PASAY CITY, Philippines—Don Carmona, the businessman known in the local poker scene as “Pusang Gala” (“Stray Cat”) came away with the biggest chip haul of the metropolis side of the event by amassing 228,000 in holdings to headline Day 1C of MIKES ROOM’s 3M for 3K tournament as the total number of entries reached a grand total of 1,290 here.
“I’m happy for the event, although I was hoping we could hit a higher number,” said Mike Kim, the owner of MIKES ROOM. “But we’ll definitely have another Mikes Millionaire Maker very soon.”
Day 1C contributed to millennial mark by drawing in 387 entries for the Carmona-led “Regular” flight and a whopping 182 for the “Turbo” night flight wherein local regular Joemark Vasay topped the field with 185,000 in chips; capping the All-Filipino session and officially ending the qualifying stage of this PhP3,000,000 guaranteed tilt with the champion walking away with PhP1,000,000 and a brand new car.
“We would have liked to hit the 1,500 mark,” Kim continued, “But I guess the number of other tournaments coinciding with ours just had many players exhausted. We’re planning an even bigger one for next time.”
Carmona burst into the scene in 2009 by finishing runner up in the national championship, but his wit and savvy at the table earned the admiration of the poker community. His inimitable exclamation of his adopted moniker every time he escapes from near disaster at the table endeared him to aficionados across the archipelago.
Carmona led the 33 survivors of the “Regular” flight while 24 advanced from the “Turbo” session.
His stack is dwarfed, however, by Cebu qualifier Raymond Basto who swept the field in his qualifying flight en route to 430,000 in chips.
Day 2 begins on Sunday (August 21st) with the remaining 138 players battling it out with no more buy-ins allowed.
More: Full coverage