Manila Megastack 7: Wu wins after epic heads-up battle

Po-yi Wu Megastack 7 Champ.jpg

Taiwan's Po-yi Wu defeated Canada's Linh Tran to win his first major tournament title after an epic back-and-forth heads-up battle that took 26 hands to play out. 

The two players made a deal before heads-up began with Wu guaranteed a payday of at least ₱2,147,300 (~US$43,520) and Tran ₱1,900,000 (~$38,470) with the two playing for the spare ₱100,000, the trophy, title and a package worth the equivalent of HK$11,000 (₱100,000/$2,000) in the Asia Championship of Poker Megastack, which will run in Macau in mid-October.

While Wu began heads-up with over a 2-1 chip lead, this disappeared in the first hand after the Taiwanese player chose to triple-barrel bluff Tran. Unfortunately for Wu he was forced to fold out on the river in an 8-million-chip-pot when he fired for 2 million and Tran moved all-in for just 245,000 more. 

That saw Tran seize the lead for all of one hand before the two got all the chips in on a 4♥4♦6♥ flop. While Tran had king-jack suited for a flush draw, Wu had flopped trips with four-two suited, which held to see the Taiwanese player take back control.

The chip lead changed hands on numerous occasions before the two players got all the chips in pre-flop, with Wu's queen-ten offsuit trailing to Tran's ace-queen suited. While Tran had both the chip lead and the best hand pre-flop, Wu flopped an open-ended straight draw and made Broadway on the turn to cripple the Canadian player and retake the lead. 

Eight hands later it was all over. Wu moved all-in from the button with jack-ten offsuit and Tran called off his last 2.6 million in chips with ace-three suited. Both players hit a piece of the flop with Tran catching his three and Wu hitting hit ten, improving to two pair when a jack hit the turn and the river bricked out to see Wu win his first major tournament title. 

The Taiwanese businessman dominated much of the action from two tables out to enter the final table with a commanding chip lead of over 2-1 against next closest rival Jing Wang with the final table stacking up as follows:

Manila Megastack 7 Final Table (1).jpg

Seat 1 Po-yi Wu (Taiwan) - 4,680,000
Seat 2Mohamad Zefirelli Noordin (Singapore) - 800,000
Seat 3Tetsuro Tomita (Japan) - 1,440,000
Seat 4Jing Wang (China) - 1,900,000
Seat 5Boon Leong Tan (Malaysia) - 1,370,000
Seat 6 Ireneo Javalera (Philippines) - 1,165,000
Seat 7Ying Kit Chan (Hong Kong) - 1,445,000
Seat 8Ming Suan Tan (Malaysia) - 1,115,000
Seat 9Linh Tran (Canada) - 1,300,000

It was Wang who would take the final table's first scalp with the Chinese player getting all the chips in pre-flop with ace-king against Ireneo Javalera's pocket jacks. Wang spiked his ace on the river to send the Filipino to the rail in ninth for a ₱230,000 (~$4,660) payday.

The next casualty came 45-minutes later after the short-stacked Mohamad Zefirelli Noordin got the last of his chips in with king-seven offsuit from the small blind and ran into Tetsuro Tomita's ace-eight suited with the Japanese player pairing his ace on the flop to send Noordin to the rail in eighth for ₱291,000 (~$5,860).

Unfortunately for Tomita he was next on the chopping block, falling at the hands of Wang in another blind on blind battle after moving all-in pre-flop from the small blind with ace-seven offsuit and running into Wang's pocket eights. Tomita took home ₱555,000 (~$11,180).

Ming Suan Tan followed Tomita to the rail a scant five minutes later after a rampant Wu moved all-in from the button with ace-ten offsuit and Tan made the call from the big blind with ace-king suited. The ten-high flop signed Tan's death warrant and he departed in fifth place for a ₱710,000 (~$14,380) payday.

Hong Kong's Ying Kit Chan was another who fell to Wu, calling off the last of his chips from the big blind with ace-three offsuit after the Taiwanese player shoved from the button with pocket eights - which held to send Chan to the exit in 4th for ₱905,000 (~$18,236).

Minutes later Wang joined Chan on the rail, moving all-in from the small blind with pocket eights over the top of a Wu button raise. Unfortunately for the Chinese player Linh Tran woke up in the big blind with pocket tens and re-shoved to isolate and his larger pair held up and Wang was eliminated in third for ₱1,150,000 (~$23,172).

You can see a full list of the tournament payouts here. All that action concludes the PokerStars blog coverage of the Manila Megastack 7 but you can read a full recap of the Day 2 action here.

Linh Tran eliminated in 2nd place ₱1,900,000
Level 35 - Blinds 200,000/400,000/50,000
11:21pm:
Linh Tran 2nd.jpg

Po-yi Wu moved all-in from the button and down to his last 2.6 million in chips Tran looked down at his cards and immediately announced call and the cards were turned over.

Linh Tran: A♥3♥
Po-yi Wu: J♦T♠

This is not the first time that Tran had got all the chips in with the best hand, but it would be the last, with both players catching a piece of the 3♠T♣7♣ flop. Unfortunately for Tran, Wu's piece was bigger and the Taiwanese player extended his lead still further on the J♠ turn, though Tran still had exactly as many outs to hit as he did on the flop so this changed nothing and the Canadian would need to catch either and ace or a three on the river.

Both players were on their feet with their respective railbirds calling for their heroes hand's to hold and 50% of them got their wish when the Q♦ completed the hand and the tournament.

Tran showed real class in defeat, immediately walking over to shake Wu's hand and congratulate his opponent on his hard won victory. It's tough to come so agonizingly close and lose and the glory could have been his but fot the turn of a card. Still, that's poker. 

Wu basked in the glory of his largest ever career tournament victory and his first major tournament title and celebrated wildly with his watching Taiwanese rail as Tran headed off to the cash desk to collect the equivalent of US$38,285.

There will be a full write up and payouts to follow shortly so watch this space.


