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Greenhithe firefighter is red hot at Poker


North Shore Times 10/06/2010

Gareth Wallis (middle)


It was "a pure fluke" that saw Greenhithe firefighter Gareth Wallis win a poker tournament fundraiser for the second year in a row.

The Sky Tower Firefighter Challenge Poker Tournament was held before the stair climb challenge which saw firefighters racing up the tower for charity.

Both events run annually to raise funds for the Leukaemia and Blood Foundation.

Winning the tournament meant the Greenhithe Fire Brigade got to donate the proceeds combined with the funds they raised for the stair climb to the foundation.

"We got close to our target of $2000," Mr Wallis says.

He says seven Greenhithe firefighters entered the tournament to boost their chances of winning.

More than 40 firefighters from around Auckland and a team from Seattle competed.

Mr Wallis says he won by chance and will try his luck next year to see if he has any real skill.

Eleven Greenhithe firefighters competed in the stair climb kitted out in full protective gear and 25kg equipment.

"Most people bet their times from last year."

Mr Wallis decided to focus on the poker this time but says he might compete in the stair climb next year.

A record 80 fire brigades did the climb and $140,000 was raised.