PokerStars LIVE Manila Megastack 15 pays out over ₱36.2M ($653.9K); BJ Perez locks up Main Event title; David Erquiaga, Keng Yong Tan win two; highlights inside


PokerStars LIVE Manila wrapped up its final series of the year with the 15th edition of the Manila Megastack running from November 28 to December 5 at their hub in Okada Manila, Philippines. Topping the headlines was Main Event champion Bell John Perez for his first major title. Other noteworthy stories were Deepstack Challenge champion Jayden Anthony Zalac, and multiple event winners David Erquiaga and Keng Yong Tan

Up next for the brand is the Okada Manila Millions which opens the new year. It runs from January 3 to 9. Known for its fast structure, it will be action from the get-go. A total of eleven trophy events are lined up headlined by the ₱3 Million (~$54,060) guaranteed Main Event. 

OKADA Manila Millions – Schedule / Player Guide

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Festival review

Date: November 28 to December 5
Festival prize pool: ₱36,290,688 (~$653,960)
Total entries: 2,050
Main Event prize pool: ₱14,880,285 (~$268,145)
Main Event champion: Bell John Perez
Multiple winners: David Erquiaga and Keng Yong Tan

BELL JOHN PEREZ wins the Main Event

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Filipino player Bell John Perez is one to keep a close watch on coming 2023. The local circuit regular is having his best year yet with consistent deep runs and a victory to close it out. Perez outlasted the 487 runners of the Manila Megastack Main Event to capture his first ever major title and a career high ₱2,234,000 (~$40,260) payout. The win comes just nine days after he placed 6th at the APT Philippines Championships Event. In addition to the cash, Perez was awarded an APPT Package worth ₱100,000. 

Buy in: ₱35,000 (~$630)
Guarantee: ₱10,000,000 (~$180,200)
Entries: 487
Prize pool: ₱14,880,285 (~$268,145)
ITM: 71 places

Final table payouts 

1 Bell John Perez Philippines ₱2,234,000*
2 Ryan Platon Philippines ₱2,000,000*
3 Kawai Katsuhito Japan ₱1,800,000*
4 Yasutaka HIga Japan ₱1,013,500
5 Joseph Sia Philippines ₱796,500
6 Yoo Gyeong Tae South Korea ₱622,000
7 Jingxiang Ong Singapore ₱468,285
8 Hui Yuk Wai Kelway Singapore ₱326,000
9 Alvir Inocentes Philippines ₱258,000

*Three way ICM deal

JAYDEN ANTHONY ZALAC scores career high win at the Deepstack Challenge

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71 runners saddled up for the Deepstack Challenge, each one contributing the ₱55 Million buy in. This sent the prize pool surging past the guarantee for a heftier ₱3,409,065 prize pool. The final 9 players shaved it down with Australia’s Jayden Anthony Zalac pocketing the largest of ₱997,000 (~$17,966) and a trophy for his victory. This was a career high score for Zalac and his second title on Philippine soil. In late November, he won the APT Philippines High Roller event for ₱631K. 

Buy in: ₱55,000 (~$990)
Guarantee: ₱3,000,000 (~$54,060)
Entries: 71
Prize pool: ₱3,409,065 (~$61,430)
ITM: 9 places

1 Jayden Anthony Zalac Australia ₱997,000
2 Jereld En Zhi Sam Singapore ₱715,000
3 Alisa Sibgatova Russia ₱465,000
4 Dhanesh Chainani India ₱351,000
5 Ju Hsung South Korea ₱272,000
6 Edilberto Gopez Jr Philippines ₱211,000
7 Masakazu Miyamoto Japan ₱168,000
8 Mayu Hara Japan ₱130,000
9 Timothy Totten Puerto Rico ₱100,065


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Out of the 15 trophy events, two players walked away lifting two spadies each, Filipino pro David Erquiaga and Singapore’s Keng Yong Tan. The first to accomplish this difficult feat was Erquiaga who bested the 91 runners of the ₱20K NLH Knockout and the 205 entry field of the Mini Main Event. Thus continued Erquiaga’s hot streak which started in July with a victory and a runner up finish at the inaugural Poker Dream event in Malaysia. Since then, it has been a collection of final tables for Erquiaga and numerous five figure scores. In late August, Erquiaga banked his first ever six figure payout of ~US$ 137,008 for his victory at the WPT Prime Cambodia Main Event. 

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Impressive run as well for Singapore’s Keng Yong Tan who won the ₱15K NLH Deepstack for his first ever live career title then closed out the series by taking down the ₱5K NLH Hyper Turbo.

Other winners

Event 2: Kickoff NLH – SEONG JEON – ₱856,140* (deal)
Event 3: ₱10K NLH Freezeout – AHMED IBRAHIMI – ₱187,300
Event 8: Freezeout Challenge 1M GTD – FLORENCIO CAMPOMANES – ₱450,000
Event 9: High Roller One Day Event – RAJU JARUPLAVATH – ₱460,500
Event 10: ₱15K PLO Knockout – DANIEL LEDUC – ₱131,200 (bounties not included)
Event 17: Flipout – KHIAM WEI TEO – ₱61,940
Event 22: Super Hyper Turbo – ZHUOYUE CEN – ₱93,700
Event 25: Hyper Turbo Freezeout – YUYA OMADA – ₱150,200
Event 26: Mystery Bounty – JONGYEON KIM – ₱84,500 (bounties not included)

*All photos by PokerStars LIVE Manila

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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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