Del Prado on Defending his APT Philippines Title | Poker Portal Asia - Your Guide to Poker in Asia Poker Portal Asia

Del Prado on Defending his APT Philippines Title

Enrique del PradoEnrique del Prado

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.

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