Canberra’s Emmanuel Derecho has won the WPT League Sydney Championship Main Event, dominating an incredibly fast final table to take home the trophy and a first-place prize worth a total of $105,000.
The quietly spoken PLO cash game professional entered the final day with a commanding chip lead and didn’t look back, eliminating six of his eight opponents and sealing the deal within three hours of the first hand being dealt.
In fact, it took just 90 minutes for play to reach three-handed and although runner-up Prithvi Nejjur briefly threatened to make a contest of it, Derecho never surrendered the chip lead at any stage throughout.
“I’m feeling really good. I feel amazing,” the 30-year-old told PokerMedia Australia after claiming top prize, comprising $90,000 in cash, a $10,000 WPT Las Vegas package and a $5,500 diamond encrusted gold ring.
“I arrived today wanting to stay aggressive and to keep up the pace I was playing the past few days. I thought I should be able to take some chips that aren’t supposed to be mine and hopefully get into favourable situations.”
Asked if he had planned for his opponents to hit the rail so rapidly, Derecho replied, “I was very surprised how quickly it went down. After 90 mins we were already 6-handed and I think it was the quickest final table I’ve ever played.
“But I ran so good – I can’t complain., A lot of situations went my way and my flips were holding. That’s why I found myself in that position.”
Despite his dominant display, Derecho remained modest to the end and admitted he still has plenty to learn on the tournament circuit.
“I quite enjoy tournaments because I don’t play them as much as I play PLO,” he explained. “I still have a lot to learn and there are a lot of situations I’m not familiar with but I do strive to improve and during series I stop looking at PLO study and focus on tournament study. I’ve got a long, long way to go.
“So I’m just trying to make money and travel the world, all that stuff.”
As for where his winnings are headed?
“I’ll buy some crypto and some stocks that I hold as well, add on while the market is down. I’ll spend some money and enjoy myself too, then put some in my bankroll so I can play some higher stakes,” he said.
First stop for Derecho will be the WPT World Championship in Las Vegas alongside Player of the Series Tim De Pater – both emerging with a $10k Vegas package after starring in a record-breaking series for WPT League Sydney.
The Main Event alone attracted a record field of 748 entries, creating a healthy $448,800 prize pool in yet another indication that grassroots poker in Australia just keeps getting healthier.
Congratulations once again to Bruno Rao and the team at Pavilion Poker Room in St John’s Bowling Club– home of WPT League Sydney – and specifically to Emmanual Derecho, our 2022 WPT League Sydney Championship Main Event winner!
WPT League Sydney Championship Final Table Placings: