It was a wild five days at PokerStars Live Manila with the P1M Guarantee Main Event charging in like a tornado. This was the first time an event of its kind was introduced in the country. Players could choose between three different qualifying tournaments with each one representing a different structure and a different buy-in. There were a total of four day one flights with two heats per flight. With blinds escalating every 15 minutes, it was nothing but action all around the room. At the end of all the flights, the event saw a total of 885 entries, which resulted in an overlay, and only 51 qualifying into the final day.
Fighting his way through the madness of the final day was Filipino player Michael De Leon. De Leon began the day in the middle of the pack and landed some big pots, one especially when he railed Norway’s Tommy Stroem with his 3♥9♥ against Stroem’s A♥Q♠. Both players connected on the board however De Leon further improved when his other card also found a pair.
Upon entering the final table, De Leon was second-in-chips to Filipino player Jay Lapidan but only by a single 5k chip. Kicking back cool at the table, players were clearly unaware of the silent storm about to make landfall at the table. And then it happened. The aggressive playing Conrado Pumicpic was first to feel the blow when De Leon killed his flame in 9th place.
Having reached the 1M chip mark, he watched again in silence as Vivencho Nachor tried to seize control after eliminating Zhinning Chen in 8th place. The other big stack, Lapidan joined the fun and railed Darwin Santelices in 7th place. But Nachor wasn’t done. He tested the table with numerous raises and won many pots until he ended Sam Peralta’s day in 6th place. Then the storm that was De Leon made his move again.
He eliminated Lapidan in 5th place with his 9♣9♠ standing strong against K♦10♦. Minutes after, it was Nachor’s time to feel the winds pin him down. Nachor moved all in with J♣9♦ and was unable to get past De Leon’s Q♣J♥. He finished in 4th place.
At three-handed, De Leon was impenetrable with over half the chips in play in his section. And it just kept growing. The two short stacks finally had to get something going and they battled against each other while De Leon sat in wait for the next opportunity to lay his siege. He didn’t have to wait long as Julius Lagman crippled down Antonio Ona, and De Leon finishing Ona off in 3rd place.
The heads up round began with De Leon ahead in chips, just past a 2:1 advantage. He had to be careful against Lagman for two reasons. Lagman came into the final day as the overall chip leader and most especially that one double up would instantly flip the chip lead. After eight hands of no flop, Lagman called De Leon’s all in on the ninth hand. De Leon had K♦4♣ and Lagman with K♣3♣. When the flop ran 7♦4♠J♥ De Leon was on his way to the title, and with the turn of 9♣ and river of Q♥, De Leon exclaimed a breath of victory, earning himself the P140,000 first place purse and the prestigious Main Event trophy.
For a detailed read on the action at the final day and the final table, just click the link Final Day Action.
Final Table Payouts
1st Michael De Leon – Philippines – P140,000 (deal made)
2nd Julius Lagman – Philippines – P130,000 (deal made)
3rd Antonio Ona – Philippines – P115,000 (deal made)
4th Vivencho Nachor – Philippines – P55,800
5th Jay Lapidan – Philippines – P40,600
6th Sam Peralta – Philippines – P32,100
7th Darwin Santelices – Philippines – P25,400
8th Zhinning Chen – China – P21,100
9th Conrado Pumicpic – Philippines – P16,900