Tran doubles twice
Level 35 - Blinds 2000,000/300,000/50,000
11:15pm:

Linh Tran is showing his mettle and he is made of some pretty resilient stuff it would appear. Seeming unfazed by that brutal beat earlier the Canadian has doubled up twice. The first double happened directly after the aforementioned hand and saw Tran get his last 950,000 in from the button with T♠6♦ and eager to finish things Wu called with 2♦8♣

Both players hit the T♥2♥Q♥ flop but Tran had hit the higher pair and the J♣ turn and Q♠ river saw him climb to 2 million while Wu dropped to 13.2 million.

Two hands later Tran shoved the button again, this time for 1.5 million with T♦8♦, and Wu called quickly with J♠9♣. It was Tran's turn to triumph with the worst hand and the flop came down 8♣6♣4♦ to give the Canadian top pair.

The 5♥ turn kept Tran in the lead and the 4♠ river saw him double to 3 million to Wu's 12.2 million.

Back and forth
Level 35 - Blinds 2000,000/300,000/50,000
11:05pm:

The next eight hands of heads up saw Tran and Wu battle over several flops with the chip lead swapping hands on four separate occasions with none of the hands making it to showdown and the blinds increased to 200,000/400,000 with a 50,000 running ante before there was a massive hand that saw Tran take a big hit and Wu seize a decisive lead.

Tran had seized the lead once more and was sitting on 8.5 million to Wu's 6.7 million when Wu limped the button. Tran popped it up to 750,000 from the big blind and Wu quickly three-bet to 2 million in total. Tran thought it over and four-bet shoved with Wu calling extremely quickly and the cards were turned over.

Linh Tran: A♥Q♥
Po-yi Wu: Q♠T♥

Tran was in great shape with a dominating hand and was just five cards away from the trophy and title - so close the Canadian player could almost taste that sweet, sweet victory. 

However, tournament poker being a somewhat high-variance game the flop came down an extremely sweaty K♦8♣J♦ to give Wu an open-ended straight draw.

Unfortunately for Tran he hit top pair on the A♦ turn, which also gave Wu Broadway and he doubled to 14.2 million while Tran dropped to 1 million to give the Taiwanese player a commanding lead.

Double for Tran
Level 34 - Blinds 150,000/300,000/50,000
10:50pm:

Linh Tran is digging deep into his bag of tournament tricks and is not giving up without a fight. Four hands after losing the lead and being pressured by Wu the Canadian player did to Wu what the Taiwanese player did to Tran - flopped trips and got paid.

Down to 2.85 million at the start of the hand Tran called a Wu button raise of 700,000 and the flop came down 2♣Q♣2♠. Tran checked, Wu bet 400,000 and Tran called to swell the pot to 2 million.

The 8♠ turn saw Tran, holding K♦2♦, set his trap and check again and Wu took the bait and bet 1.2 million. Tran shoved the rest of his chips into the middle and Wu called instantly with Q♥4♠ for two pair - queens and twos. There was no queen on the river and Tran climbed back up to 5.7 million while Wu dropped to 8.4 million.

Wu retakes lead
Level 34 - Blinds 150,000/300,000/50,000
10:40pm:

Linh Tran did not get to enjoy his stint as chip leader for very long - just a single hand in fact as the fourth hand of heads-up saw the two switch positions in the pecking order once more.

Pre-flop it was Wu who was the aggressor, making it 700,000 to go from the button with Tran making the call to bring the action to a flop of 4♥4♦6♥.

Tran checked the action over to Wu, who fired for another 700,000 only to see Tran check-raise to 2 million in total. Wu had 4.5 million left behind and immediately jammed, with Tran calling just as fast and the cards were turned over.

Po-yi Wu: 2♣4♣
Linh Tran: K♥J♥

Both players had flopped big, but it was Wu who held the lead with trip fours. While Tran made a pair when the K♣ hit the turn he would need a heart or a king to finish off Wu and did not get it as the Q♣ hit the river to see the Taiwanese player snatch back the lead and climb to 12 million to Tran's 3.2 million.

Tran applies pressure
Level 34 - Blinds 150,000/300,000/50,000
10:27pm:

Wu won the second hand of heads-up with a pre-flop button raise to 800,000 and Tran won the third hand after making it 700,000 from the button and double barreling the 9♦8♠9♥ flop and 4♠ turn for 500,000 and 1 million respectively to get Wu to give it up. Wu dropped to 5.9 million to Tran's 9.2 million.

Heads-up begins, Tran snatches lead on first hand
Level 33 - Blinds 120,000/240,000/40,000
10:20pm:

The two remaining protagonists have come to a gentleman's agreement and Tran would be guaranteed ₱1,900,000 (~US$38,285) with Wu locking up ₱2,147,300 (~$43,268) with the two playing for the spare ₱100,000, the trophy and title plus a package worth the equivalent of HK$11,000 (₱100,000/$2,000) in the Asia Championship of Poker Megastack which will running in Macau in mid-October.

There was still seven minutes to play of level 33 and the very first hand saw fireworks straight away with Tran (button) making it 550,000 to go and Wu making the call. The flop came down an all red Q♥4♥8♥ and first to act, Wu fired out for 400,000, which Tran quickly called to swell the pot to 2 million.

The J♣ turn saw the Taiwanese player reach for chips, lots of chips, and he slid out two towers of red 25k chips for a bet of 1 million with Tran again making a quick call.

The 9♣ river did not slow down Wu at all, and he announced a bet of 2 million, only to see Tran jam in the rest of his chips. This was a re-raise of only 245,000 and there was over 8 million in the pot so the only reason Wu could have for not calling is the fact that he couldn't have all that much.

The Taiwanese player tanked and the clock ticked down to the end of the level before he grudgingly folded and dropped to 6.8 million leaving Tran to snatch the lead and scoop the massive pot.
 
Heads-up chip counts
Level 33 - Blinds 120,000/240,000/40,000
10:12pm:

The clock is still paused while a deal is discussed but here's how the final two are stacking up:

Seat 1 Po-yi Wu (Taiwan) - 10,985,000
Seat 9Linh Tran (Canada) - 4,235,000

Wu has over a 2-1 chip lead but the blinds are now pretty steep so we will have to wait and see what the two remaining final tablists decide.

Jing Wang eliminated in 3rd place ₱1,150,000
Level 33 - Blinds 120,000/240,000/40,000
9:50pm:
Jing Wang (1).jpg

The bust outs are coming thick and fast now with Po-yi Wu throwing his monster stack around with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Wu was at it again a few hands after Chan's elimination, making it 500,000 to go from the button.

