The Asian Poker Tour announced yesterday that Enrique del Prado will be returning to defend his title at APT Philippines 2012 on April 19-25. Last year, Del Prado took home USD $179,260 when he became the APT’s oldest Main Event champion, outlasting a field of 231 players and snatching the title from young-gun Elton Tsang at heads up.
Predictably, the 70-year-old Del Prado has a long poker history behind him after starting playing when he was a teenager. “I grew up in Cebu and in our house we had mahjong and then poker – Filipino poker, not Texas Hold’em, which was Draw poker and Stud variations. Since I was 16 there was a poker game in our house,” said Del Prado when Poker Portal Asia caught up with him recently.
“In Manila we started around five years ago. I was one of the pioneers and, as a matter of fact, I got a lot of trophies. But the prizes before were not that big, just PHP 30,000 and the buy-in was PHP 500. We all started at the Airport Casino.”
From such beginnings, winning an APT Main Event title must have felt pretty good. “It was wonderful, of course. Wherever I go they now call me Champ.”
But Del Prado notes that it hasn’t all been smooth sailing poker-wise since his win. “I am wary of going in the cash games now because every time people are going ‘hey champion’ and they are watching me. That’s the disadvantage of being the champion, because everybody will be watching you. They know me now so when you make a bet, instead of immediately calling or folding, they will think harder about it. If you lose, they say, ‘Well, the champion can be beaten’.”
Things have also been pretty quiet in terms of tournaments for Del Prado, who is also a real estate consultant in his day job. A work commitment forced him to miss APT Asian Series Cebu in January, but he is looking forward to APT Philippines. The question is, will we be seeing the same playing style from him as last time, when on the final table and particularly at heads up with Tsang, he snap-called his opponents in almost every hand he played?
The answer is possibly, but not in the early stages of the tournament as Del Prado elaborated, “The problem is my age, I became tired. And at heads up if we were going to continue another two hours or three hours I would be dead. That’s the disadvantage if you are older. If you are young you have a lot of energy. So I knew I had to finish the tournament early.”
We suggested that Del Prado have a stash of Red Bull on hand to keep up with his younger opponents, but, on reflection, that may have the same effect. Either way, we are looking forward to seeing Del Prado in action once again. He may even teach us a thing or two, “If you have time later I will explain to you the poker games of the Philippines.”
We may just take him up on that.
Latest Featured Articles
After a historic year, the Asian Poker Tour (APT) looks to start off 2013 with the APT Asian Series Cebu. The eight-day event is scheduled from January 23rd to the 30th in ... Read More
Another major tournament, another excellent finish from the Englishman. Sam Razavi, from the United Kingdom capped off 2012 with a 2nd runner-up finish at the inaugural World Poker Tour (WPT) China which ... Read More
The Asian Poker Tour (APT) season is about to close but with the APT India 2012 as its final event for the year, it feels like just a new beginning because of ... Read More
After 4 days of poker action, Vietnam's Ha Duong wins the first APT Asian Series Cambodia main event defeating Jan-Eric Schwippert of Germany. Read More
The APT Asian Series Cambodia, the first major international event staged in Cambodia, has now reached its main event final table. Ha Doung from Vietnam, Day 2 chip leader, remained consistent and ... Read More
From a starting field of 122 players for APT’s inaugural main event in Cambodia, just 49 have won through to today’s Day 2 of the event. Read More
The first-ever Asian Poker Tour (APT) Asian Series Cambodia kicks off today at the Las Vegas Sun Hotel and Casino, Svay Rieng, Cambodia. Read More