More than a feeling: Vargas, McDonnell headline emotional QPC homecoming

Colombia’s Luis ‘Lucho’ Vargas has made history as the first international player to win the WPT League Quarterly Poker Championship (QPC) Main Event.

The 29-year-old poker prodigy, who took up the game after moving to Australia two years ago, put on a final table masterclass to break through for the biggest tournament win of his career, conquering a field of 1,444 entries for $37,000 in prize money.

Vargas’ crew – known as Los Parceros, or ‘good friends’ in Spanish – were the first to embrace their champion after the final river fell; Vargas was especially grateful for the support and guidance from his best friend and mentor Jeison Berdugo, who finished runner-up to Phil Stamler in the record-breaking QPC Gold Coast Main Event last year.

Lucho Vargas and the Los Parceros

“To be honest, I can’t describe my happiness right now,” Vargas told PokerMedia Australia in the moments after his breakthrough victory.

“I’ve been battling for a long time, but after meeting Jeison when I first came to Australia, he and I have studied a lot with our friends and they have helped me take my game to the next level.”

QPC TWEED MAIN EVENT – FINAL TABLE RESULTS ($175 buy-in, 1,444 entries, 153 players paid)

1stLucho VargasColombia$37,000
2ndAndrew KimberAustralia$23,170
3rdChris MyersAustralia$16,790
4thRon RankinAustralia$12,760
5thCamilla CiaraAustralia$9,720
6thShannon WillingtonAustralia$7,490
7thLouis WongAustralia$5,820
8thElise DepauwFrance$4,600
9thAroha NgataAustralia$3,660

It was also a deeply bittersweet moment for Tim McDonnell, who took down the QPC Super High Roller against fellow Novocastrian Craig Scott the night before.

The WPT League Newcastle franchisee fought bravely to honour the memory of his brother Tom, who tragically passed away from a cardiac arrest earlier this month.

Tears of joy also flowed for Noman Mirza, who stormed home for his first ring in the $450 buy-in High Roller, and in a moving display of compassion and solidarity, Volodymyr Platonenko donated all his winnings to aid his fellow Ukrainians after winning the Teams Event alongside Alex Lees.

Tim McDonnell celebrates with the Newcastle crew

In other major results, Justin Gordon scored his fourth career QPC title after winning the Deep Stack Event and Adam Thaggard picked up his second ring after defeating 2020 QPC Main Event Champion Rauran Toye in the Ultimate Terminator.

Even with the challenges arising from the severe storms and flooding throughout the week, the QPC’s return to its traditional home at the Seagulls Club in Tweed Heads proved a great success, bringing in more than $900,000 in total prize pools.

For more information, including images, results and feature table broadcasts from the QPC Tweed series, head to the WPTL Live Facebook page or visit

PokerMedia Australia: Official Media Partners of the WPT League SEQ QPC

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