PokerStars LIVE Manila concluded another thrilling festival at its hub in Okada Manila, Philippines. Running from September 18 to 24, 2023 was the 18th edition of the Manila Super Series which made history after generating the largest Main Event turnout for this series. The headliner boasted an impressive 1,034 entries for a record-breaking prize pool of over half a million US dollars.
Known for its affordability, the recently concluded MSS demonstrated the brand’s increasing draw across the region, and the relentless pursuit of PS spade trophies.
Among the many winners, Singapore’s Vincent Wong walked away with two trophies, the only player to achieve that difficult task, and Italy’s Paolo Boccaletti was crowned the Main Event champion. Hong Kong’s Chun Yin Lau missed out on the coveted merch but he did earn the title of “Most Final Table Cashes”. At the closing tally, Japan and South Korea claimed four trophies while host country Philippines just edged with five.
Here are the final highlights.
Date: September 18 to 24, 2023
Venue: Okada Manila, Philippines
Festival prize pool: PH₱ 31,190,714 (~US$ 548,306)
Trophy Events: 19
Record breaker: Main Event entries – 1,034; Main Event prize pool – PH₱ 13,239,336 (~US$ 232,970)
Single largest tournament win: Paolo Boccaletti – Main Event – PH₱ 1,767,000 (~US$ 31,000)
Biggest earner: Paolo Boccaletti – Main Event – PH₱ 1,767,000 (~US$ 31,000)
Most final table cashes: Chun Yin Lau (4)
Most wins: Vincent Wong – Event 16: Knockout Hyper Turbo, Event 23: Super Hyper Turbo Re-Entry
Trophies by Flag: Philippines (5), Japan (4), South Korea (4), Singapore (2), Russia (1), Italy (1), Taiwan (1), India (1)
Paolo Boccaletti – Main Event Champion and Largest Earner
The Main Event was a sight to see attracting a record field of 1,034 entries. This boosted the prize pool to PHP 13,239,336 (~US$ 232,970), the richest ever generated for this event. Out of the 156 players that dipped in the money jar, it was Italy’s Paolo Boccaletti taking home the lion’s share and his career first live title. He walked away with a career high poker payout of PH₱ 1,767,000 (~US$ 31,000). You can read up on his victory via the Live Updates.
Vincent Wong wins two trophies
The two trophies for Singapore were captured by Vincent Wong for his first ever live wins. Wong had been hunting victory all summer. His career first live win was at Event 16: Knockout Hyper Turbo. The last three players struck an even deal and Wong was awarded the trophy.
For his second win, Wong bulldozed through the final table of the Super Hyper Turbo, even offering a deal at six-handed however no one was interested. Leading up to the last hand, Wong doubled up through Onda Manabu with set besting on a board . Down short, Onda was eliminated shortly after.
Chun Yin Lau closes with most final table cashes
Numerous players reached the final table multiple times but only Hong Kong’s Chun Yin Lau cashed out in a whopping four final tables. Chun’s biggest field was the Mystery Bounty where he finished in 6th place. Here are his final table stats:
9th place – Event 9: Super Series Turbo
4th place – Event 16: Knockout Hyper Turbo
6th place – Event 20: Hyper Turbo
6th place – Event 21: Mystery Bounty
Five trophies for the Philippines
Japan, South Korea, and host country Philippines were neck and neck for the most trophies. In the end, the Filipinos locked it up with 5 out of the 19 trophies on the mantle captured. Listed below are the proud winners:
Event 2: Hyper Turbo – Alvin Jeff Sembrano
Event 9: Super Series Turbo – Ronato Alcano
Event 12: Pot Limit Omaha – Hernan Villa
Event 17: NLH Super Knockout – Darren Yu
Event 18: Super Stack – Chierro De Leon
At the Super Series Turbo, the four entry flights drew a roaring 615 entries with 93 reaching the money round. Among the finalists was Day 1A leader Karen Talamayan who eventually fell in 3rd place. Ronato Alcano locked up the title and his career first live title.
Date: September 20 to 24, 2023
Buy in: PHP 4,500 (~USD 80)
Guaranteed: PHP 1,000,000 (~USD 17,645)
Total entries: 615 (358 unique)
Prize pool: PHP 2,362,338 (~US$ 41,570)
ITM: 93 places
Winner: RONATO ALCANO – Philippines – PHP 450,000 (~US$ 7,910)
Seyoon Lim Wins All at the Mystery Bounty
The Mystery Bounty event was another hot item on the menu with 317 runners. The bubble burst on Michael Aballa who risked his last 9.5 bb holding that fell to Karen Talamayan’s on a board .
At the money round were 47 players on the hunt to try to draw the top PHP 185,000 bounty reward. That lucky moment came on Seyoon Lim’s spin to send him to his knees in excitement.
Leading up to the finish, Chan Gilson dominated the final table, knocking out six players. However against Ermito Sorio and Lim, he was on the losing end of the shoves to exit in 3rd place. Heads up opened with both Sorio and Lim even in chips. They opted to split the cash down the middle and award Lim the coveted spade.
Date: September 24, 2023
Buy in: PHP 10,000 (~USD 177)
Guaranteed: PHP 500,000 (~USD 8,823)
Total entries: 317 (231 unique)
Prize pool: PHP 2,705,912 (~US$ 47,615)
ITM: 47 places
Winner: SEYOON LIM – South Korea – PHP 279,706 (~US$ 4,917)
Kirill Gladchenko wins High Roller
The lone high roller event on tap attracted 51 entries with 7 places paid. Russia’s Kirill Gladchenko was another first time champion and he now has a PS spade to prove it. At three-handed, Gladchenko eliminated Niroshan Loganathan with outdrawing on a board .
Heads up between Gladchenko and Kai Loon Ang ran a grueling 2.5 hours. Gladchenko dominated the action until Kai Loon was grinded down and out in 2nd place.
Date: September 23 to 24, 2023
Buy in: PHP 50,000 (~USD 880)
Total entries: 51 (46 unique)
Prize pool: PHP 2,226,150 (~USD 39,173)
ITM: 7 places
Winner: KIRILL GLADCHENKO – Russia – PHP 701,150 (~US$ 12,325)
Next up for PS LIVE: Manila Megastack 17
The brand returns in December for its year-ender, the Manila Megastack 17, running from December 4 to 12, 2023. This is another highly popular series featuring 28 trophy events and over PH₱ 19.5 Million (~US$ 342,800) in guarantees. Once again, players can expect a strong showing of enthusiasts from all over the Asian region. This will be the last chance to win the PS spade in Asia for the calendar year.