However, for a pleasant change of pace Jing Wang shoved from the small blind and Linh Tran re-shoved from the big blind. Wu looked a little taken aback but quickly threw his hand away and it was Wang and Tran who were left to battle it out.

Jing Wang: 8♣8♦
Linh Tran: T♥T♣

Tran had the best hand and Wang covered so it was not looking good for the tournament's sole remaining Chinese player. The flop came down4♠Q♣2♣ to maintain Tran's lead and the Q♦ turn was clearly not the eight Wang needed to survive.

The T♠ river gave Tran a full house and that takes the final table down to two. The clock was paused as the trophy was brought out and Tran rose to shake Wang's hand before the Chinese player headed off to collect the equivalent of US$23,172.

Ying Kit Chan eliminated in 4th place ₱905,000
Level 33 - Blinds 120,000/240,000/40,000
9:42pm:
Ying Kit Chan.jpg

Linh Tran managed to earn a double up through chip leader Po-yi Wu not long after play re-started, with the Taiwanese player shoving from the button with Q♠J♠ and Tran making the call from the big blind with A♦T♦.

Tran stayed in the lead the whole was when the board ran out 7♦3♣5♥K♠A♥ to climb to 3.5 million while Wu dropped to 7.2 million.

There was a bit of blind and ante swapping for a couple of orbits and then there were more fireworks with Wu shoving from the button once more. This time the big blind was Ying Kit Chan and having seen Wu shove with queen-high previously he made the call with A♥3♦. Unfortunately for Chan, Wu had 8♥8♠ and the Hong Kong player found himself a 3-1 underdog.

The board ran out Q♠5♥5♣K♥2♦ and the final table is now down to three. Chan headed off to collect the equivalent of US$18,236 while Wu stacked up to 10.8 million to further extend his already commanding lead.

Ming Suan Tan eliminated in 5th place ₱710,000
Level 32 - Blinds 100,000/200,000/30,000
9:25pm:
Ming Suan Tan 2.jpg

Just minutes after the exit of Tetsuro Tomita and the final table went from five to four. It all happened extremely quickly with Po-yi Wu raising from the button and Ming Suan Tan moving all-in from the big blind for 650,000. Wu made a speedy call and the cards were turned over.

Ming Suan Tan: A♣K♣
Po-yi Wu: A♠T♥

While Tan had the best hand it was Wu who hit the flop, pairing his ten when the community cards came down T♠9♥9♠. There was no king on the 7♦ turn or the 3♠ river and the final table is now a four-handed affair. All that action brought in a 10-minute break with the remaining players stacking up as follows:

Seat 1 Po-yi Wu (Taiwan) - 8,885,000
Seat 4Jing Wang (China) - 3,125,000
Seat 7Ying Kit Chan (Hong Kong) - 1,655,000
Seat 9Linh Tran (Canada) - 1,585,000

Tetsuro Tomita eliminated in 6th place ₱555,000
Level 32 - Blinds 100,000/200,000/30,000
9:20pm:
Tetsuro Tomita.jpg

Action folded around to Japan's Tetsuro Tomita in the small blind and he moved all-in and was quickly called by big blind Jing Wang.

Tetsuro Tomita: A♠7♦
Jing Wang: 8♣8♠

The Japanese player was a 30/70 underdog and received no help at all when the board ran out K♣5♠6♣Q♦8♦ with Wang spiking a set on the river, just for good measure. Tomita headed for the rail to collect the equivalent of US$11,180 and the final table was down to five.

Wang folds queens, Wu profits
Level 32 - Blinds 100,000/200,000/30,000
9:10pm:

A huge pot has just played out between Jing Wang and Po-yi Wu that saw 1.35 million in chip change hands, without a flop being dealt.

Pre-flop it was Wu who was the initial aggressor, making it 450,000 to go from the button. Small blind Tetsuro Tomita folded and the action was on Wang in the big blind. 

The Chinese player reached for chips, but not for calling with and he aggressively jammed two towers of red 25k chips into the pot for a re-raise to 1.35 million, leaving himself 2.6 million behind.

Wu took his time about it, but eventually announced he was all-in and Wang rocked back in his chair, tanking for a good two minutes over the decision. It was a big one as, outside of Wu, Wang is the next largest stack with Ying Kit Chan the only other player close to the two of them with 1.9 million in chips.

Eventually Wang threw pocket queens face up into the muck and Wu raked in a sizable pot to climb over 8.1 million for nearly a 4-1 chip lead over the rest of the table.

Wang doubles through Tran
Level 32 - Blinds 100,000/200,000/30,000
9pm:

One of the early hands of the new level saw Ming Suan Tan and Linh Tran get all the chips in pre-flop, but being as both players held ace-five suited and neither hit a flush this resulted in a rather anti-climatic chop.

However, a hand soon developed that did not result in a chop and it was a big one. Pre-flop the action folded around to Jing Wang in the cutoff and the Chinese player made it 500,000 to go. 

The table folded to Linh Tran in the big blind and he clicked it back, making it 1 million in total and Wang did not take long to get the rest of his chips in, moving all-in for 1,925,000.

Tran called instantly, usually not a good sign if you are the player who has just shoved. Tran rolled over K♠K♠, which was definitely not good for Wang, who had A♦4♥.

The dealer spread the 6♦8♠7♣ flop to keep Tran's nose in front and the 5♣ turn changed nothing. Wang is a river rat though and the A♣ washed in just like it did for Wang earlier in the hand against Ireneo Javalera's pocket jacks. That timely bink saw Wang chip up to 4 million while Tran has just 655,000 left.

Boon Leong Tan eliminated in 7th place ₱418,000
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000/20,000
8:47pm:
Boon Leong Tan.jpg

The final table is now down to six and while it looked as though it was Linh Tran who may be on his way out the door the poker gods had other ideas.

Tran had dropped down to 1.2 million when he moved all-in from the hi-jack and the action folded around to big blind Boon Leong Tan who peeked at his hole cards and hit the think tank.

Tan was very similarly stacked and thought long and hard before making the 'A' all-in symbol with his arms and making the call and the cards were turned over.

