Manila Megastack 8: Main Event Day 1A Live Updates

2:21am: The Official Chiplead
Clock Paused at Level 15 - Blinds 2500/5000/500

And the official chip leader of Manila Megastack 8 Main Event Day 1A is no other than Edmund Kok Hui Eng of Singapore! At 278,000, Eng cruises ahead of the competition with a head start at the main event this Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017.

Edmund Eng (Chip Leader).jpg

Manila Megastack 8 Day 1A Chip Leader Edmund Eng

As the dust settled after the flurry of bagging and tagging chips, we saw 65 contenders standing strong out of the 254 players that entered earlier today. Battling it out at 15 30-minute levels, the players have entered the foray after coughing up a ₱30,000 (~US$580) entry fee with unlimited re-buys up to level 8. Day 1A survivors are led by Singapore's Edmund Eng, followed closely by Boon Leong Tan and Kai Loon Ang of Malaysia, at 258,000 chips and 240,000 chips, respectively.

Eng had a strong following towards the end of the day but his position as chip lead was cemented only by the latter levels as his less risky plays paid off after others played too aggressively, hurting their stack or having them completely derailed. The early chip leader Kai Loon Ang is an example of this, with his initial lead of 300,000 gradually shaved down to third place at 240,000.

Japan's Katsuhiro Mori, who also happens to be a champion at Magic the Gathering, energetically made efforts to finish strong at fifth place (218,000 chips), sandwiched between Chyuan Seng Wee of Malaysia (233,000) and Teck Heng Chua of Singapore (217,000). The most valiant last-ditch effort, however, goes to Christopher Luke Pangan of the Philippines as his 5♦7♦ victory against Daryl Green's K♣J♠ over a tight 8♠6♠J♦A♥9♠ puts him up at 7th place with 212,000, tanking Green's stack to 65,000 and pushing him back down to 55th place.

Day 1B continues tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 2 at 2pm local time (GMT+7) and you know we'll be there to cover the action then.

Just a quick reminder that everyone can still enter the fray at day 1B - qualifiers included - to improve their chip stack by Sunday's main event since the smaller stack will be removed from play.

So sharpen your swords as the battle resumes in a few hours at Pokerstars Live Manila, City of Dreams Manila.

2:07am: Final burst
Level 15 - Blinds 2500/5000/500

We caught a heated head-to-head battle between Philippine's very own Luke Pangan and Daryl Green of England during a flop of 8♠6♠J♦ and a river of A♥. Daryl called Pangan's raise, and with the turn of 9♠, Pangan called Green's raise. At the show of cards, Green had a K♣J♠ against Pangan's 5♦7♦, raising Pangan's position to one of the top ten chip leaders at more than 190,000 while shaving off Green's stack to 65,000.


Luke Pangan


Daryl Green

1:49am: Chiplead Update
Level 15 - Blinds 2500/5000/500

Kai Loon Ang of Singapore leads the pack at approximately 300,000, with Katsuhiro Mori, Chyuan Seng Wee, Wilson Lim, and Edmund Eng trailing behind.


Kai Loon Ang

1:21am: Aggressive play
Level 14 - Blinds 2000/4000/500

The indisputable chiplead of Red Table 6, Edmund Eng, raised 15,000 pre-flop; to his surprise, Shinichi Mayazumi calls and re-raised him 4,600! After a long pause... Eng folded!

12:52am: Quadrupling chips in two hands
Level 13 - Blinds 1500/3000/400

We had another pre-flop all-in battle, this time between Gyeong Tae Yoo of Korea and Daniel Smiljkovic of Germany, only this time there were no casualties. There was, however, some heavy damage dealt as a gutsy move by Tae Yoo turned to be fatal: after going all in with K♥A♣, his opponent Smiljkovic called despite his shorter stack to reveal his 9♦8♦.

Some nights fortune favors the bold, and this hand was no different as the board showed 5♦9♣7♣J♣3♥.

"Make sure to get my name right," Smiljkovic says after recounting how he quadrupled his stack from 5,000 to 20,000 in only two hands.


