Manila Megastack 8: Yokomizo Wins the Biggest Manila Megastack Main Event Championship in History

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Japan's Akinari Yokomizo emerged victorious over the series' biggest and best tournament for a payout of P3,210,000 (~US$62,940), the largest payout so far for a Manila Megastack. Swiftly defeating the Philippines' Alexis Lim with 7♦K♠ over Lim's pocket threes in less than five hands and not even needing to use his huge 2:1 chip advantage, Yokomizo wins his first ever poker title, overwhelming him with emotion by the end of the tournament.

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Day 1A and 1B garnered a total of 624 players, breaking the record for both total entries and prize pool for the series. Today saw a whopping 143 combatants battle it out over eleven grueling hours and 33 levels of play, with monster stacks dominating the earlier action. However, neither chip leaders from both the previous flights were able to make the cut at the final table.

The final 9's crowd favorite was Ruiko Mamiya as she finished a strong third with her J♦9♥ clashing against and ultimately losing out to our champion's K♦Q♣, but not before she took down Alvarez at Level 31. Her final showdown with Yokomizo actually tipped the scales to his favor as she double dosed his stack with her own.

Ultimately it was a fun and fulfilling tournament for all, especially for the newest champion to join the rank of Pokerstars LIVE Manila's winners.

Final Table Payouts:

1st: Akinari Yokomizo of Japan (P3,210,000)

2nd: Alexis Lim of the Philippines (P1,931,560)

3rd: Ruiko Mamiya of Japan (P1,385,000)

4th: Jose 'Boyet' Drilon of the Philippines (P1,070,000)

5th: Van Tron Than of Vietnam (P845,000)

6th: Janno Alvarez of the Philippines (P660,000)

7th: Teji Ye of China (P490,000)

8th: Duy Thun Nguyen of Vietnam (P336,000)

9th: Mohamad Zefirelli Noordin of Singapore (P265,000)

10:57pm: Akinari Yokomizo Wins the Biggest Manila Megastack Championship in History
Level 33 - Blinds 250000/500000/50000

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Dealing a very swift defeat to the Philippine's Alexis Lim was Japan's Akinari Yokomizo! With his 7♦K♠ he challenged the contender with an all-in, to which Lim acquiesced with his pocket 3s 3♦3♥. His disadvantage disappeared at the flop with 4♠7♠5♦, and he gained the upper hand at the fourth street with K♥. Lim's prayers for a trips was unanswered as the river gave a T♠, crowning Yokomizo as this year's main event champion and sending him to a victory frenzy, with sweet overwhelming support from his friends at the end.

Congratulations for a battle well fought for our top two players!

10:52pm: No deal heads-up!
Level 33 - Blinds 250000/500000/50000

After a long discussion about pot splitting, Yokomizo once again declined and decided to play with his 2:1 chip lead. Stay tuned to see how the last few hands play out!

10:18pm: Japanese vs Japanese
Level 33 - Blinds 250000/500000/50000

And then we had Yokomizo call on Mamiya's all-in shove with her J♦9♥ vs. his K♦Q♣. The flop showed an empty 5♠7♦4♥, with fortune smiling on Mamiya with J♣ only at the turn; alas, fortune is a fickle thing, and just as swiftly as she had smiled at the fourth street did she give a bigger smile at the fifth, only this time at the other player's direction with a Q♦. Mamiya graciously received everyone's applause as she finishes at third, unwittingly giving his fellow Japanese a massive stack boost at the heads-up against Lim. "It's all the same," Joseph Sia, one of the Filipino poker players that busted out earlier in the tournament reassuringly said to his friend Lim, "it will only take a longer time, but you can win."

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10:04pm: Filipino vs Filipino
Level 32 - Blinds 200000/400000/50000

It was Drilon vs. Lim with 9♦8♥ vs. Lim's Q♥K♥. Dealer peeled the flop A♠5♥2♣, giving Lim the upper hand. 6♠ at the turn sent Drilon's hopes up for a straight, but those hopes were quickly dashed as the river returned a 4♠, ending Drilon's very impressive run tonight at 4th place, and giving him safe passage to the 1 million club.

