PokerStars LIVE’s biggest Manila Megastack season opens its doors in a week

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The live tournament scene across the Asian region has been brimming with excitement as poker players find their calendars packed with chart-topping action week after week. Only at the start of its 2024 season, PokerStars LIVE is already gearing up to take the spotlight with its richest Manila Megastack edition set to hit the felt in seven days at Okada Manila, Philippines. The 18th running of its flagship tournament this time boasts its biggest PHP 37,000,000 (~USD 660,400) in festival guarantees to be awarded this coming February 15th through 25th.

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The boosted Manila Megastack pot appears to be in line with the extended 11-day schedule now featuring 55 events, fifteen more from its previous season. Buy-ins remain within the PHP 5,000 (~USD 89) to PHP 200,000 (~USD 3,570) range, allowing players of varying bankrolls to find a game suitable to their liking. While majority of the games fall under the mid tier, those looking for bigger action can turn their attention to at least five High Roller events on schedule including the highest priced Super High Roller on the 21st. 

Manila Megastack 18 Main Event
Date/s: February 21 – 25, 2024
Buy-in: PHP 45,000 (~USD 804)
Guarantee: PHP 20,000,000 (~USD 357,430)

Flight A: Wednesday, February 21
Flight B: Thursday, February 22
Flight C: Friday, February 23
Flight D (Turbo): Friday, February 23
Day 2: Saturday, February 24
Final Day: Sunday, February 25

The most eye-catching highlight of the series however, remains to be the upgraded Manila Megastack 18 Main Event which now lists a PHP 20,000,000 (~USD 357,430) guarantee, double of last December’s offerings. Accompanying the boost in prizes also comes a PHP 10,000 (~USD 89)  hike on the price tag, now charging a PHP 45,000 (~USD 804) entry fee.

Four Main Event flights are available on schedule with each playing down to 15% of the field (ITM) for a spot into Day 2. All qualifiers (except for the Turbo) and Day 2 will run through 40 minute blinds and longer 60 minute intervals for the final table gameplay. In addition to their seven-figure payouts, the top two winners will also receive PHP 120,000 valued 2024 APPT Event Packages taken from the prize pool.

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The 17th edition of the festival racked up to be the largest in both field and prize pool numbers across the tour’s nine year history with Japan’s Masafumi Matsushita claiming close to PHP 4 Million (~USD 71K) following a heads up deal. The staggering 870-entry turnout broke records and made the Main Event pot swell to over PHP 26 Million (~USD 475K). This surpassed the 2018 festivities which collected an enormous 695 entries and awarded a bonus USD 30,000 PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship Platinum Pass to the winner.

Manila Megastack Main Event History

Date Manila Megastack  Edition Champion Prize (PHP) Prize (USD)  Entries Prize pool
December 2023 17 Masafumi Matsushita ₱3,941,000* $71,249* 870 ₱26,582,850
February 2023 16 Terry Gonzaga ₱2,051,000* $37,229* 533 ₱16,285,815
November 2022 15 Bell John Perez ₱2,234,000 $40,017 487 ₱14,880,285
September 2019 13 Hiroshi Naito ₱2,840,000 $54,824 435 ₱12,531,915
May 2019 12 Lisa Tan ₱3,186,000 $61,086 485 ₱13,972,365
March 2019 11 Alex Lee ₱3,173,000 $60,772 483 ₱13,914,747

Growing in number, this season’s Manila Megastack games look to go beyond last year’s PHP 70 Million (~USD 1.265 Million) awarded festival pot with eight guaranteed tournaments lined up in addition to the Main Event. Three of these kick off right on opening day with the single day Early Bird running simultaneously as the first flights of both the Kickoff and Hot Hyper Turbo. Three more PHP 2 Million (~USD 35K) guaranteed trophy events follow through with the second largest PHP 5 Million (~USD 89K) Megastack Turbo offering those who fail to qualify in the Main Event games another chance to claim a sizeable prize.

Aside from the cash to be won, players who top some of the fields will find themselves claiming either a Main Event seat or entries/ packages to the APPT games scheduled later in the year.

  • Early Bird – Top three receives PHP 45,000 Main Event entry
  • Kickoff – Winner receives PHP 120,000 APPT Main Event Package
  • Mystery Bounty – Top two receives PHP 75,000 APPT Manila Main Event entry 
  • Megastack Turbo – Winner receives PHP 120,000 APPT Main Event Package 

Guaranteed Events

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Early Bird
Date/s: February 15, 2024
Buy-in: PHP 10,000 (~USD 178)
Guarantee: PHP 1,000,000 (~USD 17,870)

Date/s: February 15-17, 2024
Buy-in: PHP 16,500 (~USD 295)
Guarantee: PHP 3,000,000 (~USD 53,615)

Hot Hyper Turbo
Date/s: February 15-18, 2024
Buy-in: PHP 5,000 (~USD 89)
Guarantee: PHP 1,000,000 (~USD 17,870)

DeepStack Challenge
Date/s: February 17-18, 2024
Buy-in: PHP 55,000 (~USD 980)
Guarantee: PHP 2,000,000 (~USD 35,740)

Mystery Bounty
Date/s: February 18-19, 2024
Buy-in: PHP 20,000 (~USD 357)
Guarantee: PHP 2,000,000 (~USD 35,740)

Hot Turbo
Date/s: February 18-21, 2024
Buy-in:  PHP 10,000 (~USD 178)
Guarantee: PHP 2,000,000 (~USD 35,740)

Megastack Turbo
Date/s: February 21-25, 2024
Buy-in:  PHP 15,000 (~USD 268)
Guarantee: PHP 5,000,000 (~USD 89,350)

Freezeout Challenge
Date/s: February 24, 2024
Buy-in:  PHP 30,000 (~USD 536)
Guarantee: PHP 1,000,000 (~USD 17,870)

Manila Megastack 18 E-Player Guide

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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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