The perfect spot. The perfect play. A flawless execution. That’s exactly what happened at the final table of the Metro Card Club’s 2M Guaranteed New Year Special that concluded last night at Metrowalk, Pasig, Philippines. This six-day festival boasted of the lowest buy-in of P4,000 ($125), the cheapest Main Event offered in the country. As expected, there were many attendants, a total of 664 entries, amassing a prize pool of P2,324,000 ($48,599). At the end of the night, it was Filipino poker pro Lester Edoc who dominated masterfully to claim the first place purse of P620,000 ($12,965).
Qualifying Days Recap
Edoc’s rise to the top didn’t just start at the final table, instead it began at day 1a when he finished as one of the chip leaders, second only to Filipino player Luis Bernardo. Filipino poker pro Florencio Campomanes also joined the leaders bracket after topping the list of survivors at day 1c. With 94 entries into day 2, Edoc and Campomanes battled their way to the top once again, reaching the final day as the top two leaders, along with Renniel Galvez in third. Rising star Edilberto Gopez was also in the mix with a mid-ranged stack.
Metro 2M Final Ten
The final table continued with not much change in the chip lead status. Edoc, Campomanes, and Galvez were all sporting the biggest stacks.
The first to fall was Harvey Wi in 10th place. Next was Manuel Mascunana from Cebu whose pocket kings fell to Eugene Co’s set of tens. Korean player Kyungrok Kim, the only player from a foreign country at the final table took 8th place. Kim was in danger several times and was able to double up once but not enough to go the distance. Not long after, Antonio Lugo fell in 7th place after going all in with a gut shot straight flush draw that failed to improve against Gopez’s top pair. Renniel Galvez took a beating to his stack when Edoc landed a straight on the river.
This brought Edoc to harboring almost half of the chips in play. Unable to recover from the loss, Galvez ended in 6th place when his top two pairs were burned on the river by Gopez set of sixes. Meanwhile, Edoc continued to amass more chips with sixty-five percent of the chips in play at his corner. It only took a slight dip when Campomanes doubled up with his ace-queen against Edoc’s ace-jack.
At five-handed, Gopez crippled down Noel Palanggoy to less than one big blind when he cracked Palanggoy’s pocket aces. Palanggoy, who was seated to Edoc’s left, was eventually all in and was called by Gopez, Campomanes, and Co, but when action reached Edoc, he shoved on his big blind. With their tournament lives on the line, everyone folded and Palanggoy got protection. He quintupled up. Unbeknownst to the players and spectators, this would be the beginning of Edoc’s plan. Edoc proceeded to eliminated Co in 5th place, and then claimed nearly eighty percent of the chips in play.
Final Table (Photo Metro Card Club)
Edoc to Victory
At four-handed, Edoc put his plan into full action by using Palanggoy as a screen to Gopez and Campomanes. With this strategy, Gopez and Campomanes were practically frozen in their tracks while Palanggoy’s chips slowly increased to nearly half a million.
Taking the payouts into consideration, the jump from each placing at four-handed was also quite big. Realizing their disadvantage, Gopez and Campomanes watched their stacks dwindle until eventually, Campomanes eliminated Gopez in 4th place with his pocket sevens landing a full house. Despite the win, Campomanes would lose some of those chips when he doubled up Palanggoy with king-jack versus queen-jack. Palanggoy climbed to over a million chips. Unable to overcome Edoc’s strategy, Campomanes was ousted in 3rd place by none other than the masterful Edoc himself.
At heads up, Edoc eliminated Palanggoy in just fifteen hands to reign victorious.
Lester Edoc (Photo Metro Card Club)
Final Table Payouts:
1st – Lester Edoc – P620,000
2nd – Noel Palanggoy – P320,000
3rd – Florencio Campomanes – P170,000
4th – Edilberto Gopez – P120,000
5th – Eugene Co – P90,000
6th – Renniel Galvez – P70,000
7th – Antonio Lugo – P54,000
8th – Kyungrok Kim – P44,000
9th – Manuel Mascunana – P34,000
10th – Harvey Wi – P26,000