Manila Megastack 8: Main Event Day 1B Live Updates
11:28pm: Record-Breaking Day 1B ends with Dante Antipuesto overtaking the group
Day 1B comes to a close, making this Manila Megastack 8 the series' largest ever event by prize pool. With the Main Event garnering 624 entrants - with today's 370 entries completely eclipsing yesterday's 254 - the prize pool has officially more than doubled the ₱8 million guaranteed into a whopping ₱16,342,560.
87 players tomorrow will make the money, with the bottom prize starting at ₱50,500. That means today's 78 survivors will battle against Day 1A's 65 players - 142 contenders in total since Hai Anh Tran qualified twice - for the top prize of over ₱3 million.
Overtaking the previous chip lead Jae Hyuun Lim, who falls down to the top 10 at 279,000, was Dante Antipuesto at 370,000. Antipuesto flew under the radar until the home stretch, where he took the spot of start-of-day chip leader away from Day 1A's Edmund Eng with 278,000.
Other players with notable stacks are Mohamad Zefirelli Noordin of Singapore at fourth place (332,000), Hoang Lim Bui of Vietnam at fifth (331,000), and Mike Takayama of the Philippines at sixth (320,000), and they'll be making another run at tomorrow's main prize along with today's Joon Won Lee of Korea (367,000) at second place and Alexis Lim of the Philippines (366,000) at third.
Note that the top prize is already inclusive of the ₱100,000 package to the 2018 Asia Championship of Poker, which includes a buy-in to the HK$11,000 Megastack Championship event as well as hotel accommodation.
Day 2 of the Megastack 8 Main Event begins at 12nn local time tomorrow here at PokerStars LIVE Manila, City of Dreams Manila, so make sure to join us again here for your hottest updates. But for now, we leave with this: Rest up, players; tomorrow's the big day!
9:53pm: Last 7 hands
Level 15 - Blinds 2500/5000/500
Clock has been paused with 86 contenders left in the field playing their last seven hands for Day 1B!
9:48pm: Leaders of the pack
Level 15 - Blinds 2500/5000/500
The last level is chock-full of shoves left and right as short stacks look to either score some or bust out. With 108 contenders left, tonight's playing field remains tight as players like Mike Takayama, Terry Gonzaga, Dante Antipuesto, and Hoang Lam Bui try to outdo their stacks while Jae Hyun Lim holds on to the pole position. Look out for this space as we release the official chip count shortly.
8:54pm: Chip lead (unofficial)
Level 13 - Blinds 1500/3000/400
We caught some great action at our unofficial chip leader Jae Hyun Lim's table. First, it was Jae Chang vs. Yuki Kawahara. With 9♠9♣T♦ on the flop, Chang checked, and Kawahara raised to 9,000, which Chang called. 6♣ appears at the turn, where Chang checked again, Kawahara raised again to 14,000, and Chang finally folds.
A similar play happened on the next hand as Chingyong Kim raised to 7,000 pre-flop and Jonald Garcia called. 8♣3♥K♥ spread on the flop, Garcia checked, and Kim raised 10,000, to which Garcia called. At the turn Q♠ prompted Kim to go all in, making Garcia throw his cards.
Finally it was our chip lead's turn as he raised 6,500 preflop, and Yuka Asaka re-raised to 25,000. Lim called to reveal 8♥7♠6♥ on the board, at which point Asaka went all the way in, raising the pot with a hefty 38,800 infusion. Lim called it, and their cards were shown:
With Asaka's pocket aces, victory was close; at the fourth street, however, fortune decided to smile upon Lim with T♥, decimating Asaka's chances at the main event tomorrow. And with 4♦ at the river, Asaka's tournament fate was sealed, giving our chip lead an even bigger stack at approximately 360,000.
8:27pm: Final break
Level 13 after the break - Blinds 1500/3000/400
We are at the last break tonight, where only 153 players remain out of the 370 entries. Average stack is up at 72,500, and total prize pool has plateaued to a hefty ₱16 million.
