Manila Super Series 18: Italy’s Paolo Boccaletti clinches Main Event title for PHP 1,692,000 (~USD 29,760) following four way deal


main event
Paolo Boccaletti, Photo Credit – PokerStars LIVE

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.

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Photo Credit – PokerStars LIVE

It didn’t take long before the first casualty was seen with PhilippinesEdilberto Gopez throwing in a massive bluff vs Xia. Xia, who checked back his top pair on AdJs5h, 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 Ac10c, 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 AhKh 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 – KsKs against John Clyde Tan’s AhAc, 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 AsQs into Paolo Boccaletti’s 8s8c. 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.

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Photo Credit – PokerStars LIVE

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 Ad2d did the tables turn. Up for a race, Xia’s Kh10h 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)
1 Paolo Boccaletti Italy 1,692,000* $29,760
2 Xia Qi China 1,415,000* $24,890
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
6 Shah Chirag India 430,000 $7,560
7 Ho Tung Chun Taiwan 315,000 $5,540
8 Ivan Dela Cruz Philippines ​​225,000 $3,960
9 Edilberto Gopez Philippines 176,336 $3,100

*Denotes deal was made

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)
Entries: 1,034
ITM: 156 players

Day 1 Results

1A: 198 entries / 30 advanced
1B: 311 entries / 47 advanced
1C: 525 entries / 79 advanced

Live Updates
Day 1A Recap
Day 1B Recap
Day 1C Recap
Day 2 Recap

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Janette Dee

Graduated from De La Salle University, Janette works as a full time teacher in Manila, Philippines. She has long joined the local poker community as a recreational player for the last decade. Having a natural love for the game, she decided to branch out into a different avenue of poker. Currently, Janette works for Somuchpoker as a content writer reporting local and international news for the site.

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