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Tanaka tops record Day 1A


Japan’s Shinobu Tanaka finished Day 1A as chip leader

Play has now concluded and the Manila Megastack Day 1A is now in the books. A record-breaking 284 players coughed up the ₱25,000 (~US$500) entry fee meaning that the ₱6 million guarantee has been reached on the first of our two starting flights.

Several notables were in attendance including reigning Asia Player of the Year Jack Wu, India’s Dhaval Mudgal, Japan’s Hisashi Ogi and Shinobu Tanaka and Manila Megastack Event #2 champion Mohamed Noordin.

However, only Tanaka and Noordin would make the cut with the others falling by the wayside as play progressed. Wu was one of the early casualties, running his QJ flush draw and gutshot straight draw into Kevin Chang’s flopped set of tens, which quickly became quad tens to send Wu rail-ward in style. 

Trip tens did not do so well for Dhaval Mudgal, who was not satisfied with busting once so re-entered to bust for a second time in a rather brutal fashion to France’s Hubert Spiess. Mudgal got all the chips in with his set of tens on the turn on a A6710 board and Spiess called with A9 and promptly made a straight when the 8 hit the river to award Speiss the 100,000 pot. Spiess was fortunate enough to make Day 2, finishing the day on a stack of 91,000.

Denmark’s Michael Falcon and the Philippines Archie Mariano both made spirited attempts to finish the day in pole position, but it was Japan’s Shinobu Tanaka who had that honour after the other two suffered some setbacks as play drew to a close. Tanaka finished the day with a rather impressive 324,500, closely followed by Mariano (303,000), Indonesia’s Ken Hartono (258,000) and Michael Falcon (248,500) with the Philippines’ William Te rounding out the top 5.

In total 73 players made the cut to successfully circumnavigate the tournament minefield and make it through to day 2. 

Click here for a full chip count for the day and follow the action as it happened on the poker stars blog here.  

2:20am: Mariano makes last gasp run for chip lead, Tanaka takes pole postion

Level 16 – blinds 2000/4000  
While we were busy watching Michael Falcon’s table two other big stacks were making moves that appear to have paid off.

The first is Archie Mariano; the Filipino player has been amassing chips steadily all day and was sitting on a stack of 200,000 when he became entangled in a hand against a fellow tablemate with both players getting all the chips in pre-flop.

It was Mariano who opened the action with a raise to 12,000 and his opponent promptly moved all-in for 100,000 from the big blind. Marino quickly called, turning over pocket kings, which were in front of the big blind’s ace queen and stayed that way to catapult Mariano up to the giddy heights of 330,000. 

Unfortunately a slight misstep a few hands later cost Mariano the chip lead after he opened from UTG+1 for 10,500 and found a caller in the form of Anders Hellberg.

Mariano bet 15,000 on the 867 flop but quickly folded when Hellberg min-raised to 30,000. Hellberg climbed to 141,500 while Mariano dropped to 303,000.

This opened the door for Japan’s Shinobu Tanaka to edge into pole position as the days’ play drew to a close. Tanaka was sitting on 175,000 an hour ago back on level 12 but never appeared to be involved in a hand whenever we walked passed his table. According to Tanaka’s tablemates the Japanese player enjoyed a last minute run of good form, nearly doubling his stack to finish the day on 324,500. 

1:45am: Falcon applies pressure, Tran responds

Level 15 – 1500/3000/500  

Michael Falcon has been getting it done quietly so far, emerging as our current chip leader all while flying under the radar and we have barely seen him play a hand. This trend continued as we arrived at the Danish player’s table just in time to see him stack up yet more chips after winning yet another hand. It appears to be Hubert Spiess who was Falcon’s opponent this time around judging by the French player’s much reduced chip stack and forlorn expression.

Falcon has not even finished stacking his newly minted chips before limping from under-the-gun with Canada’s Linh Tran and Spiess, in the small and big blind respectively, the only two players willing to tangle with the chip leader.

The flop comes down K83 and after both Tran and Spiess check Falcon led out for 7,000 only to see Tran quickly check-raise to the tune of 16,500. Falcon is initially not a believer, four-betting to 33,000 in total, but comes around rather quickly when Tran moves all-in for another 36,500 more and makes the fold.

