For the past six days, from May 3-8, 2016, PokerStars Live Manila held their highly popular poker festival, the Manila Megastack, at their hub in City of Dreams Manila. This was the fifth installment of the series with the previous ones all held last year. Advertising the event as being “bigger and better”, the Main Event entry fee was raised from P10,000 to P25,000 and the prize pool guarantee up from P2M to P6M. With a record-breaking 478 entries -220 for Day 1a and 258 for Day 1b- the prize pool easily surpassed the guarantee for a whopping P10,432,350 ($50,808). Rising to victory was Taiwan’s Tzu Chieh Lo who maintained a large stack throughout the entire tournament to capture the first place cash prize of P2,392,350 ($221,559).
After two day one flights, Lo entered the final day running fourth in chips out of 108 qualifiers. The leader was Taiwan’s Shih Chieh Su who bagged the most chips at Day 1b. These two would eventually battle it out for the trophy. Among the qualifiers of the final day were Asian pros such as, Singapore’s Alex Lee (winner of the APPT 9 Manila Warm-Up event), 2015 Asia Player of the Year champion Hong Kong’s Alan “Kinglune” Lau, two-time Asian Poker Tour Main Event champions Korea’s Seung Soo Jeon and Norway’s Henrik Tollefsen, Taiwn’s Jack En-Ching Wu (currently 6th in the APOY 2016), Malaysia’s Ying Lin Chua (Macau Poker Cup 24 Red Dragon champion), Germany’s Julian Hasse, China’s Hui Yao, Filipino pro Andrew Gaw, Japan’s Azusa Maeda, and Russia’s Andrei Dementev.
Although several of them would fall before the money, it was Jeon who bubbled to the final table while Tollefsen and Hasse entered with the largest stacks.
Final Table (photo PokerStars)
The first player to fall was Taiwn’s Fu Lung Hung in 9th place, followed by Canada’s Karl Thorson in 8th place, who was Lo’s first victim of the final table. Tollefsen eliminated Japan’s Eichi Mizuno in 7th place, then Lo took control, eliminating Australia’s Angelo Peter Scicchitano in 6th place. After Tollefesen lost a big portion of his stack to Su, he fell in 5th place at the hands of Hasse. In a quest to amass more chips, Lo claimed his third head at the final table by eliminating Hasse in 4th place. Then it was Su’s turn, he eliminated China’s Keiji Ye in 3rd place and faced off with Lo at the heads up round.
With Lo holding a much larger stack, Su had his work cut out for him. He won several small pots, and with the blinds and antes already quite high, these multiple winning pots were enough for him to overtake Lo. However, Su’s stack was just momentary as Lo landed a massive double up with his ace-nine offsuit against Su’s ace-six offsuit. With a 6:1 chip lead, Lo eliminated Su two hands later. This is a big win for Lo having just bagged the MPC 24 HKD5,000 NLH Megastack last February.
Tze Chieh Lo (Photo PokerStars)
Here are the Final Table payouts:
1st Tze Chieh Lo – Taiwan – P2,392,350
2nd Shih Chieh Su – Taiwan –P1,526,000
3rd Keiji Ye – Japan – P966,000
4th Julian Hasse – Germany – P773,000
5th Henrik Tollefsen – Norway P585,000
6th Angelo Peter Scicchitano – Australia – P433,000
7th Eichi Mizuno – Japan – P331,000
8th Karl Thorson – Canada – P280,000
9th Fu Lung Hung – Taiwan – P234,000