PASAY CITY, Philippines—As the old adage goes: a poker tournament is a marathon and not a sprint. That’s what Jose “Boyet” Drilon had to endure as he bucked the odds and was crowned the champion of MIKES ROOM’s “2M for 2K” tournament here, topping the biggest field in Philippine poker history en route to the title and PhP1,000,000 ($21,157).
Drilon, who was last Filipino standing in the 2015 WSOP Main Event (283th), barged into contention after finishing atop the leaderboard in the Day1B turbo “Night” flight but struggled to keep in step with the field in Day 2 by ending the day in nineteenth place with a nondescript stack of 372,000—well below the average heading into the final day of the competition.
He had a roller coaster march to the Final Table and was in fact the lowest stack among the finalists—tenth out of the final ten left standing.
But that’s where the marathon aspect kicked in for the 49 year old from Manila. His experience in international competition (where the structure is much longer than that of this particular tourney) had him grinding with the big stacks until he finally hit key double ups to stay afloat and climb higher and higher up the pay out.
By the time it was three handed, Drilon—a billiard hall proprietor and lending investor by profession—had the second largest holdings behind erstwhile chip leader Mike Takayama and just ahead of Luke Pangan.
Drilon eliminated Pangan just a bit after the second ceasefire of the Final Table when both flopped top pair and went all-in and Drilon having the higher kicker.
It wasn’t long before Drilon chipped away at Takayama’s stack and gained control of the ensuing heads-up battle.
The final hand cane when both gentlemen decided to put all their chips in the middle with an Ace in the hole—Takayama having AQo and Drilon with A8o.
Drilon hit his 8 on the turn and no Q came on the river to save Takayama as Drilon claimed his first major title and with it the distinction of besting a record field of 1,403 entries.
MIKES ROOM’s opening salvo was a tremendous success and Drilon just proved anew the old Chris Moneymaker legend that in poker, anyone can win.
Congratulations to all those who made the “2M for 2K” a big hit and kudos to MIKES ROOM for the incredible undertaking.
Article by Noel Zarate
Payout (In PHP)
1st Boyet Drilon – 1,000,000
2nd Mike Takayama – 349,000
3rd Luke Pagan – 227,00
4th Rommel Morfe – 151,800
5th Conrado Pumicpic – 106,200
6th Edward Tan – 75,900
7th Harry Steward – 53,100
8th Janno Riga – 44,200
9th Eugene Co – 36,400
10th Lito Bautista – 31,200
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