PokerStars Festival Manila: Bubble bursts as Vikram Verma falls

Show me the money!

It's been an hour-long sweat on the stone bubble of this PokerStars Festival Manila Main Event but now the 87 remaining players can all breathe easy as they've locked up PHP90,000 ($1,800). The man walking away one shy of a payday was India's Vikram Verma who fell at the hands of Sam Razavi.

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Vikram Verma

In Verma's final hand, the action folded around to Razavi in the small blind, and in a bid to utilize bubble pressure he made a light jam to cover Verma's 74,000. Verma called it off and as they waited until the action was finished at every table to reveal their hands, Razavi had a confession to make.

"I only have six high, so you're definitely in front."

After a few minutes they were given the all-clear to table their hands and players from neighbouring tables rushed over to huddle around and rail the action in anticipation.

Verma: A♦K♠
Razavi: 6♥4♣

Both Verma and Razavi stood up and watched the dealer spread a flop of 7♠6♦8♣. That saw Razavi spike a pair and leave Verma down to just six outs. The Q♥ on the turn failed to change anything and the fall of the T♦ river card was met with cheers and fists pumps all across the tournament floor. Verma shook the hand of his assassin and bowed out gracefully after the bad beat left him with nothing but the title of Bubble Boy.

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There were a lot of double ups on the bubble and the biggest of those was Finland's Antii Halme. He already had a decent stack to start the hand and a big call propelled him to second in chips. Halme opened to 15,000 and then subsequently called when start-of-day chip leader Woohyuk Yang three-bet to 50,000.

The flop landed Q♠5♦2♦ and Yang continued for 30,000. Halme made the call and the 4♠ arrived on the turn. The bet from Yang was 60,000 this time around and again Halme called to take them to the 7♥ river. After a couple of minutes deliberating Yang emptied the clip and shoved covering Halme's 226,500. Halme did his best to banter with Yang in the hopes of getting a read but Yang was giving away nothing. It took Halme more than four minutes to finally make the correct decision.

"Okay, I call" announced Halme, and was immediately met with a sigh from Yang.

Yang tabled J♥J♣ but that was no good against Halme's Q♣9♠ for just top pair. Players watching on from the sidelines gave the Finn a well-deserved round of applause.

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Antii Halme

That was some of today's action but now it's time to push forward towards the final table. Those who have survived so far are all still chasing the PHP5,515,000 (~$109,000) top prize, the trophy, and the inaugural PokerStars Festival Manila Main Event title. Stick with us to see how it all unfolds, and check in with PokerNews for live coverage.

Brad Kain
@PokerStars in PokerStars Festival