For many poker players residing in the Philippines, the Metro Card Club was the place to be these past six days with the Metro 2M Guaranteed as the hottest ticket in town. The highlight event attracted a huge field of 827 players, crushing the guarantee, for a total prize pool of Php2,894,500 ($62,100).
Recognized as one of the biggest poker rooms in Asia, the Metro traditionally holds several big poker festivals per year. The Metro 2M Guaranteed is their fourth festival of 2016, and like all their previous events, it was highly attended by many locals and pros from all over the country. There was also a large turnout of new faces and players from other countries. Among the pros, it was only Mike Takayama who managed to make his way into the final table. Takayama went as deep as 6th place.
The man of the hour was a well-known high-stakes cash player, Mark Amparo, who defeated Elmer Chantengco at the heads up round. Chantengco seemed to be invincible for a majority of the final table but against Amparo, he simply couldn’t close it out. Amparo earned the second biggest tournament keep of his career, Php762,665 ($16,366) having won a bigger pot at the Metro back in 2010.
Another familiar face at the final table was Christopher Luke Pangan, one of the country’s feisty young players. Pangan finished in 8th place, eliminated by Amparo with pocket aces against pocket jacks. Other notables in the money were local circuit regulars Renato Villanueva, Don Carmona, Mark Pagsuyuin, and Charlie Esteban.
Unlike most re-entry tournaments, the Metro 2M Guaranteed did not extend unlimited re-entries. The tournament only allowed a player one re-entry per day. That meant playing in Day 1a granted a player the most chances for getting back in the game. There were four players who reached the maximum yet all of them were unable to capitalize on a profit. In addition, among those who also fell before tasting any dough were Florencio Campomanes, Jessie Leonarez, John Tech, Rey Concepcion, and this year’s two-time Metro champion Lester Edoc.
Top ten finishers
1st Mark Amparo – Php762,665
2nd Elmer Chantengco – Php388,000
3rd Laurenlino Valbueno – Php190,000
4th George Salud Php110,000
5th Jhune Ebora – Php75,000
6th Mike Takayama – Php60,000
7th Ryan Libon-on – Php50,000
8th Christopher Luke Pangan – Php42,000
9th Mark Sherwin Cruz – Php34,000
10th Bell John Perez – Php28,000