The two players tangle once again the very next hand with Falcon electing to defend his big blind when Tran raises to 7,000 from the button with both players checking the 10103 flop, the K turn and the 8 river. Tran flashes the A and Falcon mucks to drop down to 250,000 while Tran climbs to 150,000.

1:15am: Timely double for Chen
Level 14 – blinds 1200/2400/400  

Taiwan’s Pete Chen looks to make back-to-back cashes

Pete Chen’s fortunes looked to have waned somewhat since last we passed by his table and his stack has dwindled to 25,000 or so. However, Chen has just earned himself a double-up courtesy of a tablemate.

Preflop Chen moved all-in for his remaining chips over the top of an early postion raise and was called fairly swiftly.  Fortunately for Chen he was holding the best hand, his AA miles ahead of his opponent’s KQ and the Taiwanese player secured the double up when the board ran out 38572 and Chen climbed back up to just over 60,000.

1:00am: Falcon flies into lead

Level 13 – blinds 1000/2000/300  

While we have not had the time for a full chip count several players have emerged to battle it out for the chip lead. Singapore’s Mohamed Noordin is still very much in contention with a stack of roughly 220,000, with the other two largest stacks currently are Taiwan’s Shih Wang (225,000) and Japan’s Azusa Mazada (235,000). 

It looks like we have a new chip leader in the form of Denmark’s Michael Falcon who is flying high with what looks to be just over 255,000. One of the other big stacks, Mazada, has just moved to Falcon’s table, as has Hubert Spiess who has around 150,000 and we will be following the action closely as, should fireworks ensue someone could be sitting an a gigantic stack to end the day.

12:30am: Break time

Players have just gone on the last break of the day. When play resumes blinds will be 1000/2000 with a 300 running ante with the average stack coming in at just over 63,000. From our Day 1A starting field of 284 hopefuls just 135 remain and we expect this to drop still further over the last two hours and four levels of play.

12:20am: Noordin takes a hit, Chen looks for back-to-back cashes
Level 12 – blinds 800/1600/200  


Mohamed Nordic has emerged as one of the early chip leaders

Singapore’s Mohamed Noordin has been continuing the run of form that saw him take down the Event #2 ₱5,000 Freezeout, powering into a commanding chip lead.

However, poker being what it is, you can’t win every hand – a fact that Noordin has just discovered.

Pre-flop it was Filipino Divino Corpuz who opened the action with a raise from the cut-off with Noordin, sitting on the button, opting to flex his raising muscles by three-betting to 11,800 in total. Action folded back around to Corpuz who took his time before counting out his stack and moving all-in for 45,000 in total.

Noordin, sitting on just under 300,000 asks for a count before electing to call, but seems unhappy that he did so when Corpuz rolls over AK, which is leading the Singaporean’s AJ

Both players miss the board when the cards run out Q3947 meaning Corpuz’s kicker plays and he doubles up to just shy of 100,000 including the blinds and antes while Noordin drops to what looks to be around 230,000 or so.

Another player looking to build on earlier success is Taiwan’s Pete Chen. The former Asia Player of the Year has just busted the High Roller cashing for ₱207,000 and chose to reinvest ₱25,000 of his winnings in the main event. Things seem to be going reasonably well so far with Chen sitting on a stack of 69,000.  

11:20pm: Noordin moves into lead

Level 11 – blinds 600/1200/100  
As the blinds continue their inexorable climb our player pool continues to shrink while towering chip castles rise on several tables as players build fortresses and fortunes wax and wane. 

The average stack is around 59,000 and those whose fortunes are on the rise include France’s Hubert Spiess (150,000), Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz Bin Yousef (136,000), Taiwan’s Shih Wang (120,000), Vietnam’s Phan Huu (110,000), USA’s Ron Tate (100,000) and Anders Hellberg (90,000).

However, by far the biggest stack belongs to Singapore’s Mohamed Noordin who, after a table move has emerged as a clear chip leader with what looks to be just shy of 300,000 in front of him. 

Another player who is well on his way to building a sizable stack is France’s Frederick Fauchereau over on table 15 and we turned up just in time to see him take down yet another pot.

Pre-flop Fauchereau open limped from early position, often a sign of strength though just as often an attempt to see a cheap flop with a speculative hand. 
Anders Hellberg came along for the ride from the button and both Russell Thio and Gerald Casey checked their blind options taking us four-way to a flop of 1026.

