Daniel Brits won a remarkable victory in the WPT Emperors Palace Poker Classic Main Event, beating long time chip leader Eugene du Plessis in the heads-up.
The final table of the WPT Emperors Palace Poker Classic Main Event promised to be a fascinating conclusion to the five days of action witnessed so far in South Africa, and we were not to be disappointed.
Going into the final table, Eugene du Plessis had built a commanding lead over his five opponents after crippling former chip lead Matt Lawrence in a monster hand on Day 3, but he was being pursued by Daniel Brits – who had recovered from being down to a handful of blinds on the penultimate day to be second on the leaderboard – and Dominik Nitsche, who won this event last year.
|#||WPT Emperors Palace Poker Classic||Chips|
|1||Eugene du Plessis||2,635,000|
Sensational Start Sees Chamani Sent to the Rail
Ronit Chamani´s dreams of becoming the first woman to win an open WPT Main Event were squashed within a few hands of the WPT Emperors Palace final table. Chamani had already shoved twice without getting any takers, but decided to call Rob Fenner´s all-in bet and then Wesley Wiegand also moved all-in over the top to create a massive pot between all three short stacks.
Wesley Wiegand A♦ K♦
Rob Fenner A♣ 10♠
Ronit Chamani A♥ J♥
The pre-flop hands revealed that Wiegand was ahead of the other two players, but the flop of 10♣ 5♣ 3♦ put Rob Fenner ahead in the hand. Further clubs on the Turn (3♣) and River (Q♣) enabled Fenner to complete his flush draw and send Ronit Chamani to the rail in sixth, while Wesley Wiegand´s stack was reduced to just 75,000 chips (blinds now 15,000/30,000 – ante 5,000).
Wiegand Busts – Nitsche Crippled and Gone
With less than three Big Blinds remaining, Wesley Wiegand wasted no time in getting the last of his chips in, and was bust in fifth when Daniel Brits A♦ K♠ paired his Ace on the flop. Rob Fenner also made inroads on Eugene du Plessis´ chip lead when doubling up against Dominik Nitsche in another sensational hand in which Nitsche (10♦ 9♥) had flopped trip Tens, but Fenner (2♥ 2♦) had flopped a Full House.
Dominik Nitsche (A♦ J♦) looked like he was going to double back up immediately against Daniel Brits (A♠ Q♦) in the very next hand after he had paired his Jack on the flop of K♦ J♣ 8♣; but the 10♣ on the Turn gave Brits a Broadway straight and, with no Queen on the River to chop the pot, the former champion was eliminated from the WPT Emperors Palace Poker Classic in fourth spot.
Du Plessis Goes Short and Bounces Back
An intriguing battle developed as the game went three-handed in Level 26 (blinds 20,000/40,000 – ante 5,000) as Daniel Brits moved into the chip lead after rivering a pair of Kings against Rob Fenner, and then Fenner doubled up against Eugene du Plessis (pocket Aces > pocket Threes) to relegate the former chip leader to the position of short-stack. Du Plessis doubled back against Fenner J♣ 10♣ > A♠ K♣ when flopping the 10♥ and his pair of Tens holding, before eliminating Fenner in third in another gripping hand.
On a flop of Q♥ 7♣ 4♥, du Plessis (7♥ 6♥) four-bet all-in and was called by Fenner (10♥ 9♥). Di Plessis was ahead with his middle pair, but Fenner needed any heart for a better Flush draw. Fortunately for du Plessis, the board completed with the 3♠ and K♣ and Fenner was eliminated in third – Eugene du Plessis taking 2.69 million chips into the heads-up against Daniel Brits´ 3.04 million chips.
Heads-Up Battle Lasts for Three Hours
After the final table of the WPT Emperors Palace Poker Classic had taken less than two hours to be reduced to two players, it was not inconceivable that there would be a fast conclusion to the tournament; however a remarkable heads-up encounter ensued in which the chip advantage changed several times without either player being all-in.
Towards the end of level 30 (blinds 50,000/100,000 – ante 15,000) Brits had moved into a 3:1 chip lead, but du Plessis doubled back into the chip lead in the first all-in confrontation of the heads-up 7♣ 7♦ > K♥ 8♦. Brits grabbed the advantage back almost immediately when his A♦ 10♠ was good enough to take down a 1½ million chip pot and, as Level 31 began, had moved back into a 2:1 chip advantage.
The final hand was a corker, and a fitting conclusion to the action that had preceded it. Du Plessis had made it 200,000 chips to play from the button. Brits had called and both players saw the flop of Q♦ 7♠ 2♦. Brits initially checked his hand in the post-flop betting, but after du Plessis had made a continuation bet of another 200,000 chips, Brits announced he was all-in and du Plessis made the call.
Brits Q♠ 8♦ for top pair
Du Plessis J♦ 7♦ for middle pair and flush draw
The Turn 9♣ and River Q♣ gave Daniel Brits trip Queens, and he had become the newest member of the WPT Champions Club by taking down the Emperors Palace Poker Classic Main Event.
|#||WPT Emperors Palace Main Event||Prize|
|1||Daniel Brits||$ 132,128|
|2||Eugene du Plessis||$ 92,708|
|3||Rob Fenner||$ 59,634|
|4||Dominik Nitsche||$ 44,136|
|5||Wesley Wiegand||$ 33,130|
|6||Ronit Chamani||$ 26,504|