Linh Tran: 3♥3♣
Boon Leong Tan: 4♣4♦

Things were looking decidedly dicey for Tran who looked rather displeased to discover his pocket pair was out-pipped by Tan. However, in a cruel quirk of fate a watching rail bird called for a three and that was exactly the window card - the 3♦ to be exact, with the rest of the flop spread 9♣J♠

Now it was Tan who was on the back foot and the 8♠ turn and 5♠ river were of no help and when the stacks were counted down Tan discovered some more bad news - Tran had him covered and Tan hit the rail while Tran stacked up to 2.5 million.

Mohamad Zefirelli Noordin eliminated in 8th place ₱291,000
Level 31 - Blinds 80,000/160,000/20,000
8:30pm:
Thumbnail image for Mohamad Noordin.jpg


Just 10-minutes into level 31 and the final tables was down to seven with a battle of the blinds going horribly wrong for Singapore's Mohamad Zefirelli Noordin.

Action folded around to Noordin in the small blind and as the final tables shortest stack he moved the last of his chips in and was called immediately by Japan's Tetsuro Tomita, who had the Singaporean covered.

Mohamad Zefirelli Noordin: K♠7c]
Tetsuro Tomita: A♣8♣

Noordin was in need of help but received none and was drawing dead by the turn when the board ran out A♥6♥2♣8♠4♠. Noordin headed for the rail to collect the equivalent of US$5,860 and Tomita stacked up to 2 million.

Ming Suan Tan doubles through Wang
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000/20,000
8:18pm:

There was an orbit of blind and ante swapping before the final table had it's next big all-in confrontation, but it was a bit of a sick one when it finally happened.

Ming Suan Tan had dropped down to 805,000 and moved the last of his chips in from early position, which elicited another speedy call from Jing Wang, who was on the button.

Ming Suan Tan: A♠7♥
Jing Wang: A♥A♥

Tan was the at risk player with the dominated hand and would need some help, which duly arrived when the flop came down a monochrome J♠T♠3♠ to give him the nut flush draw.

The 6♠ turn saw this come straight in to a shake of the head by Wang and the river was a meaningless 8♥. Tan doubled to 1.75 million while Wang dropped to 2 million with the blinds rising shortly afterward. Tomita doubles Tran, Tran pays off Wu
Level 30 - Blinds 60,000/120,000/20,000
8:10pm:

Linh Tran is having a rollercoaster of a final table so far and is looking a little queasy. It all seemed to be going swimmingly at first after he moved in pre-flop for 1.31 million with A♦Q♠ and found a caller in Tetsuro Tomita holding A♠J♠.

Tran had a little sweat when the board ran out K♠2♣7♣5♠ to give Tomita a back door flush draw the river was a nice safe 8♥ and Tran climbed to close to 3 million while Tomita dropped to 750,000. Tomita shoved the next hand but found no customers and took down the blinds and antes. 

Tran had reached the peak and now it was time for the trough. Po-yi Wu min-raised from under-the-gun and Tran made the call from the big blind and the flop fell 9♥9♠6♣.

This brought a check from Tran and a c-bet of 200,000 from Wu, which Tran quickly called. The 3♥ turn saw Tran check again and this time Wu bet big, reaching for a large tower of red 25k chips, which he slid into the middle of the table for a bet of 600,000.

Tran took a little longer this time but made the call to swell the pot close to 3 million. The T♣ river completed the hand and Tran checked again. Wu shot him a suspicious stare and checked it right back.

Tran turned over 8♣6♠ but this was not enough to beat Wu's K♦K♣ and Tran dropped to 1.9 million while Wu pulled further in front with 5.3 million.

Ireneo Javalera eliminated in 9th place ₱230,000
Level 29 - Blinds 40,000/80,000/10,000
7:45pm:
Ireneo Javalera.jpg

It took just three hands for the first final table casualty, we missed the first, Mohamad Noordin moved all-in from the cutoff on the second but got no callers and their were fireworks on the third hand.

Action folded around to Jing Wang on the button and he raised to 300,000. Boon Leong Tan folded the small blind and Ireneo Javalera took a gander at his hole cards and quickly moved all-in for 1.125 million.

Wang threw in a single yellow 5k chip to represent the call instantly and the cards were turned over.

Ireneo Javalera: J♥J♠
Jing Wang: A♦K♣

It was down to a good ol'fashioned race to decide Javalera's fate and he maintained his lead on the 2♥3♣7♠ flop. The Filipino player was looking tense and was on his feet and the Q♠ hit the turn, keeping him firmly in front.

However, disaster struck on the river with the A♣ hitting the board to simultaneous cheers and groans in equal measure from the watching rail. A dejected Javalera headed for the exit while Wang stacked up to 3.1 million. Po-yi Wu still leads with 4.6 million.


Final Table Chip Counts
Level 29 - Blinds 40,000/80,000/10,000
7:35pm:
Manila Megastack 7 Final Table.jpg

Cards will be in the air on the final table shortly so here's how the final nine players are stacking up:


Seat 1 Po-yi Wu (Taiwan) - 4,680,000
Seat 2Mohamad Zefirelli Noordin (Singapore) - 800,000
Seat 3Tetsuro Tomita (Japan) - 1,440,000
Seat 4Jing Wang (China) - 1,900,000
Seat 5Boon Leong Tan (Malaysia) - 1,370,000
Seat 6 Ireneo Javalera (Philippines) - 1,165,000
Seat 7Ying Kit Chan (Hong Kong) - 1,445,000
Seat 8Ming Suan Tan (Malaysia) - 1,115,000
Seat 9Linh Tran (Canada) - 1,300,000

Tsuyoshi Ishibashi departs in 10th place ₱190,000
Level 29 - Blinds 40,000/80,000/10,000
7:10pm:
Ishibashi Bubble.jpg

Tsuyoshi Ishibashi busts to set up the final table


Hand-for-hand lasted all of two hands with Po-yi Wu flexing his big stack and moving all-in from the button. Japan's Tsuyoshi Ishibashi squeezed his hole cards and quickly called for his last 900k and a sizable crowd gathered around as they waited for the action on the other table to finish. 

