City of Dreams – Manila
With the Main Event just days away, the ninth staging of the Pokerstars Live APPT Manila leg has so far witnessed riveting action from the events that already played out, and leading up to the highlight of the festivities come those who have thrown it all out of the felt for the almost one week that cards have been in the air here at the Grand Ballroom of City of Dreams Manila. Here’s a quick update of how the trophies were handed out over the past couple of days.
Alex Lee wins the Warm Up Event
The tournament with the biggest prize pool—as expected—was the PhP10,000 Warm-Up. The re-entry event drew 570 runners and played out over four days. The guaranteed purse of PhP3M was easily eclipsed as the total prize pool ballooned to a shade under PhP5M. The early chip leaders fell by the wayside as the very crafty short stacks found themselves in contention for the championship and when the Final Table came together in the early hours of Sunday evening, no one still had an inkling of how it would turn out.
Three Filipinos, two players from Chinese Taipei, an American, a Singaporean and a Malaysian composed the diverse Final Table and when the hostilities resumed, it became apparent that it would come down to who was the least fatigued that would make the climb to the top. The Filipino audience was dealt a massive blow when local hotshot Lester Edoc busted out in fifth place, leaving only wily veteran Ed Marcelo to carry the flag. He did; taking the fight all the way to Heads-Up.
Marcelo, who has been known in the local poker scene as a savvy tournament warrior but had not made a major splash since making it to the Final Table of a Filipino Poker Tour (FPT) event in 2009, battled being short stacked for a majority of the event to come to within arm’s length of his first major victory. “During the times I felt it was time to shove, someone acting before me made a move,” said the 34-year-old native of Makati City, in the vernacular just before the Final Table went into action. “I folded pocket fives, pocket sevens and ace-queen to those moves. Fortunately, I made it this far and even if I have a below average stack I still have enough to make a push.”
Alex Lee triumphed in the Warm Up Event (Photo PokerStars)
Malaysian Alex Lee eventually triumphed over Marcelo and snared the PhP1,082,200 (approx. US$24,000). Marcelo still had a great payday of PhP671,800 for finishing second. Former Pokerstars Player of the Year Peter Chen also bucked small holdings heading into Day 2 by finishing in third and taking home PhP415,500.
Recapping the new titlists, Chinese Taipei’s Fubo Huang copped the PhP20,000 Deepstack NLHE event, defeating South Korea’s Lee Ju Young for PhP340,040 while Takafuji Hideki of Japan blasted the field in the PhP2,000 Re-Buy event and for PhP155,500 in winnings.
The PhP15,000 Deepstack PLO trophy went to local cash game regular Charlie Esteban (PhP268,720) while the PhP2,500 KO Bounty NLHE crown was contested by three Singaporeans with Siong See Ming emerging victorious (PhP83,000) and the PhP5,000 Freezeout NLHE title went to Jose “Boyet” Drilon; the Filipino that finished the deepest in the 2015 WSOP Main Event.
A field of 117 participants are battling for the PhP25,000 6-Max NLHE event as of this writing .