intensity lately, causing the Hong Kong International Airport to close temporarily for two days in mid-August.
The protests have begun to impact Hong Kong’s economy, with Macau’s gross gaming revenue in the week of August 12-18, with firms such as JP Morgan predicting the protests will have had a “minor negative impact” on Macau’s gross gaming revenue.
The brokerage firm Sanford C Bernstein has said it expects Macau’s GGR to “decline by between 2 and 4 per cent in year-on-year terms” in August, although those forecasts were made relatively independent of the protests.
A certain percentage of gamblers visiting Macau travel through the Hong Kong airport, although the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge in October last year has provided another method of transportation to the gambling mecca.
The protests began in the spring in response to proposed amendments to Hong Kong’s extradition law, changes many in Hong Kong perceived would fundamentally alter the Special Administrative Region’s relative independent from mainland China.
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