Over on the other table Mohamad Noordin had moved all-in and received no callers and it was back to the Wu and Ishibashi as the crowd waited with baited breath to see who had what.

Tsuyoshi Ishibashi: A♥K♦
Po-yi Wu: Q♥8♥

While Ishibashi had the best hand he did not hold onto his lead for long with the flop falling 5♣Q♠8♣ to give Wu top two pair to gasps from the watching rail. Ishibashi got to his feet as the 6♥ turn left the Japanese player drawing dead and the 8♦ river was the final nail in his coffin, giving Wu a boat just to rub some salt into the wound.

Wu pulled further in front with 4.7 million in chips and the final table is set with the clock pausing as the players take a short break and their chips are relocated to the feature table. We will be back with the counts shortly.

Kotaro Tsunodo departs in 11th place ₱190,000
Level 29 - Blinds 40,000/80,000/10,000
7pm:
Kotaro Tsunodo.jpg

Kotaro Tsunodo's elimination takes play hand-for-hand

There was some blind and ante swapping for the first ten-minutes of level 29 before Kotaro Tsunodo moved all-in from the button for 1.1 million. Big blind Po-yi Wu peeked down at his cards and made speedy call and the hands were turned over.

Kotaro Tsunodo: T♣J♦
Po-yi Wu: A♦3♦

Wu held the lead and despite Tsunodo flopping a gutshot draw when the dealer spread the 9♣K♥9♥ community cards the 4♦ turn and the 6♦ river were of no help and the Manila Meagstack Main Event was down to ten with Wu cementing his chip lead and climbing to 3.8 million. 

The clock was paused as Linh Tran was moved over from the other table and we are hand-for-hand on the final table bubble.

Chang Jie 'CJ' Zhang departs in 12th place ₱165,000
Level 28 - Blinds 30,000/60,000/10,000
6:35pm:

There has been another casualty with Singapore's CJ Zhang getting the last of his chips in on a king-high flop with king-eight suited. 

Unfortunately we missed the pre-flop action but we do know that Zhang's opponent in the hand was Ying Kit Chan. Unluckily for Zhang, Chan had him out-kicked with ace-king and the field is down to the last 11.

Chan stacked up to 2 million after the hand but chip leader is still Po-yi Wu with 2.6 million. Players are on a 10-minute break and are stacking up as follows:

Table 1:
Linh Tran (Canada) 1.4 million
Boon Leong Tan (Malaysia) - 1.55 million
Jing Wang (China) - 1.2 million
Tetsuro Tomita (Japan) - 1.45 million
Mohamad Noordin (Singapore) - 750,000
Ireneo Javalera (Philippines) - 1.8 million

Table 2:
Tsuyoshi Ishibashi (Japan) - 1.1 million
Ming Suan Tan (Malaysia) - 1 million
Kotaro Tsunodo (Japan) - 1.1 million
Ying Kit Chan (Hong Kong) - 1.5 million
Po-yi Wu (Taiwan) - 2.6 million

Antonio Abesamis departs in 13th place ₱165,000
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000/10,000
6:05pm:
Antonio Abesamis.jpg

Antonio Abesamis

Antonio Abesamis was holding onto his tournament life with a firm grip and had run his tiny 120,000 stack up to over 800,000 before disaster struck. Abesamis got all of these chips in pre-flop with pocket kings and was looked up by Po-yi Wu (who has corrected the misspelling of his name on the player list) with pocket tens.

While Abesamis had the best hand Wu picked up a gutshot draw on the turn and got there on the river to send Abesamis to the rail and the Taiwanese player (not Chinese as previously incorrectly reported, again going from the player list) stacked up to over 2.6 million and edged into the chip lead. Boon Leong Tan is second with 2.2 million. 

Carnage continues
Level 26 - Blinds 30,000/60,000/10,000
5:55pm:

Thirteen players now remain in the running with the UK's Hassen Judah departing in 16th place for a ₱126,500 payday, though we were unable to catch his exit hand. 

Japan's Tomofumi Watanabe departed shortly afterward after getting all the chips in pre-flop with pocket jacks, only to run into the pocket aces of Boon Leong Tan to take play down to 14 with Watanabe taking home ₱142,000.

It was another Japanese player next on the chopping block with Yoshiro Inoshita getting all the chips in pre-flop with 2♠2♣ and running into the A♣8♠ of CJ Zhang. Unfortunately for Inoshita the board ran out T♣K♥Q♣8♥K♦ to pair Zhang's eight and the Japanese player hit the rail and headed off to collect his ₱142,000.

Both of the tournaments remaining short stacks - Antonio Abesamis and Mohamad Noordin - doubled shortly afterward, though Noordin's was by far the most spectacular of the two and he actually tripled up.

The Singaporean player moved all-in from under-the-gun with 8♠6♠ for his last 160,000 and both button Boon Leong Tan and the big blind made the call. Tan gave Noordin some protection after betting the 6♣5♣A♥ flop and folding out the big blind and while Noordin was behind to Tan's ace-ten offsuit the Singaporean spiked a six on the river to climb to 560,000 while Tan dropped down to 2.25 million and still retained the chip lead.

Stack check
Level 27 - Blinds 30,000/60,000/10,000
5:40pm:

There are still 16 players in the running with Ireneo Javalera the current frontrunner with 1.95 million. However, Po-yi We is breathing down his neck with a stack of 1.8 million, closely followed by Linh Tran on 1.6 million. Jing Wang is hot on Tran's heels with 1.5 million with Boon Leong Tan the only other player in the seven-figure club with 1.3 million.

Muthu, Rivera and Kwok depart to set up redraw
Level 26 - Blinds 20,000/40,000/5,000
5:18pm:

The action is really heating up now and there are just 16 players remaining in the Manila Megastack 7 Main Event. We missed the 20th place bust out but saw Sathesh Muthu fall at the hands of fellow countryman Chan Jie 'CJ' Zhang.

Zhang had been pretty active and had shoved on Muthu's blind several times already so when he did it again Muthu peeked down at his cards and made a quick call.

Sathesh Muthu: A♠9♦
CJ Zhang: A♣K♠

Unfortunately for Muthu Zhang had a hand and the board ran out 4♦T♣7♦A♦2♥ and he hit the rail in 19th while Zhang stacked up to over 1 million.

