WPT Philippines kicks off; what to expect in the days ahead

Games have begun at Okada Manila with globally renowned World Poker Tour descending upon the Philippines after a three-year absence. The much-awaited WPT Philippines festival opened today, February 6 and will run until February 17. This is the first time the brand hosts its event at the luxurious resort casino. 21 tournaments are planned along with Php 17 million (~US$ 335,000) in guaranteed prize money.

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WPT Philippines at Okada Manila

Players may be wondering why the guarantee is lower than its earlier announcements. Due to the directive by the Philippine government to temporarily ban any foreign nationals (except those with a Permanent Resident Visa) coming from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau or had been to those areas within the past 14 days, WPT decided to lower the Main Event guarantee to Php 12 million (~US$ 236,500) however the All Bankrolls Kickoff Php 5 million (~US$ 98,500) guarantee remains the same.

Here’s a look at what to expect in the days ahead including the opening day results.

Main Event

Headlining the festival is the Main Event running from February 14 to 17. Great news for weekend warriors, both entry days are offered on the weekend. Just make sure to check the time as it differs.

Buy-in: Php 75,000 (~US$ 1,500)
Guarantee: Php 12,000,000 (~US$ 236,500)
Day 1A: Friday, February 14 at 4pm
Day 1B: Saturday, February 15 at 12pm
Day 2: Sunday, February 16 at 1pm
Final Day: Monday, February 17 at 1pm

For those looking to get in at a lower cost, you can try your luck at the satellites. The cheapest is the qualifier to the mega satellite at Php 3,500. The mega satellite (3 seats gtd) has a Php 15,000 buy-in. Other satellites offered are at Php 9,000 and Php 15,000.

The Main Event is the only event where players can earn points towards the Asia Pacific Season XVIII Player of the Year race. Three players currently share the top spot: Hamish Crawshaw (WPT Vietnam), Hari Varma (WPT Australia), and Brian Tougias (WPT Cambodia). According to an fb post by WPT Live Events Specialist Danny McDonagh, two of the champions are confirmed to attend.

The last time the tour was in the Philippines was back in January 2016. Malaysia’s Ying Lin Chua was crowned the WPTN Philippines Main Event champion capturing his first-ever live tournament career title. He will be the country’s defending champion. As for Asia Pacific, reigning champion is USA’s Brian Tougias for his victory at WPT Cambodia at Phnom Penh.

All Bankrolls Kickoff early results

In the brand’s quest to include as many types of players to the event, kickoff day opened with the All Bankrolls Kickoff Php 5M guaranteed. This is the newest event on the WPT lineup and it brings in a very unique and playful flair. Over the course of three days, players can enter any of the six starting flights offered, choosing from buy-ins of Php 5k, Php 10k, and Php 20k. The flights play down to ITM earning the qualifiers a minimum of Php 30,000.

For those entering the 5k buy-in flights, starting stack is 10,000; for the 10k buy-in flights, starting stack is 20,000; and for the 20k buy-in flights, starting stack is 40,000.

Below are the opening day results:

Flight 1

winners flight 1 kickoff
Flight 1 Day 2 qualifiers

Buy-in: Php 5,000 (~US$ 100)
Entries: 53
Chips in play 530,000
ITM: 2

Day 2 qualifiers
Naoki Koshikawa – Japan – 355,000
Rogelio Pacheco – Philippines – 175,000

Flight 2

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Flight 2 Day 2 qualifiers

Buy-in: Php 10,000 (~US$ 200)
Entries: 39
Chips in play: 780,000
ITM: 2

Day 2 Qualifiers
Kunwoo Kim – Korea – 531,000
Keith Michael Basso – USA – 249,000

Remaining flights and schedule:

Flight 3: February 7 – PHP 5,000 buy-in at 1230pm (ITM at 3% of the field)
Flight 4: February 7 – PHP 10,000 buy-in at 330pm (ITM at 6% of the field)
Flight 5: February 7 – PHP 20,000 buy-in at 730pm (ITM at 12% of the field)
Flight 6: February 8 – PHP 20,000 buy-in at 1230pm (ITM at 12% of the field)
Final Day: February 9 at 1230pm

Other Events

Apart from the guaranteed events mentioned above, players have a wide variety of side games to choose from. Making up the bulk are No Limit Hold’em, Deepstack, Superstack, Turbos, Pot Limit Omaha, Short Deck, six Freezeout tournaments, and High Roller events. Buy-ins range from Php 8,000 (~US$ 160) to Php 100,000 (~US$ 2,000), while the High Roller buy-ins go for Php 150,000, Php 200,000, and the Super High Roller of Php 500,000 (~US$ 9,800) . See the schedule for all the info.

The Somuchpoker team will provide daily recaps and be on-site during the Main Event to bring you live coverage so stick with us.

WPT Philippines coverage and schedule

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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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