P1M Guarantee: A Highly-Deserved Victory for Wally Sombero

Thumbnail image for Champion Wally SomberoChampion Wally Sombero

What a fantastic run for Wally Sombero, aka Asia's Godfather of Poker, at the recently concluded PokerStars Live Manila P1M Guarantee Main Event! Sombero entered the final day as the chip leader, a status he kept for a majority of the tournament, to eventually claim the PHP175,000 first place cash prize, the championship trophy, and a seat to the upcoming Asia Pacific Poker Tour 9 Manila Main Event.

Sombero's claim to the title was definitely a very colorful and exciting one. Prior to the final table, Sombero picked up where he left off the previous day, raising often and picking up pots without many challenges. After the bubble burst, he took a big hit when his pocket kings ran into John King's pocket aces. King was the other big stack at the table. Not only did Sombero lose over half his stack, he also lost his chip leader status to King... but not for long. Without skipping a beat, Sombero immediately went back to work, displaying impressive skill by playing a wide range of hands, accumulating chips at every orbit, yet knowing full well when to back off.

It also helped that Sombero was dealt a few pocket aces, which he kindly revealed. This made it even more challenging for his tablemates because Sombero's table image portrayed someone who was running hot all the time or bluffing a lot. Either way it seemed as if players were having a difficult time getting a good read on him. After railing a few players, Sombero regained the chip leader status and entered the final table of nine with 905k chips.

Final Table

Sombero was quiet at the start of the final table. He lost his high ranking when Derek Baker eliminated King. Jesse Leonarez then stole that spot when he doubled up through Derek Leano.

With seven players remaining, it was time to turn on the ignition. Sombero eliminated two short stacks, Reynaldo Aguilar and Leano. Afterwards, he picked up several pots against Jesse Leonarez to reclaim the chip lead. Leonarez retaliated however and landed a huge double up against him, stealing back the lead with nearly 2 million chips amassed. Action went, Leonarez three-bet all in and Sombero called. Leonarez had A♥7♠ against Sombero's Q♣T♣. The board ran A♠K♦K♠6♥3♥.

Falling to around 650k in chips, Sombero shoved with K♥7♥ and was called by Renato Villanueva with A♠4♦. The board was kind to Sombero as it ran 9♥K♣J♠T♦4♠ giving him top pair and a double up to around 1.3 million chips.

He further improved when he railed Villanueva in 4th place in what had to be one of the most unexpected hands of the final table. Action began with button seat Villanueva all in pre flop which Sombero eventually called from the small blind and by Leonarez on the big blind. At the flop of 9♠5♦A♣ both checked. At the turn of J♥, another check from both but when the river card landed 7♦, Sombero bet and Leonarez folded for an empty side pot. At the showdown, Villanueva turned over his hole cards first and revealed top two pairs with his A♥J♠. Sombero was next. He too had an ace, but oh wait, he had two of them, A♠A♣ for a dominating set of aces. Truly unexpected!

At three-handed, Sombero eliminated Cristopher Runas with his pocket kings besting A♠8♠ that did not improve. He then faced Leonarez at the heads up round close to a 3:1 chip advantage.

Heads Up at P1M Guarantee

The battle didn't last long at all but it surely was explosive. After several non-critical pots, Leonarez moved all in and Sombero took on the challenge with an exuberant call. Leonarez had Q♠Q♦ versus Sombero's 7♠5♥. Then the dealer burned the flop 3♣7♥7♣ catapulting Sombero to the lead with trips. A huge crowd had already built up around the table and every single one of them was shocked in disbelief.. Sombero started calling out for a queen and some of the crowd joined in the chant. But it was not to be. The turn was J♥. With one card to go, the dealer displayed the river card, a 7♦, giving Sombero quads! Insane. Leonarez could only shake his head as he accepted defeat and shook hands with Asia's Godfather of Poker.

Congratulations to Wally Sombero for reigning victorious at the P1M Guarantee Main Event!

APPT 9 Manila Mega Satellite

At the Mega satellite, five seats to the APPT 9 Manila Main Event was awarded. Brian McAllister, Alexander Makedon, Jean Issa, Antonio Abesamis, and Srinivas Polishetty, Despite being the bubble, Anacleto Quijano still earned the remaining cash of P29,360.

*Note: Combined with the top five finishers of the P1M Guarantee who received seats as well, a total of 10 seats to the APPT 9 Manila Main Event were awarded today.

P1M Guarantee Main Event: 311 entries
Cash Prize Pool: PHP1,052,348
APPT 9 Manila Main Event Seats: 5 (worth PHP50,000 each)
Payouts: 36 (in PHP)

1 - Wally Sombero (Philippines) - 175,000 + APPT 9 Manila Main Event seat
2- Jesse Leonarez (Philippines) - 120,000 + APPT 9 Manila Main Event seat
3- Cristopher Runas (Philippines) - 84,848 + APPT 9 Manila Main Event seat
4- Renato Villanueva {Philippines) - 55,000 + APPT 9 Manila Main Event seat
5- Derek Baker {Australia) - 30,000 + APPT 9 Manila Main Event seat
6- Frederick Leano (Philippines) - 55,000
7- Reynaldo Aguilar (Philippines) - 45,000
8- John King (USA) - 40,000
9- Adrian Brion (Philippines)- 35,000
10- Steven Chua (Philippines) - 30,000
11- Anthony Gabitan (Philippines) - 30,000
12- Srinivas Polishetty (India) - 30,000
13- Sandro Simon (Germany) - 25,000
14- Erwin Rommel Pineda (Philippines) - 25,000
15- Bert Garcia (Philippines) - 25,000
16- Anthony Feliciano (Philippines) - 20,000
17- Ace Villaverde (Philippines) - 20,000
18- Guanghui Toh (Korea) - 20,000
19- Vilma Goldman (Philippines) - 15,000
20- Jae Chul Chang (Korea) - 15,000
21- Christopher Luke Pangan (Philippines) - 15,000
23- Martin Corpuz (Philippines) - 13,750
23- Michael Kim Enriquez (Philippines) - 13,750
24- Antonio Abesamis (Philippines) - 12,500
25- Jack Liew (Singapore) - 12,500
26- Fevzi Erem Topac (Turkey) - 12,500
27- Diana Tan (Philippines) - 12,500
28- Trifie Montebon (Philippines) - 10,000
29- Frank Geissler (Germany) - 10,000
30- Wyngard Brillo (Philippines) - 10,000
31- Mike Takayama (Philippines) - 10,000
32- Nasse Bandong (Philippines) - 10,000
33- David Colclough (UK) - 10,000
34- Christopher Mateo (Philippines) - 10,000
35- Jongwoo Yoon (South Korea) - 10,000
36- Matthieu Flipo (France) - 10,000

Triccia David
@PokerStars in PokerStars Manila