A relatively unknown South African player, Daniel Brits, scored his first major tournament win against some formidable opponents to win the $3,300 buy-in World Poker Tour Emperors Palace Classic main event in Johannesburg Monday.
Working his way through an entry field of 190 other players that generated a prize pool of $561,527, Brits survived a tough final table and a three hour gruelling heads up against Eugene Du Plessis to claim the honours and the $132,128 main prize.
Among his opponents was German tournament ace Dominik Nitsche, one of the top players in the world who was intent on winning a back-to-back WPT title on his South African visit. As things panned out, he was eliminated at fourth.
Du Plessis looked like a winner as final table action started on the fourth day of the tournament; he was playing well, dominating the action and holding almost 50 percent of the chips in play.
However, his lead had diminished by the time the heads up against Brits was reached, and the two battled on for three hours before the South African managed to secure the advantage and triumph, leaving Du Plessis with a runner up prize of $92,708.
Brits was clearly delighted at such a noteworthy performance in his first major live tournament…and his biggest win yet.
Other final table pay-outs were:
•3. Rob Fenner $59,634
•4. Dominik Nitsche $44,136
•5. Wesley Wiegand $33,130
•6. Ronit Chamani $26,504