Live poker in the capital of the Philippines was doing exceedingly well right before the pandemic hit the vibrant city and took the sport back to an all-time low. Weekly events, major festivals, daily tournaments and round the clock cash games kept hundreds of poker devotees busy seven days of the week with nonstop action happening all around the metro. While big brand names such as PokerStars LIVE, Asian Poker Tour and World Poker Tour hosted exciting festivals one after the other, Metro Manila’s biggest poker room, Metro Card Club always felt like home to many local professionals and recreational players alike.
As the Covid-19 health situation approaches the two-year mark, Metro Card Club has adapted to its market by launching its independent social poker application along with its annual flagship event boasting a seven-figure guarantee to celebrate. Aside from the club’s outstanding reputation across the Philippine market, its own Team Pro also made the lengthy trip to Las Vegas in a bid to represent the country and in search of a second bracelet captured by a Filipino runner.
Metro Card Club goes online
With the threat of Covid-19 remaining persistent, the majority of Manila’s poker enthusiasts have shifted their focus onto the online scene. Joining the rise of sites like Natural8 and UPoker, Metro Card Club recently debuted its own poker application, currently running independent promotions for its upcoming Php 1M GTD RVS Cup.
Making an account is fairly easy as all you would need is a google account, a government issued ID, and an additional snapshot for verification purposes. Local players have since taken advantage of the newly released platform available for both Android and iOs users, with a number having won free tickets to this year’s Cup. Qualifying days scheduled from November 11 through 20 have already kicked off, running two flights a day (2 p.m. and 7 p.m.). Daily Sit n Go’s in addition to the freerolls are also available on schedule for as low as Php 300, allowing those who aren’t so eager in putting out the Php 2,200 buy-in a chance to win the coveted title.
2019 saw a great turnout for Metro’s biggest event of the year, having recorded a total of 665 entries and an astounding Php 6,450,500 prize pool. Regular Jeffrey Calma captured first place after beating Jun Talosig in heads up play and claimed Php 966,655 in winnings for the impressive run. Talosig’s runner-up finish wasn’t all too bad as well as an ICM deal amongst the top four finishers gave everyone a chunky piece of the cake.
While 2020 did not see an RVS champion crowned, 2021 is looking to be more eventful for the local poker community. The Php 1M guaranteed RVS Cup, despite being significantly lower than its earlier editions, is opening up an even bigger opportunity for more exciting online events to come in the near future.
Metro’s Team Pro in action in Vegas
The yearly World Series of Poker festivities has always been a dream for many poker players old and new. It has only been three years since Philippine player Mike Takayama captured the country’s first official gold bracelet in the Las Vegas games, sparking even more locals to make the 7,000-mile journey. Back at it this year, four members of Metro’s Team Pro – Marc Rivera, Lester Edoc, John Tech, and of course bracelet winner Mike Takayama, made the trip, joining a number of events including the $10,000 WSOP Main Event.
While none of the four have survived Day 2 of the biggest tournament, all hope is not lost as eleven more days are left on schedule for this year’s WSOP events. Stay tuned to Somuchpoker as we bring you the latest update on Asia’s players and any notable deep runs in the remaining two-week stretch.