PokerStars LIVE’s popular Manila Super Series has concluded its final round of festivities with its latest Main Event champion officially crowned to wrap up the festival. In just six hours of final table action, Italy’s Paolo Boccaletti clinched the victory after defeating China’s Xia Qi in heads up play. Boccaletti banked a career best score of PHP 1,692,000 (~USD 29,760) for taking down the richest PHP 13,239,336 (~USD 233,240) prize pool in the tour’s eighteen installment history. In addition to Boccaletti’s win following the four way deal, the Italian bags an additional PHP 75,000 Manila Megastack Main Event package (seat and accommodation) as well as the trophy for his top spot finish.
Main Event Final Day Recap
With Day 2 having closed its action down to the final table, only nine players were seen back on the felt in contention for the PHP 2,400,000 (~USD 42,232) top prize. Xia Qi led the pack to start the day and continued to dominate, wielding his big stack with no fear against his opponents.
It didn’t take long before the first casualty was seen with Philippines’ Edilberto Gopez throwing in a massive bluff vs Xia. Xia, who checked back his top pair on , allowed his opponent to fall in his trap and pushed Gopez to lead out the next two streets, his tournament life on the line by the river. Two quick calls from Xia with , Gopez’ king high bluff sent him packing in ninth place finish.
From there, Xia continued on with his momentum, eliminating short stacked Ivan Dela Cruz for a flip and packing in more chips level after level. Taiwan’s Ho Tung Chun was next to go after he ran his against two pocket jacks. The board however, did not favor Ho and failed to peel any ace or king for his win. India’s Shah Chirag who was down to two big blinds after suffering a terrible cooler – against John Clyde Tan’s , followed a few minutes later.
By five handed, Xia had amassed over 50% of the chips in play but soon lost his lead after running into Paolo Boccaletti’s . The crucial double up allowed Boccaletti to get back in the game and take some control off the running table captain. Hands were finally coming in for Boccaletti and he soon busted South Korea’s Shin Hyeonho with an ace high button vs blind battle.
With four players left, an ICM deal was agreed upon where chip leader Boccaletti would take the biggest cut of the prize pool, leaving the trophy along with the PHP 75,000 PokerStars LIVE package and PHP 35,000 Manila Megastack Main Event entry for the runner-up, to play for. The two short stacks – John Jay Magadan, and Tan, finished not long after in 3rd and 4th place respectively and left the two international players set for heads up play.
Almost equal in chips, Xia only held a slight advantage over his opponent and continued to dominate with his aggression. It wasn’t after Boccaletti called off Xia’s all-in with did the tables turn. Up for a race, Xia’s headed for the muck after the board ran nine-high. The crucial hand crippled Xia down to two big blinds, forcing him to exit shortly for a runner-up finish. Boccaletti packs in his maiden win and successfully captures the title for the record-breaking Main Event.
Final Table Results
|Pos.||Player||Flag||Prize (PHP)||Prize (~USD)|
|3||John Jay Magadan||Philippines||₱1,215,000*||$21,370|
|4||John Clyde Tan||Philippines||₱1,203,000*||$21,160|
|5||Shin Hyeonho||South Korea||₱590,000||$10,380|
|7||Ho Tung Chun||Taiwan||₱315,000||$5,540|
|8||Ivan Dela Cruz||Philippines||₱225,000||$3,960|
Manila Super Series 18 Main Event Review
Dates: September 20-24, 2023
Buy in: PHP 15,000 (~USD 264)
Guarantee: PHP 3,000,000 (~USD 52,842)
Prize pool: PHP 13,239,336 (~USD 233,240)
ITM: 156 players
Day 1 Results
1A: 198 entries / 30 advanced
1B: 311 entries / 47 advanced
1C: 525 entries / 79 advanced