Shortly after this there was a huge three-way all-in on the same table and while the hand took a while to play out it was a doozy. Pre-flop Japan's Tomofumi Watanabe lit the fuse with an early position raise to 90,000 with button Czardy Rivera making the call as well as small blind Ireneo Javalera before big blind Luen Kwok moved all-in for 390,000.

Watanabe quickly folded but Rivera made the call for his tournament life and the action was on Javalera who took his time thinking things over. Eventually a frustrated Mohamad Noordin called for the clock and Javalera let this count down to just 5 seconds before splashing in a handful of red 25k chips to represent the call.

Ireneo Javalera: J♣J♥
Luen Kwok: A♥T♠
Czardy Rivera: 8♠8♣

Javalera had the best hand and both players covered, a fact he celebrated with a fist pump and the board ran out 9♠7♥9♥7♦6♣ and he busted both Rivera and Kwok in 18th and 17th place respectively to bring play down to two tables and play paused for a redraw. It looks like Javalera seized the lead after that timely catch and he stacked up to over 1.7 million.

Tran and Wang tied for lead
Level 25 - Blinds 15,000/30,000/5,000
4:55pm:

It's close at the top with Linh Tran and Jing Wang both sitting on 1.4 million to tie for the lead. The next closest stack belongs to Ireneo Javalera who has 1.3 million with Po-yi We sitting on just over 1 million and Hong Kong's Ying Kit Chan sitting on 800,000. 

Chips are changing hands so fast it's tough to keep track of who has what but we do know that Gerardo Lubas is no longer in the running as he just walked past the media desk on his way to the cash desk and 20 players now remain.
 
Quick bust outs result in redraw
Level 25 - Blinds 15,000/30,000/5,000
4:35pm:

The 28 remaining players have quickly become 24 with Oleg Mordassov, Trifie Montebon, Janno Alvarez and John Beveridge all departing in a flurry of cards and chips.

Mordassov took a big hit in a blind versus blind battle against Ireneo Javalera with all the chips going in on a 7♦T♦4♦ flop. While Mordassov had flopped top pair with J♥T♥ he was trailing to Javalera's 4♥7♥ flopped two pair. The 5♥ turn and 2♠ did not help the Swiss player and he took a big hit, departing shortly afterward while Javalera climbed to 1.3 million.

Gerardo Lubis crippled the unlucky Janno Alvarez shortly afterward after moving all-in pre-flop with 8♦9♣ from the cutoff with Alvarez calling from the big blind with K♦K♥. Lubis hit an eight on the flop and rivered another to see Alvarez left with 55,000 and he departed the very next hand while Lubis stacked up to 400,000.

We did not see how Beveridge departed but his seat is now empty and Montebon also took a hit when our attention was elsewhere to pause play for a redraw.

Wang leads at break
Level 24 - Blinds 12,000/24,000/4,000
4:10pm:
Jing Wang.jpg

Jing Wang

There are 28 players still in the running with Jing Wang the man leading the charge with a stack of 1.32 million, closely followed by Kotaro Tsunodo on 1.3 million with Linh Tran rounding out the top three with 1.05 million. 

These three are currently the only three to have joined the seven-figure club, though Japan's Tsuyoshi Ishibashi is not that far behind after winning a huge had with pocket kings, which improved to a set and he is now sitting on roughly 900,000.

Singapore's Mohamad Noordin is lucky to still be in the running after getting all his chips in pre-flop with A♥6♣ against an opponent's pocket tens. Fortunately for Noordin the flop came down A♣A♠8♣ to give him trip aces which improved to a boat when the 5♠ turn and 5♦ completed the hand to see him climb to 550,000, which is close to the average stack.

Players have just gone on a 10-minute break and play will resume shortly and the blue 1k chips will be raced off during this time.

Wang in front, Muthu finishes off Thanh
Level 23 - Blinds 10,000/20,000/3,000
3:40pm:
Van Tran Thanh and Sathesh Muthu.jpg

Van Tran Thanh (left) and Sathesh Muthu (right)

The action is coming to the boil in the Manila Megastack 7 Main Event and just 33 players remain in the running. There has been a lot of action this level and we caught the UK's Hassen Judah involved in a big hand against Vietnam's Van Tran Thanh that left the latter with just three big blinds.

It was a Thanh mistake that cost him dearly with the Vietnamese player still thinking the blinds were 8,000/16,000 and under-raising from under-the-gun. This was ruled to be a min-raise and being as he got a discount Judah made the call from the big blind and the flop came down 6♣5♥4♥.

We are not sure exactly what the action was but we do know for certain that all the chips when in on the flop.

Van Tran Thanh: 8♠8♦
Hassen Judah: 2♣3♠

Judah's speculative two-three offsuit had flopped huge and despite Thanh turning a set when the 8♥ came in the J♥ river did not pair the board and Judah stacked up to 726,000 while Thanh dropped to 60,000.

Singapore's Sathesh Muthu administered the coup de grace shortly afterward with the last of Thanh's chip going in on the turn on an eight-six-nine-three board. Thanh had three-four offsuit for bottom pair but was outkicked by Muthu's mighty king-three. The Vietnamese player hit the rail and Muthu stacked up to 469,000.

Jing Wang climbed into the lead shortly after this after taking down a hand from James Mendoza. Pre-flop it was Mendoza who opened the action with a raise to 45,000 from the hi-jack with small blind Wang making the call along with big blind Min Soon Lim also coming along for the ride.

Wang led the 5♠T♥6♦ flop and both Lim and Mendoza folded leaving Wang to rake in the pot without showdown and stack up to 923,000 to seize the chip lead.

Another sizable hand played out back over on Hassen Judah's table shortly afterward, though the Brit was just a spectator this time around. Sitting in the small blind the recently moved Antonio Abesamis called a Boon Leong Tan min-raise and the flop came down [6x][5x][8x]. 

Tan checked, Abesamis bet 75,000 and Tan moved all-in. Abesamis had the Malaysian player covered and made a quick call with a set of fives, but unfortunately for the Filipino Tan had flopped huge with seven-nine and hit a straight. There was no pair up and Abesamis took a big hit, dropping to 150,000 while Tan stacked up to 720,000.

