William Ysmael clinches the Manila Super Series Main Event title


In just under six hours, Filipino William Ysmael emerged as the newest Manila Super Series Main Event champion. This was Ysmael’s first major win of the year. He joins a lineup of sixteen past MSS champions. For his achievement, Ysmael earned PHP 1,762,000 in cold hard cash and an APPT Manila Main Event Package worth PHP 105,000.

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William Ysmael

This was Ysmae’l second largest live tournament career payout. Last year, the local circuit regular won the Asia Poker Championship Main Event for a payday of PHP 5,400,000 (~$96K). To date, Ysmael has now accumulated US$ 270K in live tournament earnings.

SMP: Congratulations Will! How does it feel to win another Main Event?

This was great! It’s my first spadie. I came up short three times heads up so I’m happy to get this one. I’ve been playing a lot of cash games this year so getting a trophy felt like icing on the cake. And this is just in time for my first WSOP! This win feels like a great springboard to get some momentum and confidence as I head on over to Vegas.

SMP:  What were some of the challenges you faced at the final table?

Right from the start of the final table everything was going in my favor. I had decided I was going to try to push the action and see how the players would react, and by the first hour I ended up getting the chip lead. The first real challenge was a big hand where I had the Brunson 10-2 suited on the small blind against the big blind who was second in chips. He ended up putting a raise on the turn when I turned two pair, and then put a lot chips on the river. I used up all of my six time banks in that hand. If I called and lost, I would have been down to the middle of the pack, so I figured it was worth the risk to call He was bluffing and the put me in prime position for the trophy.

SMP: Entering heads up, you were behind in chips, what was your strategy?

I was very confident but PokerStars has a rule where once you are three-handed, the level intervals are cut in half so essentially it became a turbo tourney. Luckily my opponent did not ramp up the aggression so I was able to chip him down and eventually get in very well when he decided to put all his money in.

Ysmael on the game-changing all in showdown

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It was on par for how well the last two days of the tournament had been for me. I was making a lot of hands and subsequently when I was bluffing it would get through since my opponents had seen me show winners. On the second to the last hand, I bet big on the flop and there was a good chance he also had a piece of the flop since it was limped preflop. I verbally declared my bet and before I was able to count it out, he snap shoved and so I snap called. In hindsight, I should have double checked my hand just in case I might have misread it. Luckily that wasn’t the case. Happy for it to head my way.


Button William Ysmael limps, big blind Ting Yi Chen checks. At the flop 8c6h7d, Chen checks, Ysmael bets 700,000, Chen shoves, Ysmael calls for the first all in showdown at heads up.

Chen 5d10s open ended
Ysmael 4c5h straight

After the turn 3c and river 2d, Ysmael doubles up and Chen plunges to 3 bb.

William Ysmael – 20,700,000 (41 bb)
Ting Yi Chen – 1,600,000 (3 bb)

SMP: How special is this win?

All wins are special as it feels anti climactic as it happens. The process of becoming a player, confident in your level of play is really where the the joy is found. I enjoy this game so much and appreciate everything it has done for me and so many of my peers. Embracing the learning the game teaches me daily and hoping for more success in the future.

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The 17th edition of the MSS Main Event attracted a strong field of 746 entries for an event record prize pool of PHP 9,551,784 (~US$ 170,918). The top 113 earned a share with the final 9 places decided today. Read up on the final table race to victory via the live updates. We also have brief rundown of the action below.


Date: May 29 to June 4, 2023
Buy in: PHP 15,000 (~US$ 270)
Guarantee: PHP 3,000,000 (~US$ 53,320)
Total entries: 746 (374 unique, 372 re-entry)
Prize pool: PHP 9,551,784 (~US$ 170,918)
ITM: 113 players

Final table payouts

Place Player Payout in PHP
Payout in USD
1 William Ysmael ₱1,867,000 33,339
2 Ting Yi Chen ₱1,140,000 20,357
3 Edgar Asehan ₱765,000 13,661
4 Takashi Shiono ₱577,000 10,304
5 Yun Rong Cheong ₱457,500 8,170
6 Hai Shien Tan ₱346,000 6,179
7 Ronny Lee ₱248,500 4,438
8 Gerardo Lubas III ₱169,784 3,032
9 Joven Huerto ₱134,500 2,402

Final Table recap

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The final table of 9 players kicked off with two Singaporeans – Yun Rong Cheong and Hai Shien Tan – leading the hunt, and Filipino William Ysmael running third in chips. Nearly all of the lower half fell early, followed by the top two in 5th and 6th places. For the day’s entering shortest stack, Edgar Asehan, he displayed an impressive run, driving his 15 bb stack to 3rd place. At one point, Asehan even claimed the chip lead for a brief moment.

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Down to four-handed, Ysmael held a commanding chip lead with half of the chips in play at his disposal. At three-handed, Ysmael, Asehan, and Ting Yi Chen took turns up top with the latter building a wide lead until his two opponents scored double ups to send him plunging to bottom rank. As Chen clawed out of the hole, Asehan paid a costly double up with Ad2h failing against Chen’s JdJc. Asehan was unable to recover leading to heads up between Ysmael and Chen.

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The final stretch to the top began with Chen ahead 36 bb to Ysmael’s 19 bb. It didn’t take long for Ysmael to grind to par. From there, both players tugged at the chip lead until Ysmael scored a game-changing double up with a made bottom straight at the flop. With Chen down to 3 bb, he was eliminated on the next hand and Ysmael was crowned the newest champion.

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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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