Top 6 New Zealand Poker Legends You Can Learn From

Are you a big poker player? Did you know that New Zealand, unlike the U.S., Australia, and the U.K., isn’t known for its poker players, which means that if you’re really, really good at it that you can make a breakthrough and a name of yourself! This is why you should practice and know that practice makes everything perfect.

This article profiles New Zealand poker legends and describes their careers, while also listing their biggest wins. Do you want to learn and find out more about them, or how they became so famous? If so, keep on reading and find your inspos down below!

Top 6 New Zealand Poker Legends You Can Learn From

1. Sosia Jiang


Sosia is the only female player on this list worth mentioning.

Sosia Jiang’s family departed Mongolia for New Zealand when she was seven years old.

She attended ANU after graduating from high school.

She went to law school in New Zealand but found love in casino games and gambling later on in her life.

Before she got into poker, she worked for a Hong Kong financial bank.

Sosia Jiang has been taking part in live tournaments since 2004 and doesn’t plan on stopping sometime soon.

She has the second-highest income among the 1,100 active players in New Zealand. Jiang has earned about 1.5 million US dollars in live poker tournaments thus far.

In 2017, she won the PokerStars Championship Macau High Roller for HK$3,870,000 ($498,073), the greatest cash of her career.

2. Lee Nelson


Lee Nelson is unquestionably an expert in the realm of poker.

Nelson was the undisputed champion in St. Maarten in 2004.

Nelson won the Partypoker World Open in Kent, England, in 2005, and went away with $400,000 in prizes.

A poker player from Australia who earned two first-place prizes in the 2005 Crown Australian Championships game leagues.

Nelson also reached the VC Cup semi-finals in England that year.

Nelson won A$1,295,80 at the Crown Australian Championships in 2006.

By 2008, he had made nearly $2 million from live tournaments alone. As of 2012, Nelson had triumphed at the Victoria Championships. He likes to play slow and steady, knowing that this is what it takes to go big and go home.

3. Neil Mcfayden


The amazing victories Neil Mcfayden has had in online poker tournaments, where he has demonstrated his extraordinary talents, have made him the most well-known individual.

He’s one of the country’s greatest casino game players.

MCfayden won $200,000 in the Party Poker May Madness $1 Million Guaranteed in 2008.

He has also won the Triple Crown three times.

Mcfayden is no longer as involved in the world of live tournament casinos as he once was.

Mcfayden, on the other hand, won his first important live poker event in 2018, taking home $76,861 at the GUKPT Luton main event.

Following the $5k High Roller Event in Kyrenia, Cyprus, where Macfayden finished 12th, he made three trips to the Merit Poker Cup final tables.

4. Tae Hoon Han


Tae Hoon Han is another successful New Zealand poker player.

One of his proudest professional poker achievements was winning the PokerStars Main Event in Korea.

He was compensated $73,954 for his victory.

He is rated 16th on the list of New Zealand’s all-time richest persons, with a net worth of $355,000 as of 2021.

For the first time, he competed in the 2012 ANZPT, finishing ninth in the NZ$300 + 30 No Limit Hold’em – Deepstack competition. He has had a ton of big appearances by 2022, winning serious amounts of cash.

He finished second in the 2016 KRW150,000 + 15,000 No Limit Hold’em – Deepstack Turbo tournament on the Asian Poker Tour, earning $1,187. Considering his approach, age & strategy, he is in for big wins.

5. Hamish Crawshaw


Keep an eye on Hamish Crawshaw, a New Zealand rookie poker player who won $160,000 in the 2019 WPT Vietnam.

But that wasn’t his only notable victory that year.

In addition, he created a tournament record by winning around $240,000 in the main event of the Star Sydney Championships.

That was the largest win in his brief poker career.

The Manawatu poker champion also won a shot clock tournament at the Aussie Millions in Melbourne and the main event of the Asian Poker Tour in Taiwan.

Crawshaw has won a large number of races in a short period of time and has earned more than $1 million in his career.

He has nine event wins and 29 final table appearances, totaling 47 live cashes.

6. Simon Watt


Simon Watt, a heads-up cash game specialist from Auckland who has made a significant effect and impression, is the country’s sole WSOP bracelet winner.

When he won in 2010, he knocked poker pro Tom Dwan off the top spot!

Watt received not only the bracelet, but also a $600,000 bonus.

Watt, on the other hand, won the APPT Auckland in 2009, his first victory in a major event.

He had previously earned less than $500, so the $209,000 he received as a prize was a significant increase.

Watt’s victory in the bracelet game will go down in New Zealand’s poker history. A bit unpredictable, young and eccentric, he is a serious opponent worth mentioning.

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