Manila Megastack 4: John Tech leads Day 1a of the Main Event
Day 1a of the 2M Guaranteed Main Event has been bagged and tagged with 22 players remaining out of 163 entries. With these numbers, we are looking at possibly surpassing the guarantee by another million. But that's still a wait and see. For now, the story of the day was undoubtedly the big stacks taking control of their respective tables.
Ending the day as the overwhelming chip leader was Filipino poker pro John Tech with 681k chips.
Tech began his rise in the middle of the day by eliminating several players including fellow countryman Jessie Leonarez. During the hand, Leonarez was all in with two pair but with one card to go, Tech took the lead with trips on the river. From then on he dominated the felt. After his table broke, Tech saw his chips take a dip at his new table, losing a pot against Justin Worth and doubling up Joven Huerto, but it would not shake his game, instead he bounced right back and took full control. He earned his last two pots of the day by eliminating Sim Jae Kyung aka Simba, and winning a big hand against another big stack, Ben Ong.
Running second-in-rank was Korean player Jae Wook Shin with 382k chips. Shin had an unbelievable card rush in the middle of the day, and won every single one of them. He had ace-king three times and pocket queens that would end the day of returning champion Euryd Rivera. We also witnessed Shin eliminate Singaporean poker pro Bryan Huang.
Germany's Sebastian Benz ranks third at the end of the day with 377k chips. Benz claimed a huge pot when he eliminated both Ashley de Guzman and John King simultaneously. The hand was a bit odd as King had a sizable amount of chips yet decided to shove it in the middle with 8♠7♠. Benz and all the players at the table were shocked to see King's hand but in the end, Benz was happy as his pocket kings held up bringing him into the chip leader's bracket.
Capping the top five were Canada's Linh Tran and Filipino player Ronald Dimaano both with 309k chips. At one point in the tournament, Tran was in survival mode and shoved holding queen-nine offsuit. He doubled up when he found a pair on the board. Towards the end of the night, he doubled up again when his jack-ten paired on the board against Shin's ace-queen. As for Dimaano, he eliminated two players with his pocket kings and skyrocketed in chips. He managed his stack well for the remaining levels to finish the day in the top five.
It was a fairly smooth-sailing day at the felt however at one of the tables, it seemed that the tournament directors were always being sought after. Tournament director Danny McDonagh joked around on the mic, "table nine you have no more call a friend, call the floor option left". That gave everyone a chuckle.
One thing not to chide about however were the casualties of the day. Mike Kim, Iori Yogo, Dave Colclough, and Sparrow Cheung, were just some of the players who could not survive the battle at the felt. For Cheung, we caught a hand where he lost a big pot to Jester Intia. Intia had pocket threes that landed a set over Cheung's ace-king top pair. You can read up on some of today's action in the Manila Megastack 4 Updates.
Congratulations to all the qualifiers! We will be returning for day 1b at 12:15PM tomorrow.
Manila Megastack 4 Main Event Qualifiers:
John Tech - Philippines - 681K
Jae Wook Shin - Korea - 382K
Sebastian Benz - Germany - 377K
Ronald Dimaano - Philippines - 309K
Linh Tran - Canada - 309K
Kok Hong Fo - Singapore - 266K
Roden Munoz - Philippines - 263K
Joven Huerto - Philippines - 254K
Trifie Montebon - Philippines - 225K
Anthony Gabitan - Philippines - 224K
Justin Worth - Australia - 202K
Pang Kwon Yuen - Malaysia - 198K
Brice Augustyn - France - 169K
Ben Ong - Philippines - 163K
Darshan Sami - UK - 154K
Digno Camacho - Philippines - 146K
Soo Jo Kim - Korea - 127K
Eugene Co - Philippines - 113K
Danilo Munoz - Philippines - 85K
Franklin Acfalle - United States - 84K
Tran Hong Hai - Vietnam - 82K
Nominel Maturan - Philippines - 82K