Edwin Dela Cruz wins inaugural USOP Poker2U Taiwan Series Main Event for TWD 3,060,000 (~$100.8K)


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Edwin Dela Cruz

Courage to make bold moves was the game-changer for Edwin Dela Cruz at the U Series of Poker: Poker2U Taiwan Series. The Filipino player emerged as the first ever USOP live festival Main Event champion taking home the title, trophy, and a career high score of TWD 3,060,000 (~$100,800). In a brief chat with Cruz, he expressed his joy while clutching the trophy,

“Overwhelming! I feel great! I prayed for this, this is precious! I love this trophy! I am so happy. I studied hard for this.”

Cruz also shared that his most crucial moment was at Day 2, when the field was down to 14 players. With a 24 BB pot built, Korean player Seong Su Kong bet half pot on the river and Cruz tank-called with Ace-King. It was the right decision as Kong also missed the board with Ace-rag. The win boosted Cruz’s confidence – and chips – and propelled him to the final day.

Read up on the action via the LIVE UPDATES.

Final 8 payouts

1 Edwin Dela Cruz Philippines 3,060,000
2 Jia Song Liu 劉家菘 Taiwan 2,165,500
3 Yu Che Liu 劉運哲 Taiwan 1,404,600
4 Eric Chan Malaysia 1,038,200
5 Kun Han Lee 李昆翰 Taiwan 786,700
6 Beng Wei Ong Malaysia 632,300
7 Tiong Lek Lim Malaysia 522,600
8 Jason Lee Singapore 414,700

Click here for the complete list of PAYOUTS

Record breaking Main Event and Winner story

It was evident from the start that the USOP: Poker2U Taiwan Series was headed for a big one. From the get-go, host venue Chinese Texas Hold’em Poker Association (CTP Club) was packed daily with pre-event games. When the Main Event arrived, the numbers continued to escalate as players from around the world joined the locals for the much anticipated inaugural event.

In the aftermath, it produced a record 1,043 entries to be hailed as the largest turnout in Taiwan for an international event. In addition, the prize pool was applaudable, ballooning from TWD 10M to a jaw dropping TWD 18,210,800 (~$600,200).

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Buy in: TWD 20,000 (~$660)
Guarantee: TWD 10,000,000 (~$329,600)
Entries: 1,043
Prize pool: TWD 18,210,800 (~$600,200)
ITM: 133 players

Running from February 15 to 19, the massive field trimmed to 132 players into Day 2. Cruz was among the big stacks having topped the counts at Day 1B. His strong run continued as he closed the heat running third in chips out of 11 players.

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Entering the final day, Cruz had 41 BB to start but unlike the previous days, it was rough-going. He managed to reach the final table with a decent 26 BB however the challenges continued, driving his stack south to the lowest of 14 BB. The tides shifted when he caught a break with pocket Queens dominating pocket Sixes to eliminate Tiong Lek Lim in 7th place.

Two busts later, it was down to four-handed. Cruz won a big pot against Yu Che Liu to catapult to the top. This was the first time he was ahead on the final day but it was brief. Cruz found himself on the worst end of a three-way shove to pay the short stacks. The Filipino was just about done when his Qd9s shove was behind Yu Che Liu’s AdQs, but a Nine was rivered to survive.

The next showdown was once again a three-way. Cruz delivered a doubled KO with JhJd spiking the two-outer to decimate Yu Che Liu’s AdAh and Eric Chan’s As9s. This brought about heads up with Jia Song Liu slightly ahead of Cruz.

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It only took two heads up hands to close it out. After winning the first pot Cruz overtook and proceeded to  three-bet shove with KcQh, he was snap-called by Liu with AcKs, the board ran Qc4h8s9sKh.

Congratulations to Edwin Dela Cruz, the first USOP Poker2U live festival Main Event champion!

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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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