Manila Megastack 9: Ignatius Meng tops the record-breaking 695-entry Main Event; Henrik Tollefsen, Eugene Co, and Mike Takayama earn big

PokerStars continues to dominate the live tournament scene in the Philippines with yet another record-breaking turnout at the recently concluded Manila Megastack. The ninth edition of the series ran from April 27 – May 6, drawing in an enormous 695 entries for the Main Event. This turned the advertised P10M guarantee to dust, and in its place a much richer and juicier PHP18,228,240 prize pool.

Ignatius Meng
Ignatius Ee Joo Meng – Photo PokerStars Live Manila

Winning the event was Singaporean Ee Joo Ignatius Meng defeating J88poker Team Pro Jae Wook Shin in just four quick hands of heads up. Meng has been frequenting the PokerStars LIVE Manila felt quite a bit this year and his efforts paid off handsomely. He claimed his first-ever career title and the P4,000,000 (~US$77,000) first place prize money. Meng was also awarded the highly coveted PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship Platinum Pass worth US$30,000.

For both Meng and Shin, this was the single largest payout of their live tournament career. Shin’s P2,413,000 (~US$46,400) winnings was nearly half of his total live earnings. Impressively, he was the second biggest earner at the series.

Final Table payouts
Prize pool: P18,228,240 – Buy-in: P30,000 – 81 paid

1st Ignatius Ee Joo Meng – Singapore – P4,000,000
2nd Jae Wook Shin – Korea – P2,413,000
3rd Yeo May Sum – Malaysia – P1,496,000
4th Kenneth Buck – Australia – P1,133,000
5th Hsing-hsiung Tai – Taiwan – P770,420
6th Jiankeng Pan – China – P589,000
7th Chiun Kong Kwok – Hong Kong – P490,000
8th Ting Shum Kwok – Hong Kong – P408,000
9th Romeo Catayas – Philippines – P3440,00

In addition to the final tableists, there were a large number of well-known players taking a piece of the pie. One of them was local player William Ysmael. Earlier in the festival, Ysmael finished 2nd at the Kickoff event and pocketed P600,000 (~US$11,500) on a deal with the winner.

He continued his momentum at the Main Event, owning the chip lead as they neared the final table until K-K was outdrawn by a player’s 6-6 set to burn him out of the running. Ysmael finished in a respectable 12th place, padding up his earlier winnings another P236,000. In total, he earned P836,000 (~US$16,000) at the series.

Henrik Tollefsen bests Mike Takayama at the Single Day High Rollers

Henrik Tollefsen
Henrik Tollefsen – Photo PokerStars Live Manila

Another big winner at the series was Norwegian pro Henrik Tollefsen. Tollefsen is a frequent flyer in the Asian circuit decorated with numerous big victories including two APT Main Event titles. At the Manila Megastack P100,000 Single Day High Rollers, Tollefsen went head-to-head against another two-time APT Main Event champion, Mike Takayama. Takayama had the initial advantage but it was Tollefsen who powered through with a little help from the poker gods to close it out.

According to the reports, both players were all in with T-8 suited and Tollefsen’s spades won it with a flush. Tollefsen overcame the 53 entry field and earned P1,457,000 (~US$28,000). Takayama also did well for himself pocketing P1,052,900 (~US$20,200) for 2nd place.

Mike Takayama with five cashes

Despite his loss to Tollefsen, Mike Takayama still pooled in a sizable gain with his five total cashes.

2nd – Single Day High Rollers – P1,052,900
4th – Super Deepstack – P184,800
4th – 50K Freezeout – P505,000
21st – Kickoff – P28,000
37th – Main Event – P80,000

This brought his total earnings to P1,850,700 (~US$35,500) making him the third highest earner at the series.

Eugene Co takes down the 50K Freezeout

Eugen Co
Eugen Co – Photo PokerStars Live Manila

The 50K Freezeout tournament drew in 122 to the tables to surpass the 3M guarantee and settle at P5,325,300. In the end, the top two players struck a deal that would award both a cool million plus a bit more to the winner. Eugene Co claimed the title, pocketing P1,370,000, while finishing 2nd was Singapore’s Kai Loon Ang. This was another impressive result for Co who has been cashing every month since the start of the year. Co also earned P53,0000 for his 12th place finish at the Super Deepstack.

Article by Tricia David

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Louis Hartwell

Graduated in Media Communication at the University of Lausanne, Louis Hartman is a co-founder of He began his career in Cambodia as freelance journalist. In same time he was making his living by playing poker every night at that time. Intense learner, he read dozens of poker strategy books to improve his skills during many years. With a strong interest about poker "behind the scene" in Asia and his communication skills, Louis launched Somuchpoker in 2014.

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