Manila Super Series 9: Tan Wah Meng wins Main Event, 2018 APOY Mike Takayama awarding, + other winners

PokerStars LIVE Manila ran for seven days from October 1 to October 7 at City of Dreams Manila.

As always, Filipino players flooded the felt and in the aftermath, they captured 8 of the 15 trophies. Among the winners were Lester Edoc and Alexis Lim. However, the top prize went to Singapore’s Tan Wah Meng for his victory at the Main Event. He is the latest PSPC Platinum Pass winner from Asia. All those stories below plus the official awarding of Mike Takayama as the 2018 APOY winner.

Mike Takayama awarded 2018 APOY title

Mike Takayama Awarding
Mike Takayama awarded 2018 APOY title

This year has been quite the breakthrough for Filipino pro Mike Takayama. Already a highly recognized player in his country, Takayama etched his name in poker history as the first homegrown Filipino to win a WSOP bracelet. Adding to his achievements, he was officially awarded the 2018 PokerStars Asia Player of the Year title. He was also the first Filipino to attain such honor.

Takayama accrued a total of 10,230 points and HK$1,726,351 in winnings. He reached the final table 10 times with two of them victories. For his triumph at the Manila Super Series 5 Main Event, he was the first Filipino to capture the PokerStars Players Championship Platinum Pass worth US$30,000.

Tan Wah Meng wins the Main Event and captures a PSPC Platinum Pass

Tan Wah Meng
Tan Wah Meng

Singaporean Tan Wah Meng claimed the most coveted prize at the series, the PSPC Platinum Pass. Tan overcame a huge Main Event field of 947 entries, defeating Vietnam’s Le Ngoc Khanh at heads up. This was an incredible achievement for a player whose live tournament career has only begun to take flight.

Prior to his victory, Tan’s largest score was ~US$8,600 for finishing 8th at the APL Vietnam Main Event. With this big win under his belt, his new personal benchmark is now PHP 1,182,500 (~US$21,800). Tan becomes the 24th Asian player / third Singaporean to win the trip to the Bahamas in 2019. Previous winners from his country were Wilson Lim, Tzai Wei Phua, and Ignatius Meng.

The Main Event paid out 141 places. Among the notable players in the top 20 were: Martin Gonzales (9th), Adones Carmona (13th), Jessie Leonarez (16th), and William Ysmael (19th).

Final table payouts
Prizepool: PHP8,083,592 (~US$149,360) – Buyin: PHP10,000 (~US$185)

1st Tan Wah Meng – Singapore – PHP 1,182,500 (deal made)
2nd Le Ngoc Khanh – Vietnam – PHP 1,212,500 (deal made)
3rd Bell John Perez – Philippines – PHP 628,000
4th Kasahara Yusuke – Japan – PHP 472,000
5th Ronald Acosta – Philippines – PHP 367,000
6th Rick Jason Ambata – Philippines – PHP 271,500
7th Jasper David – Philippines – PHP 194,500
8th Jung Woong Park – Hong Kong – PHP 138,500
9th Martin Gonzales – Philippines – PHP 111,092

Vamerdino Magsakay wins the Warm Up event

Vamerdino Magsakay
Vamerdino Magsakay

The series opened with a big turnout of 558 entries for the Warm Up event. This generated a smashing prize pool of PHP 2,381,544 (~US$44,000). Filipino player Vamerdino Magsakay overcame the competition besting other fellow countrymen at the final table such as Christopher Mateo, Luke Pangan, and Michael De Leon to win PHP 330,000 (~US$6,100).

Magsakay has been producing good results all year. Though all of his achievements have been earned in his home country, with this victory, he is now at 20 cashes for the year.

Final 9 payouts
Prize pool: PHP 2,381,544 – Buyin: PHP 5,000 – Entries: 558 – ITM: 81 places

1st Vamerdino Magsakay – Philippines – PHP 330,000 (deal made)
2nd Francois Castillo Michel – Philippines – PHP 305,000 (deal made)
3rd Christopher Mateo – Philippines – PHP 295,000 (deal made)
4th Ren Kobe – Japan – PHP 156,000
5th Roozbeh Namvarasi – Iran – PHP 122,000
6th Christopher Luke Pangan – Philippines – PHP 95,000
7th Michael De Leon – Philippines – PHP 70,500
8th Goonjan Mall – India – PHP 49,500
9th Petter Magnus Karlsson – Sweden – PHP 40,044

Lester Edoc and Alexis Lim win events

Lester Edoc
Lester Edoc

With the festival loaded with local players, pros were bound to win something. Metro Team Pros Lester Edoc and Alexis Lim lifted one each. Edoc won the PHP 8,000 buy-in NLH event topping a field of 92 entries. He earned the lion’s share PHP 166,800 of the PHP 628,249 prize pool. Edoc defeated Macau’s Ip Seng Long at heads up. Edoc also cashed at the opener in 21st place and at the Main Event in 60th place.

As for Alexis Lim, he was on fire, which he always seems to be at these local events. Lim cashed in four events with a victory at the PHP 5,000 Megastack – Big Blind Ante. He overcame a field of 238 runners and pocketed PHP 192,000. His other deep finishes was 5th out of 102 at the PHP 15K NLH Shot Clock event, 9th out of 120 at the NLH Turbo, and 62nd at the Warm Up.

The end of PokerStars LIVE Manila at City of Dreams Manila

This officially marks the end of PokerStars LIVE Manila at City of Dreams Manila. The brand had a very successful four-year run having opened the room back in December 2014. No details have yet been released of their 2019 Manila events.

Article Tricia David


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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