Daniel Smiljkovic

12:23am: Lim busts Ong at the 12th hour of Level 12
Level 12 - Blinds 1000/2000/300

We caught one of poker's mainstays Jing Xiang Ong of Singapore battling it out with Australia's Wilson Lim, with the former's tournament life coming to an abrupt end. The short-stacked Ong made the move to use the last of his chips pre-flop and Lim called, turning over their cards.
Jing Xiang Ong: T♠A♦
Wilson Lim: 4♠4♥

The board quickly revealed a J♣K♥8♥J♠5♠, raising Lim's chips to a hefty and healthy 290,000 into level 13.


Wilson Lim

11:37pm: Going strong
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1600/200

With 126 still in the running out of today's 254 players, the tables are slowly getting more lively as the average stack climbs up to 59,000.


10:26pm: One life left
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1000/100

Rebuys are now closed! With the average stack rising to 44,200, we are nearing the P6.5 million prize pool. Who will emerge victorious out of the 168 players remaining? Stay tuned and find out.


10:15pm: Reprieve
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800/100

After a long night of continuous battling, we have now arrived at another reprieve where players are given a quick break to enjoy the breather between small victories and losses before plunging into fiery competition once again. Registration closes in 9 minutes!

9:47pm: Last chance!
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800/100

It's the last level for re-entry as tonight's battle rages on. With 174 players out of 243 remaining, it's bound to be more interesting in the next few levels as we are experiencing a quiet calm before the fiery storm.

9:27pm: That was the nuts
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600/100

We caught some of the action at the table of our resident tom cat (pusang gala in Filipino) as Adones Carmona, winner of the previous 1M Guaranteed Spadie of the Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) 2017, played it cool with pocket aces. Petter Magnus Karlsson raised at 1500 pre-flop, with Carmona re-raising, before Masato Nikawadori pushed his stack all the way in, to which both contenders called. Cards revealed on the table and Nikawadori had pocket kings! The game was set before it began as lady luck had chosen to bless Carmona's hand, while Karlsson barely held on, and it was absolutely nuts.


Adones Carmona

9:04pm: Player out
Level 6 - Blinds 250/500/75

Players are getting decimated left and right as the night heats up. The field is taking a somber turn as more and more are dropping out of the game. Fortunately there is still time to join the battle until level 8.


8:46pm: On to the next level
Level 6 - Blinds 250/500/75

The field is steadily climbing with 199 players out of 223 still gunning for a shot at the P8 Million guaranteed prize pool. Average stack has also risen to 33,600.


8:22pm: Part 2
Level 5 - Blinds 200/400

Players are using the unlimited rebuys wisely as 185 are back in action. With the two-hour window to rebuy closing in, however, the tension rises with the continuous falling of chips. Level 8 is approximately at 10:20pm tonight.


8:03pm: Break!
Level 4 - Blinds 100/200

We are now progressing smoothly as the players take their break, with 170 players remaining from the initial 207 entries. With an average stack of 36,500, we have notable guns like the Kickoff winner Terry Gonzaga playing strong against the likes of last night's Knockout runner-up Tran Hung Manh of Vietnam.


Terry Gonzaga

6pm: Day 1A Begins
Level 1 - Blinds 25/50

With Christmas just around the corner, one can practically feel the abundant overflow of festive cheer; step into The Grand Ballroom, City of Dreams Manila, however, and a different story unfolds. With tension slowly building towards today's Manila Megastack 8 main event Day 1A, we see veterans like Mike Kim walking among fresh faces in the area. Things are shaping up to be a very exciting beginning tonight indeed.

On a typical December night in one of the best parts of Manila, 126 have already signed up as of this writing 6:28pm. And with a delicious P8 million prize pool guaranteed for a cool P30,000 entry fee, it's no wonder we're getting all this action this early on.

Manila Megastack 8 Main Event Day1A by Chris Librojo.jpg

Photos by Chris Librojo courtesy of PokerStars LIVE Manila

Unlimited re-entries are good until the end of level 8 at 10:20pm, and poker players are expected to battle it out until 2:00am tonight. The only requirement, of course, is that they bring their A-game.


Aubrey Dela Cruz
@PokerStars in PokerStars Manila