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9:50pm: Proposition for a 4-way pot split
Clock paused at Level 32 - Blinds 200000/400000/50000

Discussion on a four-way even pot split were brought up, with each to supposedly bag a cool P1.9 million. There was no deal to be struck, however, with both Japanese players giving a resounding 'no', and so we resumed play.

9:45pm: Blood after the break and a triple up
Level 32 - Blinds 200000/400000/50000

Right after the break we had Than going head-to-head against Drilon with 8♥Q♥ vs. A♥2♦. The flop again smiled on Drilon with 3♠T♦2♣, and the turn cemented Than's fate with 2♠, only to be reinforced by 8♦, making Than end at 5th place.

We then saw Mamiya challenge Lim with an all-in, but instead Yokomizo called while Lim folded. Mamiya's K♦A♠ went against Yokomizo's pocket 7s 7♠7♣, and his stack gained triple helpings as the community board showed 6♥5♥5♣4♥J♠.

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9:23pm: Triple double-up
Level 31 - Blinds 150000/300000/30000

Three consecutive hands resulted to triple damage for Lim, Yokomizo, and Than; First, Than's luck continued to run strong against our current chip leader Lim's with 9♠A♠ vs Lim's A♥2♦ as the board showed 2♥T♠T♥9♦8♣, with Lim receiving a damage of 585,000. Next we had Drilon go after Yokomizo's stack with his 7♦9♥ vs the latter's A♥T♠. The board blessed Drilon at the turn of 9♦9♠5♠2♦, and the river 4♥ confirmed his victory and infused his stack with over 2 million. Last we had Than's luck of pocket 8s 8♣8♥ clashing against and running out on Yokomisz's J♠4♣ on a community board of 6♣4♠Q♥4♥T♦. All are still in the running for the top prize, though we sense a conclusion looming ahead pretty soon.

9:07pm: Lim remains at the top as Mamiya busts out Alvarez
Level 31 - Blinds 150000/300000/30000

We are now down to our final 5 as Mamiya went all in against Alvarez's pocket 6s 6♦6♠ with her K♦A♦. With the flop securing her a higher probablity at K♣Q♥8♦, Alvarez needed another 6 to win, which unfortunately didn't materialize with 8♣3♣. Alvarez took a bow at 6th place, while Lim remained on top, with Mamiya hot in pursuit.

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8:54pm: Lim busts out Ye for the final 6
Level 30 - Blinds 100000/200000/30000

Lim is playing it aggressively tonight as he goes against Ye's A♦4♠ with A♥7♣. The board shows 8♠K♥K♣3♣2♠, ending Ye's tourney run at 7th place as Lim overtakes the final 6 as chip leader.

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8:34pm: Another double up and the final 7
Level 30 - Blinds 100000/200000/30000

This time it was Lim that went against Than with an ace-queen combo A♦Q♣ against Than's T♣K♣. The community board revealed an empty 8♣4♥5♣4♦8♦, giving Lim the advantage and a heftier stack.

Afterwards, Drilon goes under-the-gun against Nguyen with A♣K♥ vs A♠J♠, and with 5♣A♥2♠2♥8♣ on the board, Nguyen's tournament journey tonight came to an end, making him finish at a very respectable 8th place.

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8:26pm: Samurai deals a heavy nut blow to Ye
Level 30 - Blinds 100000/200000/30000

Yokomizo fights off Ye's all in attack with pocket aces A♣A♠ versus K♣5♣. The flop of A♥9♥5♥ elicits a celebratory howl from Yokomizo, with a K♠ and an amazing A♦ sealing his victory. "Samurai!!" The crowd cheers on.

8:13pm: 2 way all in and the Final 8
Level 29 - Blinds 80000/160000/20000

Noordin goes head to head with Lim's pocket kings K♣K♦ with a pocket of his own T♣T♦. The board revealed 6♠2♥J♠3♣3♥, doubling up Lim's stack early on. This lead to an all-in from Noordin, with Ye calling Noordin's 6♣2♣ with 8♣A♥. The board reveals one less club for a flush at 3♦J♣5♥7♣5♦, busting Noordin out at 9th place.

