Anniversary Special: Hassan Leads Day 1a with 8 Remaining
After roughly around 5 hours of regulation play, day 1a of the PokerStars Live Manila Anniversary Special Main Event ended with 8 players out of 59 surviving the night. Sitting on top with the largest stack was Carlo Aziz Hassan from the United Kingdom with 190,000 chips.
Hassan climbed to the chip leader's seat when he eliminated Filipino player Adora Gonzaga to close out day 1a. Hassan had pocket eights and Gonzaga had pocket kings. The board gave Hassan an eight for a set and enough chips to surpass Filipino player Joseph Sia who finished in second rank with 165,000 chips.
Taking third position was Filipino player Anacleto Quijano who was the runner-up at the Manila Megastack 4 in December. Quijano was very active at the felt and eliminated Filipino player Joven Huerto with a flush of clubs late in the night. Quijano bagged up 129,000 chips.
Without a doubt, Filipino player Elmo Celi experienced the most ups and downs that we saw all day. Celi avoided elimination numerous times with his ace hole card seeming to always find a match on the board against players holding fairly big pairs. Another player to survive day 1a was Korean player Juyoung Lee. Lee had a big chip lead in the middle of regulation play when he railed Filipino poker pro Lester Edoc and doubled up against Rebei Karim. He skyrocketed to over 150k, well past all the other players still left in the field. He would lose a chunk of it though to end the day just under six digits.
Out of the three other remaining survivors, Filipino player Edel Pajarillo, Australia's Kenneth Buck, and USA's Michael Melendres, it was Melendres who brought up the rear with the shortest stack. Melendres had some tough battles during the final hands of the night where he gave up two hands that he had initially raised.
The day also saw its fair share of fallen notables such as Filipino poker pros Lester Edoc and John Tech. For Tech, we did catch him lose to Ronnnie Tate with his pocket eights landing a set but Tate connecting with a top pair that turned into a wild backdoor nut flush.
The Anniversary Special Main Event ended during Level 20 with the blinds at 4000-8000. Day 1b will also end at the same level. For a read on some of the action at day 1a, head to the Day 1A Live Update story.
List of Day 1a Survivors
Carlo Aziz Hassan - UK -190K
Joseph Sia - Philippines - 165K
Anacleto Quijano - Philippines - 129K
Elmo Celi - Philippines - Philippines - 103K
Juyoung Lee - South Korea - 96K
Edel Pajarillo - Philippines - 94K
Kenneth Buck - Australia - 66K
Michael Melendres - USA - 41K
Just as a reminder, Day 1b will begin at 215 pm tomorrow and Day 1c will begin at 7pm tomorrow.