Metro Card Club honors its WSOP heroes

The Metro Card Club has long been recognized as one of the leading pioneers of poker in the Philippines. Since its inception in 2007, many of the country’s top professionals got their start at its tables. Last night, Somuchpoker was invited to a special victory celebration as the Metro honored five homegrown players aka “Batang Metro” for their recent achievements at the World Series of Poker.

Metro awarding
Awarding ceremony

Receiving awards were John Tech, Marc Rivera, Nicandro Filart, Lester Edoc, and WSOP bracelet champion Mike Takayama. Doing the honors was Metro owner Ronald Singson awarding a “Plaque of Appreciation” to each of the Batang Metro.

“I’d like to congratulate all of these players. They all started at the Metro and now is the team that got the furthest in the WSOP. And Mike, to win a bracelet even if it is for a side event is a big achievement.”

Metro awarding Mike Lester etc
Awarding ceremony

Amidst a packed room of players cheering him on, Takayama lifted up his WSOP gold bracelet and shared a few heartfelt words encouraging the players to play well and to continue pursuing their dreams.

Achievements at WSOP 2018

This year’s WSOP witnessed the largest contingent of Filipino poker players in attendance with eight of them making the trip. Below is a list of players that cashed at the series:

Mike Takayama

$10,000 Main Event – 421st / 7,874 players – $29,625
Super Turbo Bounty Event – 1st / 2,065 players – $198,568
Double Stack – 32nd / 5700 entries – $17,814

Lester Edoc

The Little One for One Drop – 9th / 4,732 entries – $48,157

Marc Rivera

$1500 NLHE / Pot LImit Omaha Mixed – 68th / 707 entries – $2,563
$10,000 Main Event – 551st / 7,874 players – $23,940

Nicandro Filart

$10,000 Main Event – 769th/ 7,874 players – $18,340

Team Philippines at the WSOP

The Philippines contingent to the WSOP was a loosely formed group of players initially roused up by Marc Rivera.

Marc Rivera
Marc Rivera and Ronald Singson

“My first time at the WSOP was last year, I cashed at the Main Event. During that time not many Filipinos went. It was then that I realized we can compete. So I encouraged some of the players to join this year. It’s been about a year since I suggested it. And I was right, we can compete and win. Mike won an event.”

With the event taking place at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, the group stayed in-house, right in the thick of the action. Being away from the homeland banded everyone together in support of each other while competing for the country. Nicandro Filart said,

“Having a support group really helped because like for me it was my first time to play so having people there to tell you to hang on, to encourage you, to tell you if you made the right move or not is really important.”

Despite the deep runs, the stats don’t truly reveal some of the hardships the players had to endure. According to the group, Takayama had it rough in the early stages. Prior to winning the bracelet, he was on the verge of heading home. Due to the encouragement of the group, he got back on the saddle and went on to win.

Looking forward, Rivera hopes to have a larger contingent next year. He intends to form a Team Pro Metro with the support of the poker room.

Filart had the same thoughts, saying, “If you look at this, half of the group cashed. That goes to show that it’s not a challenge to compete at the WSOP, it is something within our grasp but we need some grassroots organization.”

For Edoc, he added that they all have to win their Platinum Pass to join him and Mike in the Bahamas next year.

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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