While Wang currently holds the lead Linh Tran is not far behind with a stack of 820,000 as the level came to a close.

Tran drops some but still leads
Level 22 - Blinds 8,000/16,000/2,000
3:05pm:

There is no change at the top with Linh Tran still leading, though he has passed some chips the way of Julian Hasse. With the level coming to a close shortly we surveyed the tournament landscape to see how it's shaping up:

Linh Tran (Canada) - 790,000
Kotaro Tsunodo (Japan) - 750,000
Jing Wang (China) - 710,000
Julian Hasse (Germany) - 700,000
Antonio Abesamis (Philippines) - 690,000
Po-yi We (China) - 678,000
James Mendoza (Philippines) - 670,000
Oleg Mordassov (Switzerland) - 575,000
Zong Chi He (China) - 550,000
Flo Campomanes (Philippines) - 500,000
John Beveridge (Canada) - 500,000
Sathesh Muthu (Singapore) - 350,000
Mohamad Noordin (Singapore) - 310,000

Tran extends lead, Noordin wins big
Level 22 - Blinds 8,000/16,000/2,000
2:40pm:
Mohamad Noordin.jpg

Level 22 just started and the field has thinned further with 48 players now in contention. Linh Tran is still current chip leader with the Vietnamese-Canadian winning a decent sized pot from Julian Hasse to further extend his lead.

We only caught the action on the river with the board reading 6♦T♠T♦6♣9♦ just as Hasse checked the action over to Tran. With close to 80,000 already in the pot Tran led out for 65,000 and after thinking it over Hasse slid in the call but could only muck his hand when Tran turned over 6♦7♥. Tran climbed to 986,000 after the hand while Hasse dropped to 400,000.

Another player who has recently climbed up the leaderboard to join the top dogs is Mohamad Noordin. We arrived at the Singaporean's table right at the close of the last level just as he was stacking up a lot of chips and he was kind enough to tell us what happened.

According to Noordin a player sitting on the button (whose seat is now empty so we are not sure who) moved all-in for 137,000 with ten-four offsuit and Noordin, sitting in the small blind, made the call with pocket queens, which held and he is now sitting on a stack of 680,000.

Top stacks
Level 21 - Blinds 6,000/12,000/2,000
2:20pm:

It is 10-minutes into level 21 and 54 players still remain in contention with the top stacks as follows:

Linh Tran (Canada) - 850,000
Jing Wang (China) - 610,000
Po-yi We (China) - 566,000
Sathesh Muthu (Singapore) - 500,000
Flo Campomanes (Philippines) - 470,000
Julian Hasse (Germany) - 465,000
Tony Chung Ngeow (Malaysia) - 395,000
Kotaro Tsunodo (Japan) - 380,000
John Beveridge (Canada) - 320,000

Muthu busts Kito to set up hand-for-hand, He busts Yu to burst bubble
Level 20 - Blinds 5,000/10,000/1,000
2pm:
Bubble boy Zhang Yu.jpg

The unfortunate Zhang Yu is the bubble boy

There were 73 players still in contention at the start of level 20, but this quickly became 72 after the short-stacked Lisa Kito moved all-in from under-the-gun for her last 46,000 with Sathesh Muthu making the call from the small blind.

Lisa Kito: A♥T♣
Sathesh Muthu: A♦6♥

With a dominating hand Kito looked to be in great shape for a double up, until the flop came down 2♠6♣3♠ to give Muthu the lead. Unfortunately for Kito the rest of the board ran out J♥ and the A♣ respectively to give Muthu two pair and he climbed to 620,000 while the Japanese player hit the rail to take play hand-for-hand.

Hand-for-hand only lasted two hands and on the second hand there was a pre-flop all-in and a call over on table 28 with Zhang Yu moving all-in for his last 74,000 from the cutoff and Zong Chi He making the call from the small blind.

Zhang Yu: Q♦8♥
Zong Chi He: A♥J♠

It was a 35/65 in He's favor and the T♠K♣6♠ flop kept He in the lead. He hit his ace when the A♣ landed on the turn and the river was the 5♥ to burst the bubble and guarantee all 71 remaining players a ₱50,000 payday.

This opened the floodgates for a slew of speedy eliminations with 13 players falling in quick succession. Two of those were in the same hand when a four-way pre-flop all in developed over on Flo Campomane's table.

Camponmanes had J♠J♥ and was up against the A♦K♠ of John Carlo Sayo, an opponent holding A♥A♣ and another short-stack with K♦T♠.

Campomanes had all three other players covered and spiked a set when the flop fell 8♥J♣Q♥. However, while the 7♣ turn changed nothing the T♦ river gave Sayo broadway and he quadrupled to 220,000. Campomanes was not too upset though as he won a sizable side pot and stacked up to 440,000.

All that excitement brings us to our first 10-minute break of the day and the 58 remaining players will be back in action shortly.

Tan makes great fold
Level 19 - Blinds 4,000/8,000/1,000
 1:25pm:

There are 76 players still left in the running meaning we are just five bust outs away from the hallowed money spots. One player who looks like he'll easily make it that far is Switzerland's Oleg Mordassov who has just won a decent sized pot from Ming Suan Tan. 

Pre-flop Tan was the initial aggressor from middle position with Mordassov re-raising from the seat right next door. Tan made the call and the flop fell J♣J♦4♥, which brought a 50,000 lead from Tan. 

Mordassov did not take long to move all-in and being as he had Tan covered the Malaysian had a big decision to make. Eventually he open folded Q♥Q♦ to gasps from the rest of the table.

"How do you fold there?" asked Mordassov flashing the 5♥. However, he then showed the J♥ for trips.

"Nice re-raise buddy," piped up Flo Campomanes.

"I knew I was going to hit," retorted Mordassov.

Tan made a great fold there but dropped down to 70,000 after the hand while Mordassov climbed to 343,000.

Chan doubles, Hasse busts Kalaquian
Level 19 - Blinds 4,000/8,000/1,000
1:05pm:

There are now 80 player left in the running and the blinds have climbed once more and all tables are now 8-handed (or as close to this as they can get) and there we are down to 10 tables.

Ying Kit Chan has recently earned a double up at the expense of Kotaro Tsunodo after making it 20,000 to go from middle position with the Tsunodo the only caller in the big blind.

