Edwin Dela Cruz wins the Poker Dream Manila Main Event

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In Manila, Philippines, local player Edwin Dela Cruz outlasted the 499 entry field to be crowned the newest Poker Dream Main Event champion! Dela Cruz entered the final table as chip leader, and after a grueling three-hour heads up battle against England’s Alessandro Taranto, he clinched it to seize the Golden Dream Trophy and the handsome PHP 5,510,000 (~US$ 99,400) top prize.

Congratulations to the champ!

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The win comes just two months after winning the inaugural U Series of Poker live series Main Event title in Taiwan. In a brief interview with Somuchpoker, Dela Cruz expressed,

“This win is very special. This is my second golden trophy and it is very precious and expensive. I am so overwhelmed and so happy. I’ve been studying so hard for two months and I was able to apply what I’ve learned both live and online. It helped most especially to become more successful live.”

The newly minted champion was at a loss of words on how he would celebrate his big win however he did share that a break for a few weeks may be first on his agenda.

It was a thrilling final table battle. Dela Cruz was chip leader for a majority of the race until heads up against Taranto sent his stack swinging. Taranto was equally impressive, rising from just 4 bb to even up to 50 bb. The final hand was just as exciting as Dela Cruz spiked two pair on the flop to dust Taranto’s pocket Queens. You can read up on his final table race to victory via the SMP Live Updates.

[Live Update bite]

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Alessandro Taranto limps, big blind Edwin Dela Cruz checks the big blind, the flop comes Jh6s10s, Dela Cruz bets 300,000, Taranto calls. On the turn 3h, Dela Cruz bet 750,000, Taranto check-raises to 2,000,000, Dela Cruz shoves, Taranto snap-calls.

Dela Cruz 10h6d two pair
Taranto QdQc overpair

The river 8d completes the board. Taranto is eliminated in 2nd place.

Main Event info

The Poker Dream Manila Main Event took place at the Grand Wing of Newport World Resorts. 499 entered over three starters to surge past the guarantee for a prize pool of PH₱ 28,751,400 (~US$ 519,480). The top 76 players earned a cut with the biggest portions claimed by the finalists. Among the players that came close to the title was GPI National Philippines winner David Erquiaga in 9th place. 

Date: May 4-7, 2023
Buy in: PH₱ 66,000 (~US$ 1,200)
Guarantee: PH₱ 20,000,000 (~US$ 360,960)
Total Entries: 499
Prize pool: PH₱ 28,751,400 (~US$ 519,480)
ITM: 76 players

Place Player Flag
Payouts in PH₱
1 Edwin Dela Cruz Philippines 5,510,000
2 Alessandro Taranto Italy 3,460,000
3 Terry Gonzaga Philippines 2,471,382
4 Tor Anton Welo Norway 1,946,000
5 Ryan McAllister USA 1,523,000
6 William Teoh Malaysia 1,184,000
7 Valeriy Pak Uzbekistan 885,000
8 Nicola Montalbano Italy 609,000
9 David Erquiaga Philippines 499,000

The complete payout list can be found in the FESTIVAL RESULTS.

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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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