Manila Megastack 2: Mike Kim Wins Main Event

Written by Triccia David

Without a doubt, the sweetest hand we saw all day was "just a straight flush", as stated by South Korean native Mike Kim after revealing his dominating jack-to-seven hearts winning hand against Filipino player Raymi Sanchez. Although this wasn't how Kim took down the Main Event of the PokerStars LIVE Manila Megastack 2, it certainly was the turning point for Kim's rise to the final table as the chip leader and eventually to the championship seat.


Backtracking a bit, the day began with punches flying all over the place. Chip leader Sanchez sent two home before they could even warm their seats; Singaporean player Boon How Goh, the man second-in-command upon entering the day, tried to do the same but took two big hits instead. Short-stacked Filipino player Anthony Gabitan doubled up then eventually railed three players; Joon Han Lee had to get lucky in order to avoid early elimination; and Trifie Montebon scalped a couple including the lone female player, Regie Ann Delos Reyes in tenth place.


With the final table of nine set in place, the first to fall was Gabitan followed by an exciting double elimination hand by Kim. The hand began with Filipino player Martin Corpuz unable to meet the big blind and was all in by default. Beside him, South Korean native Yi Won Lee raised it up and found one caller in Kim. At the flop of Q♦T♠J♦, Lee checked to Kim who announced all-in, and Lee snap-called. At the showdown, Kim had a set with J♣J♥, Lee had a straight with A♣K♥, and Corpuz had T♦6♦ for a flush draw. With the turn of 5♠, Lee was still ahead, but with the river of Q♣, Kim booted the two with a full house.

With six players left, Kim laid low for a while and watched as Irish player Daniel Kneafsey took control by first denying Joon Han Lee a repeat, then railed a couple more to narrow down the field to just three players. At this point, Kneafsey had the biggest stack with 821,000, Kim in second with 762,000, and Sanchez in third with 462,00. The three players decided to strike a deal using the Independent Chip Model (ICM) formula, in addition, PHP50,000 was deducted from each player and placed in a pot, PHP100,000 of which was going to first place and PHP50,000 for second place.

After that, it was pretty much an all in fest with chips moving from one player to the other. Kneafsey bowed out first when his K♠4♠ lost to Kim's K♥6♣ on a board that ran 4♣7♠8♠7♥5♦.

Heads up, action was fast as both players seemed eager to end the tournament. Sanchez moved all in and doubled up with his K♥8♠ besting Kim's Q♣8♥. With the stacks now at about even, Sanchez shoved again and Kim called. Sanchez had 8♥6♣ versus Kim's J♦J♣. With the board running blanks, a chip count was in order, which resulted in Kim announced as the Main Event champion.

Congratulations to Mike Kim for winning the Main Event! Kim bested a field of 76 players and collected PHP439,200 plus the championship trophy.

Manila Megastack 2 Main Event Results

1st Mike Kim, South Korea - PHP439,200
2nd Raymi Sanchez, Philippines - PHP315,300
3rd Daniel Kneafsey, Ireland - PHP351,300
4th Trifie Montebon, Philippines - PHP194,000
5th Weincheng Chen, China - PHP155,200
6th Joon-Han Lee, South Korea - PHP135,800
7th Yi Won Lee, South Korea - PHP116,400
8th Martin Corpuz, Philippines - PHP97,000
9th Anthony Gabitan, Philippines - PHP77,600
10th Regie Ann Delos Reyes - PHP58,200


Alongside the Main Event were the last two side events. A total of 13 players who signed up for Event #5: PHP50,000 No Limit Holdem with South Korean Taejin Noh facing German player Julius Malzanini heads up for the trophy. Incidentally, both players failed to make the money at the Main Event however were most likely very happy to make a profit in this event. Noh took first place and was awarded the top prize of PHP284,000 plus the trophy.

Event #5: PHP50,000 No Limit Holdem Results
Prize pool: PHP567,450

1st Taejin Noh, South Korea - PHP284,000
2nd Julius Malzanini, Germany - PHP170,000
3rd Yen Han Chen, Chinese Taipei - PHP113,450


In Event #6: PHP5,000 KO Bounty, South Korean Byeongcheol Kim defeated American player Ronnie Tate heads up to earn PHP30,800 plus the final trophy of the Manila Megastack 2.

Event #6: KO Results
Prize pool: PHP97,585

1- Byeongcheol Kim, South Korea - PHP30,800
2- Ronnie Tate, USA - PHP28,000
3- Kristian Faering, Denmark - PHP28,000
4- Jae Chul Chang, Korea - PHP10,785


PokerStars would like to thank everyone who participated in the second edition of the Manila Megastack series. Thank you as well to the PokerStars staff and the City of Dreams Manila for doing a wonderful job ensuring everything ran smoothly.

Until next time!