Both players checked the 3♦9♥J♥ flop and after Tsunodo checked again on the 2♥ turn Chan fired for 30,000 and was quickly called to bring both players to the 5♠ river.

Tsunodo immediately moved all-in and was beaten into the pot by Chan. The Japanese player sheepishly turned over T♥[d] for ten-hign and a missed backdoor heart draw, meaning Chan's A♣T♠ was enough to win the hand and grant the Hong Kong player a double. Chan climbed to 240,000 while Tsunodo dropped to 323,000.

Germany's Julian Hasse has got his Day 2 off to a good start and we arrived at his table just in time to see him send Elmer Kalaquian to the rail. The super short Kalaquian had moved all-in pre-flop for his last 16,000 and Hasse had re-raised to 30,000 to isolate from the button and the blinds folded.

Elmer Kalaquian: K♥7♥
Julian Hasse: Q♥Q♠

The board ran out T♥7♠5♣4♦8♦ to bring Kalaquian's tournament to an end and Hasse stacked up to 325,500.

With Tsunodo spewing off those chips to Chan it looks like Singapore's Sathesh Muthu is the current chip leader with a stack of 480,000, closely followed by Jing Wang (455,000) with John Beveridge (440,000) rounding out the top three.

Two no shows, No repeat for Heng
Level 18 - Blinds 3,000/6,000/1,000
12:45pm:

We are now halfway through level 18 and the field is down to 92, though two of the remaining stacks are currently not being piloted as Korea's Jun Yeob Song (143,000) and Philippines Martin Corpuz (101,500) have yet to show and their chips are still in their bags.

We discovered that Canada's John Beveridge does not like pre-flop Hollywood tanking and is in the midst of berating  Hoa Thinh Nguyen for wasting time pre-flop was we arrived at their table.

Si Yang Phua raised to 13,000 from under-the-gun while this was going on before Chang Jie Zhang re-raised to 31,000 from middle position with Beveridge the only called in the small blind. Beveridge checked the 3♣T♦J♣ flop over to Zhang, who c-bet 40,000 and Beveridge folded instantly.

There will be no back-to-back victory for Manila Megastack 6 Champion Siong Boon Heng as he has just busted at the hands of Po-yi We. We missed the action and only arrived in the aftermath but according to We it was Heng who was the architect of his own destruction after the Singaporean player moved all-in pre-flop with pocket twos and We woke up right behind him with ace-king and made the call. The board ran out king-high and Heng is now out of the running while We has around 330,000.

Cards in the air, Double for Ong, Ong and Burns bust
Level 17 - Blinds 2,500/5,000/500
12:25pm:

Cards are in the air and there have been a few early exits already as the shortstacks try to go big or go home, with the latter being the option for several of them. Unfortunately we missed these early bust outs as we have just witnessed a hand that took a rather lengthy 12-minutes to play out - we know because we were watching the clock.

It was only the second hand on Day 1B frontrunner Kotaro Tsunodo's table, with the Japanese player winning the first pre-flop with a raise and finding no customers.

Tsunodo was at it again the next hand, making it 12,500 to go from the cut off with button Boon Leong Tan making the call before small blind Ding Xiang Ong moved all in for 54,500. 

Action was on big blind Ying Kit Chan who peeked at his cards and then hit the think tank - hard. Five minutes went by, ice ages came and went and Sathesh 'Stash' Muthu was moved to the table and still Chan tanked. Eventually the UK's Simon Burns had enough and called for the clock.

Chan called pretty speedily after that and Tsunodo and Tan quickly got out of the way and the cards were turned over.

Ding Xiang Ong: 8♥8♦
Ying Kit Chan: A♣A♥

The look on Simon Burns' face was priceless when Chan rolled over his pocket aces, bringing a groan from Ong. However, the poker gods punish those who Hollywood tank with aces and the board ran out 2♣T♦7♦3♦6♦ to give Ong the double and he climbed to 135,000 while Chan dropped to 158,000.

Unfortunately for Ong he did not get to keep his new chips for very long and two hands later he opened to 12,000 from the cutoff and Simon Burns moved all-in for 69,500 from the button.

Small blind Van Tranh Than made the call, Ong moved all-in for 26,000 more and Than called this also and the cards were turned over.

Ding Xiang Ong: A♣K♣
Simon Burns: A♦K♦
Van Tranh Than: 9♠9♣

It was looking dicey for Burns and Ong as they both had some of each others outs and the board ran out T♥5♦8♠J♣T♣ and we lost two as Thanh scooped the massive pot to climb to 380,000.

12pm: The 507-strong Manila Megastack 7 has been whittled down to 119 players and Day 2 will be starting at 12pm local time (GMT+7).  However, with only the top 71 spots getting paid 48 of those will be leaving empty handed.

All eyes will be on the ₱2,645,000 (~$53,560) first prize and the man best positioned to seize that is Day 1A chip leader John Beveridge, who will be returning as Day 2 frontrunner with 548,000 in chips.

However, this being tournament poker anything can happen and any of the remaining 119 players has a shot at fortune and glory. Day 1B frontrunner Kotaro Tsunodo will be starting with 431,000 in chips with another Day 1A big stack - Singapore's Satheshkumar 'Stash' Muthu - rounding out the top three.

Other notable stacks include Malaysia's Bobby Soon (389,000), China's Jing Wang (359,500) and Kunlong Yu (354,000) and the Philippines Jessie Leonarez (312,500). 

Germany's Julian Hasse (204,500) and Hong Kong's Sparrow Cheung (95,000) are two more of a distinctly international field with 29 different countries represented at the felt. 

While 22% of the field is Filipino, with Japan the next best represented country on 17% there are players from nearly every continent on the planet battling it out on the baize here in Manila. In fact the only continent not represented is the Arctic - and that's because no one except polar bears live there, and they don't play cards.

You can see the complete Day 2 seat draw here and read about all the Day 1A here and the Day 1B action here.

Action will not stop until a champion is crowned and you can follow all the action as it happens right here on the Pokerstars blog.


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PokerStars Blog reporting team at Manila Megastack 7: Ben Wilson. Photography by Chris Librojo. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog
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