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8:02pm: First Blood

A few hands passed with blind steals all around until Yokomizo drew first blood as he went all in against Nguyen's A♦9♣ with his T♥J♦. Community board reveals a J♠8♥J♥7♣4♦, doubling Yokomizo's stack while dealing heavy damage to Nguyen.

The Final Table

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Seat 1: Jose "Boyet Drilon from Philippines - 1,335,000
Seat 2: Janno Alvarez from Philippines - 1,320,000
Seat 3: Akinari Yokomizo from Japan - 970,000
Seat 4: Kejie Ye from China - 3,225,000
Seat 5: Duy Tung Nguyen from Vietnam - 2,350,000
Seat 6: Alexis Lim from Philippines - 2,055,000
Seat 7: Mohamad Noordin from Singapore - 1,935,000
Seat 8: Ruiko Mamiya from Japan - 3,230,000 (chip leader)
Seat 9: Van Trn Than from Vietnam - 2,315,000

7:26pm: Getting to the final table
Level 28 - Blinds 50000/100000/10000

The action keeps heating up as the night pushes on. First up we saw Nguyen replenish his stack from Mamiya as he raises her 225,000 on the turn, with the board at 9♠J♣T♠8♣. At the river of 7♣ Nguyen raised again, which made Mamiya fold.

Chen fights valiantly with 9♣A♠ as he goes all in against Nguyen's Q♣A♥; the board shows 7♦8♦8♣9♥9♦, giving Chen more time to stay in the game.

We saw Noordin sneakily chip away at Chen's stack, however, as he stole blinds four times with the all-in button in the span of two minutes. This culminated in Noordin's confidence to raise 260,000 preflop, with Nguyen hot on his heels. The flop spread 5♣J♣A♥ to which both contenders called; a Q♣ at the turn made Noordin raise again, making Nguyen fork over the pot.

There was also some double up action at the next table when Alvarez's Q♠T♠ ate up Miyakita's pocket 3's 3♦3♥ on the flop as the board read 2♠A♦7♠T♦6♥. And like an omen, this might have foreshadowed what happened next when Miyakita went all in pre-flop against Keiji Ye.

Kota: 9♠A♠
Ye: 4♦4♥

The flop read K♦3♣2♣ with the crowd shouting along, and a 6♦5♠ on the fourth and fifth street busts Miyakita out in the 10th place, minting him as the newest member of tonight's 200K club.

"Don't you know?! Don't bet against the lucky man!" The other players jeered at Miyakita as he bows out of the tournament.

6:42pm: Pre-break action! Mamiya's Nut Flush and Day 1B's chip lead falls from grace
Level 27 - Blinds 50000/100000/10000

We are down to the last 11 players as we edge our way closer to the final table. We caught the action on a three-way between Mamiya, Noordin, and Iwei Chen.

Mamiya: A♣A♥
Noordin: T♥T♦
Chen: A♦6♦

The flop spread 6♣J♠Q♦, leveling the field for Chen against two pockets; K♦ at the turn made Mamiya gasp, and the T♣ at the river made easy pickings out of Noordin's stack while Mamiya's nut flush splits with Chen's.

We also saw Antipuesto fall from grace at 14th place as he butted heads with Sung Ho Kim. Antipuesto goes all in at 235,000 with his 9♠K♣ against Kim's T♥J♥, and the flop shows 9♦8♣A♣, favoring Antipuesto until the fourth street with 6♠, but the fickle river instead turned the tide with a J♦.

Meanwhile, players like Boyet Drilon are blind stealing their way to healthier stacks, although it might take plenty more of those for him to catch up to Nguyen's chip lead of 2.5 million.

5:10pm - 6:10pm: Miyakata trades blows with Mathias and derails Mendoza
Level 25-26 - Blinds 30000/60000/10000 - 400000/80000/10000

Blood was drawn again as Sung Ho Kim eats up the shorter stack of Thomas Xiang Jun Po. Both contenders went all in preflop, with Kim holding on to 8♣A♦ and Po with A♠2♥. The flop revealed 9♦Q♥T♥ and the turn a 4♦, but again it was with the flow of the river at 8♥ that swept away Po's chances at the tourney run, leaving him at 23rd place.

