Antonio De La Cruz Won His First Trophy, But Not the One He Wanted

2020 Lucky Hearts Poker Open
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Hollywood, Florida
Event 21
$400 Deep Stack Black Chip Bounty (Re-Entry)
$50,000 Guaranteed
Entries:  171
Prize Pool:  $41,040
Bounty Prize Pool:  $17,100
January 19, 2020

Event 21 Champion Antonio De La Cruz
Event 21 Champion Antonio De La Cruz

Antonio De La Cruz entered the $3,500 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship, but didn’t make it to Day 2, which played out in the tournament area on Sunday. That freed up De La Cruz to enter Event 21 ($400 Deep Stack Black Chip Bounty), and he ended up winning that event to earn more money than any of the players who busted on Day 2 of the championship.

It’s also the first trophy of De La Cruz’s poker career.

“It’s nice,” said De La Cruz. “So many tournaments you final table, and you try so hard to win. I’ve been so close so many times, so I’m happy to win one.” Then De La Cruz pointed to the area where final 54 players in the championship event bagged up just an hour or two earlier. “I just wish it was that one.”

After the elimination of Jason Nablo in third place, De La Cruz had more than a 2-to-1 chip lead over Yulia Lisichkina (2,305,000 to 1,115,000). After a brief negotiation, De La Cruz and Lisichkina agreed to an ICM deal to split the remainder of the prizepool.

“Yulia was a really good player,” said De La Cruz. “I watched her play a lot during this tournament, and she played almost flawlessly. I really wanted to be heads-up with Nablo rather than her.”

Final Table Results:

1st:  Antonio De La Cruz  –  $9,598* + LHPO Trophy
2nd:  Yulia Lisichkina  –  $8,327*
3rd:  Jason Nablo  –  $4,209
4th:  Christopher Wilson  –  $2,561
5th:  David Howard  –  $1,976
6th:  Stephen Vecchio  –  $1,637
7th:  Oleksandr Vikhtiuk  –  $1,416
8th:  Solange Lucas  –  $1,239
9th:  Michael Hoch  –  $1,079

* Indicates a heads-up deal.