Poker hasn’t come to a full halt in the Philippines. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 situation, players are still able to enjoy competitive poker. In mid-February, the World Poker Tour wrapped up a twelve-day series pulling in a decent 344 entries to the Main Event and paying out over US$ 445,000.
To cap the month, the country’s most popular card room, the Metro Card Club, hosted its second event of the year called the Philippine Poker Tournament. The Main Event ran from February 26 to March 2 attracting 515 entries for a prize pool of Php 2,111,500 (~US$ 70,700). With the field heavily dominated by local players, it was no surprise to see one of them rein it in. Have a read below on the results.
Main Event: Rasid Paitao – Php 299,883 (~US$ 5,940)
Four entry days determined the final turnout with 515 entries at Php 4,500 (~US$ 90) each. Hoarding the biggest pile was Filipino pro David Jansen Erquiaga, edging fellow pro Christopher Mateo by two starting stacks. Both of these players have been gracing the local and international headlines quite a bit since last year. For Erquiaga, his consistency for final table appearances which included his deep run at the recently concluded WPT Philippines seemed a sure bet for another one. However, it wasn’t the case. Notable players were nowhere to be found on the final day. Instead, it was a new face leading the charge, Rasid Paitao.
The final day got underway with 18 players on the hunt. In under two hours, eight had quickly fallen to form the final table of 10 players. Only two hailed from other countries, Seungeon Lee and Daniel Edwards. Edwards carried in the largest stack.
After three players dropped out, the chip lead was grabbed by multiple players. Rommel Angeles overtook Edwards on a three-way win then Reynaldo Villegas stole it on a lucky double up with A-Q outdrawing Angeles’s A-K. Angeles was crippled and soon busted to bring the field down to 5 players. An ICM deal was discussed and reached. Each player was guaranteed the amount below plus an additional Php 50,000 (~US$ 1,000) to the eventual winner.
Reynaldo Villegas – Php 299,082 (~US$ 5,900)
Rasid Paitao – Php 249,883 (~US$ 4,940)
Reynaldo Dela Rosa – Php 232,604 (~US$ 4,600)
Daniel Edwards – Php 188,220 (~US$ 3,700)
Rene Pacayra – Php 173,863 (~US$ 3,440)
Action resumed with players adding extra aggression. This led to Edwards falling in 5th place. Chip leader Villegas lost his lead to Reynaldo Dela Rosa which was then grabbed by Rasid Paitao. Paitao used his chips to finish Villegas. Dela Rosa denied Rene Pacayra in 3rd place to even it up with Paitao for heads up. The Main Event concluded with Paitao getting the best of Dela Rosa to ship his first live victory and largest live win.
Final Table payouts
1st Rasid Paitao – Php 299,883 (deal made)
2nd Reynaldo Dela Rosa – Php 232,604 (deal made)
3rd Rene Pacayra – Php 173,863 (deal made)
4th Reynaldo Villegas – Php 299,082 (deal made)
5th Daniel Edwards – Php 188,220 (deal made)
6th Rommel Angeles – Php 71,800
7th Rene Echevarria – Php 59,500
8th April Jane Valerio – Php 47,200
9th Seungeon Lee – Php 39,000
10th Julius Orcullo – Php 30,800
Running alongside the Main Event were evening side games where players could win PPT trophies. Joseph Sia dominated, reaching the final table in 4 events while crushing two, the NLHE Turbo and Power Button. Other winners were Tyrone Lim (Pre-Event 150k gtd), David Co (Mixed NLH / PLO), Elmer Kalaquian (Bounty Event), and Brick Dava closing out the festival at the Deep Stack Turbo.
Up next at the Metro
Alike many poker brands affected by the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the Metro has decided to cancel the upcoming Asian Poker Championship 2 intended to run in April in collaboration with Korean Mind Game Members (KMGM).
As of now, rescheduled dates have not yet been released. However good news, in replacement, the Metro will run the Metro Summer Event Php 4M (~US$ 79,000) guaranteed Main Event from April 15 to 20. Buy-in is Php 6,500 (~US$ 130).