7:48pm: Stack race
Level 11 - Blinds 800/1600/200
It's a race against time as players vie for the top position for the last flight before the main event tomorrow. We caught the action at Manila Megastack 6's previous champion Siong Boon Heng's table as he plays at the button against Japan's Ryo Saito and Malaysia's Sukumar Letchmunan.
Saito raised 3,500 pre-flop as both contenders called; at the flop 6♠8♠6♥ Saito again raises to 5,000, where our previous champ Heng folds. With a head-to-head battle, Letchmunan brazenly raised to 9,500, at which point the aggressive Saito went all in, edging Letchmunan to fold.
"Where were you when I was up at 80,000?" Letchmunan jokingly asked this writer, before moving on to the next hand.
With Letchmunan at the button, we again had some pre-flop action, this time between Taiwan's Rex Hsu and this year's NLH Turbo Pokerstars Championship Macau Champion Alan Kia Kheng Lim. Lim raised to 4,000, and Hsu called to reveal the flop at J♦J♠K♠. Lim again raised to 5,000, and Hsu called to show the turn at J♥. After both checked to reveal the river A♥, Hsu suddenly goes all in, throwing Lim off his raising streak. Letchmunan had to call for time from the TD, and Lim in the end decided to fold. Hsu showed his cards and asked Lim to reveal the same, and these were what they had.
"Good play," Hsu says as he refilled his stack with some 9,000 chips.
6:52pm: New blood
Level 9 - Blinds 500/1000/100
We caught Japan's Kazunobu Kuraya battling it out head on with Singapore's Zi Sheng Tao, who had the button position. At the flop 2♠J♠9♦ Teo raised just a few thousands, to which Kuraya called; at the turn of 9♠ both simply checked, and at the river of 9♣ Kuraya made the move and raised 5,000. After Tao mulls it over, he takes a shot and re-raises another 2,000, to which Kuraya folds, dealing him with a much shorter stack.
Meanwhile, 216 others still remain as the night wears on.
6:12pm: Breaktime and last lives
Level 9 after the break - Blinds 500/1000/100
We've arrived at the second break of Day 1B, and from here on out there will be no more rebuys for the remaining 243 contenders. With our average stack having risen to 41,300, the carnage continues as today's players become more aggressive to win the best stack for tomorrow's main event.
5:43pm: Last chance to be part of the biggest Manila Megastack in history
Level 8 - Blinds 400/800/100
We are now at the last level for rebuyers and late joiners to enter the fray! At 333 entries and the largest prize pool at over ₱15 million, we have 22 minutes remaining until players can enjoy unlimited rebuying.
Level 7 - Blinds 300/600/100
We've caught a lot of derailing action in the field: first with Filipino Pusang Gala's table, where a community board of 6♣4♥6♠A♣3♥ saw Vietnam's Hai Anh Tran outplay two others in a three-way after raising 6,000 on the river, elevating his stack to a healthy 55,000. We'll never know what he had, but we do know it was an effective play.
Next we saw Ronnie 'Ron Tse' Tate going head to head against Finland's Harri Ninipalo as he raises 1,600 preflop, and again at the flop of T♦9♦2♦, pushing Ninipalo to fold and bagging him a few extra thousands.
Finally we caught a spread of Q♣9♠9♦7♥Q♠ and an isolated raise of 11,900 from Joon Hee Park against Tong Tan, making this year's 1st runner up at the No Limit Hold'em Super Deep Stack Turbo of Asian Poker Tour Manila fold out of the competition.
4:42pm: Record-breaking Day 1B
Level 6 - Blinds 250/500/75
And it is official! We have broken the record with 291 entries today, giving us the biggest prize pool ever of over ₱14 million in the Manila Megastack series. For those wanting to join in on the fun, late entries end at 6:20pm tonight.
4:28pm: Back in action
Level 5 - Blinds 200/400/50
We caught the action with the community board showing a K♠K♣T♦J♥7♥ after Gordon Kwan Tai Wong of Hong Kong raised on the turn and Curtis Powell of USA shoved in. Powell had pocket aces A♦A♥ versus Wong's crazy K♦K♥, reversing their fortunes and giving life to Wong's earlier stack of less than 8,000.
