Manila Megastack 2: Raymi Sanchez leads Main Event Day 1

Written by Triccia David

The PHP25,000 Main Event of the PokerStars LIVE Manila Megastack 2 kicked off at the City of Dreams Manila early this afternoon with lots of muscle looking to get a big chunk of the bumped up PHP2,000,000 guaranteed prize pool. With a total of 76 players registered, the numbers easily surpassed the first Megastack Manila Main Event, which took place in January, generating a delectable top cash prize of PHP523,800.

Taking a quick glance around the room, some big names in the Asian poker circuit were already making their presence felt. Among those were Pete Chen, the reigning 2014 Asia Player of the Year (APOY), Ka Cheong Wong the man who landed the runner-up spot, and Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang all seated at the same table. Across them was Kitson Kho who placed 6th at the 2014 Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) "Macau Billionaire Poker" Super High Roller Event, and on an outer table, Joon Han Lee, the champion of the first Megastack Manila Main Event.

manila_megastack2_1.jpg

With a 30,000 stack to play with, (which was 300 times the big blind), and 30 minute blinds, it is almost unlikely to hear of any bust outs early in the game, but having watched and seen some crazy poker moments, anything is definitely possible.

Surprisingly, that all happened even earlier than expected.

Just before the end of the first level, Irish citizen Daniel Kneafsey (pictured below) and Danish player Michael Kim Falcon tangled in a hand the resulted in both players all in at a turn board. Had the initiator, Falcon, have a slight inkling of what Kneafsey may have had, he certainly would have acted differently because his set of ducks were sorely and painfully way behind Kneafsey's set of ladies. Failing to improve on the river, Falcon was the first casualty of the day. Kneafsey, on the other, would go on to amass more chips, ending the day in third position with 161,500.

daniel_kneafsey_manila_megastack.jpg

We always hear of players "catching it on the river". For Singaporean player Boon How Goh, it wasn't quite the river but even better, it was on the last hand of the day. With around 64,000 chips, Filipino player Alan Escano decided to make a play and shove all his chips from under-the-gun. Goh snap-called from the big blind and it was a showdown with Goh holding pocket kings against Escano's A♠8♠. With the board running blanks, Goh railed Escano and escalated to 205,500 chips, which was good enough to be second in ranking.

The man way on top of the rung is Filipino player Raymi Sanchez. Sanchez catapulted to the chip leader's seat after eliminating Filipino Player Nasser Bandong with pocket aces over pocket tens. A couple of levels later, he escalated even further when he railed and burned William Gordon Mcauley's ladies with his A-Q offsuit that landed an ace on the board. Sanchez will return to the final day with a domineering 300,500 chips.

raymi_sanchez_manila_megastack.jpg

Among the 20 survivors of the day were Stephen Miles from the UK who shut down Ka Cheong Wong's hopes of reaching the end; Yi Won Lee, who is currently in sixth place for the APOY; and Joon Han Lee who is looking to make it a repeat.

The Main Event will resume at 12:15pm on Sunday. Only 10 players will be rewarded with a profit. Join us in finding out who will go the distance and take home the big kahuna. In addition, there will be two more side events before the series comes to a close:

Event #5 PHP50,000 NLH at 1:15pm
Event #6 PHP5,000 KO Bounty at 2:15pm

See you all tomorrow!

Manila Megastack 2 Main Event Chip Counts

Raymi Sanchez, Philippines - 300,500
Boon How Goh, Singapore - 205,500
Daniel Kneafsey, Ireland - 161,500
Taejin Noh, South Korea - 153,500
Stephen Miles, UK - 139,000
Kwangyeop Choi, South Korea - 112,500
Trifie Montebon, Philippines - 107,500
Weicheng Chen, China - 99,500
Mike Kim, South Korea - 91,500
Yi Won Lee, South Korea - 87,000
Ashby Rivera, Philippines - 84,000
Regie Ann Delos Reyes - 83,000
Wei Shyong Chen, Singapore - 82,500
Julius Malzanini, Germany - 68,500
Martin Corpuz, Philippines - 61,000
Joon Han Lee, South Korea - 55,000
Anthony Gabitan, Philippines - 53,000
Harry Ong, Philippines - 48,000
Jhana Hale, Australia - 41,000
Jinkyu Ha, Korea - 32,500