Pinoy Briefs: Joseph Sia wins the Metro Summer Event; Martin Gonzales loses big and wins big

The Metro Card Club, the largest poker room in the Philippines, was buzzing with action on April 11 – 16 with local players flooding in for the second big festival of the year, the Metro Summer Event 3M Guaranteed. Each year, the Metro hosts a variety of these guaranteed events accompanied by very affordable entry fees for everyone to be able to attend. The Summer Event was no different with the buy-in only at P6,000, roughly US$115. This drew in 599 entries for a P3,294,500 prize pool (~US$63K). We’ve got those results for you below.

Also happening at the Metro was the weeklong Metro VIP’s Biggest Loser Challenge. This high stakes battle was between heavyweights Martin Gonzales and a player named Sir Herb. Both players had plenty to lose with only one standing to gain. Check out that story below.

Joseph Sia wins the Metro Summer Event Main Event trophy

Joseph Sia
Joseph Sia – Photo Metro Card Club

Starting off our pinoy briefs is the crowning of the newest Metro champion, local player Joseph Sia. Sia overcame a three-hour heads up round against Euryd Rivera to land himself his first Metro Main Event trophy. This was Sia’s second-ever Main Event title having won the PokerStars LIVE Manila Super Series back in May 2017.

Entering the final day, Sia was slightly below average stack but after winning a preflop raise war against the leader David Erquiaga then railing Roque Lima by cracking pocket aces with a set of jacks, he eventually made his way into the final table at par.

Sia stormed into the leader’s seat for the first time taking down Bryan Santos in two hands. The first one earned him a double up with a full house over a nut flush, then his pocket kings sent Santos packing in 7th place. From there, he cruised to the heads up round running even with Rivera.

After three hours one-on-one action, Rivera pushed with Ac7c on a flop of Tc4h5c and Sia called with QdTs. The next two cards were 3h and 8h to end the tournament. Payouts began at 60 places with pros Eugene Co, Flo Campomanes, and Metro’s 2M champion Rommel Angeles, all in the money though outside the final day cut. Among those who ran deeper were Michael De Leon (15th), Jessie Leonarez (5th), and David Erquiaga (4th).

Martin Gonzales drops down only to win big

Martin Gonzales
Martin Gonzales

We’ve all heard of poker players taking on some crazy prop bets. Well if the money is big enough then why not. During a PLO game at the Metro, a player named Herb challenged Martin Gonzales to a high stakes contest. The goal was to lose 20 pounds or more in a week. Whoever got there first would pay the other a handsome reward. If Herb wins, then Martin would have to pay Herb P1 Million. However, if Martin wins, then Herb would pay Martin P2 Million. They shook on it, and the Metro VIP’s Biggest Loser Challenge began. The initial weigh in was on April 10.

Martin hired a trainer. He trained at the gym outside the Metro. Then four days in, both players got a look at each other and a downsize could already be seen. On the evening of April 16, just after the Main Event concluded, another official weigh in took place with many looking on. Martin was definitely sporting a strong jaw. The question was, how much weight did he already lose and was it enough? According to one of the Metro staff, much of Martin’s weight loss was water weight which was why the trainer had an IV ready for him for after the weigh in, in case of dehydration.

Then the official count was in. Martin shed an incredible 25 pounds. A loud cheer erupted. Martin won the challenge, got his 2M plus a cute little trophy to commemorate the moment. Way to lose big!

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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