It appears Fauchereau’s early limp may well have been with a big hand as he opened the action with an overbet of 7,600 into a pot of 5,700. While Hellberg and Thio both fold Casey check raised to 16,800 only to see Fauchereau quickly move all-in.  Casey hit the think tank but eventually mucked, dropping to around 45,000 or so while Fauchereau climbs to 110,000.

10:50pm: Chang eliminates Wu in style

Level 10 – blinds 500/1000/100
We were about to write a post about how reigning APOY Jack Wu was still in contention. However, this is no longer true and we arrived at Wu’s table just in time to see him bust in spectacular fashion.

We caught the action heads-up between Wu and Kevin Chang on a flop of A210 with Chang leading out for a half pot bet of 1,700. Wu, who appears to have been the pre-flop aggressor sitting UTG+2, three-bet to the tune of 5,200 leaving himself 17,500 behind. Chang had a great deal more and announced ‘raise’ pausing briefly to decide on the total before electing to juice it up to 12,700. 

Wu moved all-in almost instantly and Chang called just as quickly and the cards were flipped over.

Kevin Chang: 1010

Jack Wu: QJ

While Wu is drawing very live with both a gutshot straight draw and flush draw his hopes of a double-up are dashed exceedingly quickly when the 10 hits the turn to give Chang quads and send Wu crashing out of the tournament while Chang climbs to just over 80,000 or so. 

10:30pm: Spiess busts Mudgal to break 200k mark
Level 8 – blinds 400/800/50
India’s Dhaval Mudgal has just busted for the second time today, and in a rather brutal fashion at the hands of France’s Hubert Spiess.  Mudgal, who was down to just 3,000 of his second bullet at one point had managed to grind his stack back up to a much more respectable 50,000 before the wheels fell off.

It all started with a raise, as these things often do, with Mudgal opening for 2,000 and Spiess, with a sizable stack, flat calling in position. The flop fell A67 bringing a check from Mudgal and opening the door for Spiess to take the initiative, which he duly did with a bet of 4,000. Mudgal made the call and a non-heart ten hit the turn bringing another check from Mudgal and a slightly larger 12,500 bet from Spiess. Mudgal then check-raised all-in for 40,000 in total which Spiess called and the cards were on their backs:

Dhaval Mudgal: 1010
Hubert Spiess: A9

Unfortunately for Mudgal his set of tens could not fade the 8 river which completed Spiess’ straight to send the Indian player to the rail and catapult Spiess into a rather commanding chip lead with a stack of just over 200,000.

10:10pm: Break time
It’s break time once again and our remaining players will return after a short hiatus. The green 25 chips are currently being removed from play and blinds will rise to 400/800 with a 50 running ante when play resumes shortly. This marks the end of the late registration and re-entry period and the field has now swelled to an impressive 284 runners, 207 of which are still in the running. 

9:30pm: Big stacks on the rise

Level 7 – blinds 200/400/50
Several sizable stacks are beginning to emerge with Iran’s Mansour Khorramshahi (75,000) joining the ranks of Japan’s Hisashi Ogi (80,000) and Anders Hellberg (85,000).

Another player building a sizable stack is Vietnam’s Phan Huu. We caught Huu involved in a hand against William Te and caught the action on the river with the board reading 38A8 5 with over 15,000 in the pot.

First to act, Te – who appears to have been the pre-flop raiser – led out for just under a half pot bet of 7,000 only to be quickly re-raised another 15,000 on
top by Huu who is in the cut off.

Te looked to be unhappy with this turn of events but did make the call, his ace king behind to Huu’s 83. Huu raked in the huge pot to climb to 70,000 while Te is now short, dropping to just under 15,000 after the hand.

8:45pm: We is all heart
Level 6 – blinds 150/300/25
China’s Po-Yi We opened the action with a raise to 650 from middle position and found two callers to take the action three-way to an all heart flop of 97J.

After New Zealand’s Heremaia Te Aute checked from the small blind We fired out a continuation bet of 1,600 and while the third player in the hand folded, this bet was not enough to deter Te Aute who made the call to take play heads-up to the turn.

