GPI Philippines #1 ranked player Mike Takayama has seized control of 2018 and we are just through the second month. Coming out very strong for the new year, Takayama fell one spot short of a title at the Macau Poker Cup – Baby Dragon event just missing his chance at the US$30,000 worth PokerStars Players Championship Platinum Pass.
A few weeks later, he was back in his homeland for the Manila Super Series that ran from February 13 – 18. With a local heavy turnout, many won events however the biggest ones – Main Event and Warm Up – were claimed by Takayama. For his incredible achievement at the Main Event, he also captured the highly coveted Platinum Pass on top of his cash winnings.
Takayama’s Super Series victories
The Manila Super Series quickly heated up with 331 entries for the Warm-Up event. This ballooned the prize pool from a 1M guaranteed to P1,412,708 (~US$27,000). As expected, local pros came out in numbers including known foreign pros residing in the country. Out of the 50 players reaching the money were William Ysmael (47th), Joven Huerto (40th), Eugene Co (39th), Seung Soo Jeon (35th), Richard Marquez (26th), Eric Wasylenko (4th), and Noel Araniel (3rd).
For Takayama, he entered the heads up round against one of the well known live tournament local pros Jessie Leonarez. Both players are world class and have a long list of achievements in major international events. Takayama got the best of Leonarez and shipped in the P265,000 (US$5,000) purse. Leonarez earned P170,000 (US$3,200) for runner-up.
Following that event was the three-day Main Event (P3M guaranteed) that saw a thunderous 655 entry turnout. At P10,000 each, this well exceeded the guarantee and climbed to P5,591,080 (~US$106,600). While everyone was gunning to win, it was the Platinum Pass that had everyone drooling for the champion’s purse.
The final table was fully loaded with top local gunners such as Rundulf Martin Gonzales, Alexis Lim, Kim Michael Enriquez, David Erquiaga, Adones Carmona, and of course the hot-running pro Takayama who entered as the chip leader.
Hours later, the deed was done and it was Takayama at the top besting Alexis Lim at the heads up round. Lim earned a hefty P800,000 (~US$15,200) while Takayama scooped up the P931,800 (~US$17,700) purse and the exclusive Platinum Pass.
Takayama will now be representing the Philippines in January 2019 for the PokerStars Players Championship tournament in the Bahamas. This is a fantastic achievement for one of Asia’s most highly revered players.
Other local winners at the Super Series
Skipping over to other notable winners at the series, Philippine player Rommel Angeles, who recently won the Metro Card Club’s 2M Guaranteed event, picked up another title. He topped the 99-entry field of the Knockout event for P85,732 in winnings. Additionally, he placed 3rd and 5th at two NLH Turbo events.
Rising fast since late 2017 is Philippine player Eugene Co. 2018 has already seen Co go deep in two APT Kickoff Vietnam events and a 14th place at the MPC Red Dragon Main Event. At the Super Series, Co cashed in several events, two of which were victories: NLH-PLO and NLH Turbo.
Article by Triccia David