DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Dennis Soriano, a 32-year old sales engineer based in this city, captured the seventh leg of the P10 million Philippine PokerTour Wednesday morning.
Soriano came back from the brink of defeat to beat another Davao-based player, Rodel Amplayo in their grueling heads up at the Metro Card Club here.
Down almost 4 to 1 in the chip count at the start of their showdown, Soriano, banked on two crucial hands in the stretch to regain the lead and never looked back to pocket the P330,000 top prize and earn a seat to the Final Table of Champions in March which will choose a Philippine representative to the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas next year.
After being crippled by Soriano in two crucial hands, Amplayo, the Day 1B top qualifier, went all in with 7d 10d with his few remaining chips but the former immediately called with his Ah Qd.
The board ran 9h Qs 2s 8h 3s in favor of Soriano who punched his fist in the air in triumph, sending his supporters in the gallery in wild celebration.
“I never thought I could still come back,” said a jubilant Soriano who was only enjoined by a friend to join the tournament.
Amplayo settled for the P160,000 runner-up prize. Amplayo also rued the wild quads of three in a previous deal which allowed Soriano to halve the pot.
Finishing third in what proved to be an all-Davao show in the final day was Ian Failma followed by Oliver Bagarinan, Jib Garcia, Popit Uy, Michael Datumanong, Donny Ong, and Henry Nucum in that order. Edwin Marzan took the No Limit Hold’em Freezeout side event while Marianne Papworth won the Ladies tournament at the expense of Rose Newman.
The other side events saw Leo Inocentes taking the Head Hunter tournament over Jam Abella and Jojo Allado; Tata Cadandang winning the Pot Limit Omaha and Jason Zafra bagging the Six-handed event. Soriano, whose biggest paycheck so far was when he won P50,000 in winning a P100,000 tournament in nearby Digos, thus became the third Davaoeño to rule a leg in the nationwide series after musician Rebel Magdagasang and Juan Auggie Nasser who took the second and fifth legs respectively. PPT founder, lawyer Jojo Allado said the tour will return to this city Dec. 14-19 for the eighth leg.