"Guess who's back to his original stack," Powell jokes as he goes back to square one.
4:02pm: Breaking records at break time
Level 4 - Blinds 150/300/50
The first break of the day leaves us with 259 players, surpassing yesterday's turnout, with an average stack of 32,400 and a total prize pool at ₱12 million. Looks like we are well on our way to breaking Manila Megastack's record! Re-entry closes in two hours at Level 8 so you still have time to be part of this historic event.
3:26pm: Seiler busts out Falcon (with the accidental help of Tran)
Level 3 - Blinds 100/200
It was already a heated and tense table, with players exchanging both friendly and not-so-friendly banter, when Tran Hung Manh, this year's No Limit Hold'em Deep Stack Turbo champion of Boyaa Poker Tour Macau, threw in a yellow chip preflop and accidentally said four thousand five hundred (when he really meant four hundred fifty). Michael Falcon, one of the more seasoned champions of the field, couldn't let the opportunity pass and played along, raising the pot. Cheng Chen Chu and Bryan Mark Seiler called, and the flop revealed 3♥J♠4♦. "Im having fun," Falcon exclaimed as he raised again, and in the heat of the moment Chu went all in, with Seiler and Falcon calling. Cards turned over and Chu has K♥5♥, Falcon a pair with 4♣A♣, and Seiler a whopping trips at 3♠3♦. The turn gave a 4♥ for Seiler's full house against Falcon's 4 trips, and the river ensured Seiler's victory at T♣.
"I'm just gonna gamble," Seiler quipped earlier before a whopping 22,350 was shipped his way.
2:53pm: Player update
Level 2 - Blinds 75/150
We now have 152 players, already surpassing half of yesterday's entries this early on. We see a lot of familiar faces from yesterday, some like Luke Pangan of the Philippines and Day 1A's third chip leader Kai Loon Ang scoping the competition while others like Teruhiro Aritake taking another swig at a higher stack.
2:40pm: Early back and forth
Level 2 - Blinds 75/150
At table 12 we had an early tête-à-tête between Boon Heng Siong, 2016's champion of No Limit Hold'em Main Event of Manila Megastack 6 and Ching Wei Lu.
We caught the action at 9♣ on the turn and K♠6♣7♥ on the flop, where Siong raised and Lu called. With A♦ revealed on the river, Siong again raised, prompting Lu to fold, winning him a few hundred chips early on.
Next hand was a reversal of sorts, with Lu raising on the flop of 3♣5♣9♦ and Siong calling along, only to fold at the turn of 8♥, giving back some of Lu's chips from the previous hand.
2:03pm: Main Event Day 1B begins
Level 1 - Blinds 50/100
And we're off! Another 10 players have joined the fray in the last five minutes, so it looks like we'll easily have more than yesterday's 254 entries. Just like Day 1A, we'll have 15 30-minute levels, so tonight will end earlier at 10pm. For the late comers, don't fret - you have plenty of time to register as the unlimited rebuys end at 6:20pm.
1:57pm: Main Event Day 1B starts in 5 minutes
Ah, December weather. The sun is shining, the sky is blue - conditions are perfect for stepping out of your comfort zone and stepping in to the wild and glorious world of Poker. Today is a great day for another fiery bloodbath as we head into Day 1B of Manila Megastack 8 Main Event. P30,000 entry fee lets you in on the action here in Pokerstars Live Manila, City of Dreams Manila Grand Ballroom, with unlimited rebuys until Level 8. A guaranteed ₱8 million is up for the taking, though if the action yesterday was any indication, it looks like we'll break that ceiling in no time flat.
The chip lead to beat is 278,000 from last night's Edmund Eng of Singapore, although players from yesterday can compete once again to up their stack for the main event happening tomorrow, Sunday Dec.3 at 12 noon.
We already have 60 players lined up, and more will come as the day unfolds. So to all our poker players today, we say: welcome to the game, and happy hunting!