The dealer burned and turned the 9 to pair the board and when Te Aute checked again We led out with a second bet, this time a slightly larger one of 4,000 leaving himself 19,500 behind. Te Aute check-called once more and we headed to the river – the 10 bringing four to a flush to go with the paired board.

Neither player seemed to like it much and both checked, Te Aute turning over Q5 for the flopped flush. Unfortunately for the New Zealander he’s behind to We’s rivered nut flush and the Chinese player flipped over AA to scoop the pot and climb back up to the 30,000 starting stack.

8pm: Break time
Players have just gone on a short 10-minute break, but notable stacks at present include Anders Hellberg (80,000), Hisashi Ogi (70,000) and Nguyen Duy Anh (55,000). Reigning Asia Player of the Year Jack Wu is still in contention with a stack of 25,000. We will be back with more action when play resumes shortly.

7:55pm: Tsai scoops with call
Level 4 – blinds 100/200
We caught the action on the river with the board reading 294103 with play heads-up between Philippine’s Santiago Mateo and Taiwan’s Du-Ming Tsai.  

With over 15,000 in the pot it looks like there has already been some serious action and Mateo, sitting in the small blind, led out for 4,400 just as we arrived at the table. Tsai took his time before making the call his 77 leading Mateo’s J4 to bring his stack up to just over 40,000 while Mateo drops below starting stack.

We are experiencing some slight technical difficulties here leading to a slight delay in coverage but rest assured we will attempt to keep you updated to the best of our ability. 

7:40pm: Aces good for Tse
Level 4 – blinds 100/200
More late entries have swelled the field to 227, already beating the Megastack 5 day 1A meaning this is shaping up to be a sizable field for our APPT concluding calendar event of 2016. Of the 227 entries 218 playes remain, with India’s Dhaval Mudgal becoming one of the early casualties. One player whose stack is now moving in the right direction following his earlier cooler of Kings into Aces is Ron Tate. This time around it was Tate’s turn with the Aces and the US player managed to secure himself a double up after moving all-in from the small blind for 12,000 following an early position raise from Korea’s Keon Yong Ma and a re-raise from a player to Ma’s direct left.  

Both players made the call, though action quickly became heads-up when Ma led for 5,000 on a 396 flop and the third player folded. Ma showed pocket kings and Tate secured the double-up to just under starting stack.

7:10pm Noordin takes a hit
Level 3 – blinds 150/300
Action went heads-up following an early position raise from Australia’s Lawence Gibson, who received a call from Singapore’s Mohamed Noordin sitting two seats to Gibson’s left.

Gibson c-bet 650 on the Q 3 5 flop with Noordin making the call. The 7 brought flush possibilities and did not deter Gibson who fired a second barrel of 3,000. Noordin took a little longer than on the flop but did make the call bringing both players to the 2 river. With four to a spade flush on the board Gibson fired a third barrel, leading out for a single yellow 5k chip.

“Ace Queen?” queried Noordin before going into the think tank. The Singaporean player did make the call and was quite close in his earlier assessment as Gibson did indeed have a queen, but unfortunately for Noordin the Australian also had the flush, turning over KQ to scoop the pot.
6:45pm: Field Grows As Tate’s Cowboys Shot Down

Level 2 – blinds 50/100
The field has grown to 200 entries, two of whom have departed already, leaving 198 players battling it out to see who makes the Day 1A cut. We’ll be playing 14 30-minute levels with play concluding for the day at 2:30am local time. Other notable late entries include Japan’s Hisashi Ogi, Event #2 winner Mohamed Noordin and USA’s Ron Tate, the latter having just had a horrible cooler running pocket kings into the pockets aces of Ricardo Torres. While Tate didn’t quite dodge a bullet he did manage to not bust, salvaging just under 50% of his starting stack to drop to 12,000.


Action gets underway at the Manila Megastack 6

Manila Megastack 6: Day 1A Underway
Level 1 – blinds 25/50
6pm: Cards are in the air here at the City of Dreams Manila as the Manila Megastack 6 gets underway. So far there are 173 runners with notables including the newly crowned 2016 Asia Player of the Year Jack Wu, Pokerstars sponsored Japanese pro Mitsutoshi Yamagoshi and Australian pro David Beckhaus and India’s Dhaval Mudgal.  With late entry running until level 8 (10:20pm local time) we expect the field to grow before registration closes. 

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