Then we had another preflop challenge, only this time no lives were lost. Robert Mathias challenged Kota Miyakita's hand of 9♥A♠ with his own J♠A♣. Dealer peeled the flop at 7♦8♦T♥, giving Miyakita hope for a straight, but his hopes were dashed as only a 3♥ and a 4♣ turned up at the fourth and fifth street.

"I had a pocket 6!" The table's chip lead exclaimed with frustration. Miyakita could only grimace in silence as the next hand came up.

Itching for blood, Miyakita shoves his 310,000 stack all the way in, with James Mendoza nipping at his heels.

Miyakita: 4♣4♠
Mendoza: 8♥A♥

The flop revealed an empty 3♣K♣9♥, with the turn of J♦ and a river of T♠ seeing Mendoza on his way out of the tournament at 21st place while doubling up Miyakita's stack.

Currently, there are only 16 players left vying for the top prize of P3,210,000.

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4:58pm: Nguyen leads the pack; Mamiya derails Gopez
Level 24 - Blinds 25000/50000/5000

We caught some blind stealing action as Akinari Yokomizo went all-in preflop, and Edilberto Gopez took his cue from him at the next hand, only this time Ruiko Mamiya called, but not before looking back to check the ITM and doing a quick mental calculation. Their hands revealed A♠J♥ for Gopez and A♥6♠ for Mamiya. Flop showed T♦4♠6♠, decimating Gopez's chances of survival, with the turn 7♥ sinking his hopes until another 6♥ appeared on the fifth street to seal Mamiya's victory. And with that, Gopez bows out of the tournament at 27th place.

Meanwhile, four tables are left, with Duy Tung Nguyen having the early chip lead among the 25 players remaining at 1.8 million.

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4:22pm: Break
Level 24 after the break - Blinds 25000/50000/5000

Another reprieve for the 28 players remaining in the field. Clock has paused for chip raise and ITM is now a P83,000 for players 28-31.

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4:13pm: Carnage before the break
Level 23 - 20000/40000/5000

Right after raking in a monster stack, Duy 'Alex Tung' Nguyen raised 100,000 pre-flop, with Keijie Tei right on his heels with a check, before Hoang Lam Bui shoved his chips all the way in, prompting Nguyen to answer with an all-in of his own. Tei bows out, and the hands are revealed.

Nguyen: A♦K♥
Bui: 6♦6♠

Flop spread 9♦3♠8♣, but the turn sealed the deal for Bui with a fatal 8♦, and an empty 2♦ saw Bui leave at 32nd place, leaving Nguyen with a hefty 400,000 loot to bring his massive stack up to over 2.5 million.

We saw a similar hand play out with Sung Ho Kim going against Daryl Green, who went all in at the pre-flop. Community board revealed 3♥7♠Q♠T♠T♦, giving Kim's K♣Q♦ the upper hand over Green's A♥K♠, and utlimately ending Green's tournament run at 30th place.

3:15pm - 4:15pm: Kai Loon Ang doubles up; Alvarez busts out Teo
Level 22-23 - Blinds 15000/30000/4000 - 20000/40000/5000

We are now down to 34 players as we see the shorter stacks playing more aggressively to go double up or bust. Day 1A's former early chip lead Kai Loon Ang goes all in preflop against Day 1B's chip leader Dante Antipuesto.

Ang: A♥A♣
Antipuesto: Q♦A♦

Dealer peeled 7♥9♣6♦ at the flop, K♣ at the turn and the river completely halted Antipuesto's chances on this hand as it came up empty at 4♦, doubling up Ang's stack while doing some damage to Antipuesto's.

Another all-in preflop battle commenced at a different table, this time between Zi Sheng Teo and Janino Alvarez. Community board spread 5♠7♠J♣T♥8♥, ending Teo's run at this tournament with his J♠K♠ vs Alvarez's J♦A♦.

