Manila Megastack 5: Japan's Daiki Iijima wins the Kickoff event
The first event of the Manila Megastack 5, the P2M Guaranteed Kickoff event, concluded this evening at the Grand Ballroom of City of Dreams Manila with Japan's Daiki Iijima defeating Filipino player Christopher Mateo at the heads up round to claim the first side event trophy of the festival. The Kickoff event at PokerStars Live Manila saw a total of 333 entries , and coming into today's final round, they were down to 35 hopefuls, each looking to score the first big payout.
Coming into the heads up round, Iijima and Mateo had close to even stacks. Clearly it was anybody's game. But how Iijima won was very intrigueing in that Iijima won all his hands against Mateo with ace-queen. In their first critical altercation at the final table, Iijima doubled up with A♦Q♠ against Mateo's A♠3♠ on a board of 6♣A♣2♦4♥T♦. Several hands later, he won a massive pot against Mateo again with his A♣Q♣ landing trips. Before the heads up round, Iijima eliminated Filipino player Julian Tolentino with his A♣J♣ connecting with a flush on the board against Tolentino's pocket tens. Then the final hand of the night saw Iijima holding his winnning A♥Q♣ again and Mateo with A♦3♠. Due to a deal struck, they split the top two prize money and each received P522,224 plus a Main Event seat to the Asia Pacific Poker Tour 10 Manila (APPT).
Throughout the final day of the Kickoff event, it was Mateo who was on fire. He eliminated players left and right and was not afraid to defend his big blind and his raises. His first big scoop was against Switzerland's Oleg Mordassov with A♥A♣, and then India's Jayde Fernandes with 5♠8♠ that landed a pair on the river, and Germany's Heiko Kilmanschewsky with his J♣J♥ landing a flush against A♥K♦. At the final table, Mateo exposed Frenchman David Perreau's all in bluff and booted him out of the table as the first casualty. When the field was down to 7 players, he scalped two of them simultaneously with his pocket queens, Sweden's Thomas Larsen and Denmark's John Riad. His momentum seemed unstoppable especially when he made a big call against Filipino player Luke Pangan who shoved. Mateo won with his A♥4♦ against Pangan's J♣T♣. He eliminated India's Piyush Gupta next with his ace-jack dominating Gupta's ace-nine. However, the bludgeoning was put to an end against Ijima who may not have had many big stories but it was the one player who just kept banking on him.
There was a lot of great poker action at the Kickoff's final day so have a read in the Manila Megastack Kickoff Final Day Updates.
Final Table payouts
1st Daiki Iijima - Japan - P522,224 plus APPT 10 Manila Main Event seat
2nd Christopher Mateo - Philippines - P522,224 plus APPT 10 Manila Main Event seat
3rd Julian Tolentino - Philippines - P250,000
4th Piyush Gupta - India - P195,000
5th Luke Pangan - Philippines - P147,000
6th Thomas Larsen - Sweden - P123,000
7th John Riad - Denmark - P123,000
8th Soomil Kweon - Korea - P80,000
9th Jing Liang Chen - China - P64,000
10th David Perreau - France - P52,000
*Everyone who qualified into the Kickoff Final Day were already in the money.