3:18pm: On the grind
Level 22 - Blinds 15000/30000/4000

Earlier we caught the action with a three-way as Czardy Rivera and the cutoff player went after the monster stack of Mohamad Zefirelli Noordin. Community board showed Q♥3♥A♦8♦8♠, with Rivera holding pocket 8s 8♥8♣, Noordin an ace-jack off suite, and pocket queens Q♣Q♦ from the cutoff, doubling up Rivera's stack while whittling down Noordin's, with the cutoff winning the side pot.

Some hands after we saw Rivera calling on the flop of T♣3♠A♦ against Josh Yi and Nguyen Duy Tung. We got Q♥ at the fourth street and a check from Rivera, a raise of 35,000 from Yi, a call by Tung, and a fold from Rivera. Finally at the river a 4♥ was revealed; Yi counted his chips playfully before shoving in 105,000. Tung tensed up, and took his time to hit the think tank until the floor had to be called for his decision. With the pressure mounting on, Tung decides to fold. The next round played out similarly as both players Yi and Tung checked at the flop of A♦Q♥6♠, and Yi played aggressively with a stack raise at the turn of 7♥, prompting Tung to once again fold.

We saw a similar play as Alexis Lim raises on the flop of K♠J♣4♥, prompting Wai Kiat Ivan Tan to fold, and some blind stealing action at the next hand as Boyet Drilon shoves a 48,000 raise pre-flop.

50 players left, with ITM 40-55 at P63,500.

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2:25pm: Back in action
Level 20 - Blinds 8000/16000/2000

It's a barrage of bust outs on the floor as short stacks are being eaten up by massive ones. We caught some action at table six as Vilma 'Vivee' Goldman went all-in preflop against Van Tran Than. Goldman had T♦K♥ while Than had Q♦2♦. Flop revealed a Q♥A♥A♦ and we heard some jeers as Goldman let out a sigh. The turn 7♠ prompted Than to apologize to Goldman, and she was already set on her loss, but the river had other ideas as it revealed a saving K♣, doubling up Goldman's stack and making Than laugh in disbelief.

"You're always a King-Ten!" The guys tease to Goldman before moving on to the next hand.

We saw Than itching to take back his loss as he goes all-in pre-flop against Mark Anthony Amparo. Than showed his A♦K♥ while Amparo showed his Q♠J♥. The flop favored Amparo with Q♦3♦9♣, and the turn 2♣ made everyone stand on their toes. But again, the fickle river chose to bless Than this time with a K♠, busting out Amparo within the 56-71 range.

2:04pm: Break
Level 20 after the break - Blinds 8000/16000/2000

We're now down to 64 players, with ITM still at P57,000 until the 55th player. After the break we'll cover the action at this series' biggest main event, so stay tuned!

1:58pm: The bubble has burst
Level 19 - Blinds 6000/12000/2000

We were able to catch a glimpse of our bubble boy earlier today, and it was Day 1B's Jae Hyun Lim. Yesterday he had a strong final homestretch, garnering 360,000 before being whittled down to 280,000, making him finish at 9th place.

Valiant run, good sir! But alas, all good things must come to an end.

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1:51pm: Technical difficulties

After having some technical difficulties, we are now back online to cover the action. The bubble has burst and we are now in the money at Level 19, with 73 players remaining. Players 72-87 will receive P50,500, and players 56-71 will come home with P57,000. With an average stack of 256,000 and 10 minutes on the clock left, blinds are at 6,000/12,000 and ante at 2,000.

11:57pm: Main Event Day 2 starts in 5 minutes

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Welcome back to the biggest Manila Megastack 8 Main Event Day 2! Today we'll see 142 survivors from the previous flights battle it out for a very delicious ₱16 million prize pool! 87 players will be in the money starting at ₱50,000 while the top spot gets a cool ₱3 million.

Dante Antipuesto leads the pack at yesterday's day 1B with 370,000, eclipsing day 1A's chip leader Edmund Eng's stack by a hundred thousand. We also have plenty of strong contenders to look out for later here at Pokerstars Live Manila, City of Dreams Manila Grand Ballroom, so to all the spectators we say: buckle up, 'coz it's gonna be a fun ride!

#ManilaMegastack

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