Yuka Asaka wins a Platinum Pass at the Manila Super Series; Terry Gonzaga wins two events, Luen Kwok ships a first

The eighth edition of the Manila Super Series concluded with another player added to the list of PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) Platinum Pass winners. The latest to seize the coveted pass was Japan’s Yuka Asaka who rose above a field of 1023 entries at the Main Event. In addition, Asaka pocketed P1,605,000 (~US$30,000), making this her largest live tournament win to-date.

Yuka Asaka
Yuka Asaka – Photo PokerStars Manila

The Manila Super Series has steadily attracted players from all over Asia especially with the exceptionally low P10,000 (~US$187) buy-in Main Event offering an added value PSPC Platinum Pass worth US$30,000. In the early editions of the series, Filipino players dominated the charts however in the latest edition, only three players were locals and the rest from varying nations.

Another female running well was 2018 Taiwan Millions champion Tsui Han Hsiao. Hsiao finished 7th at the Main Event. Prior to that, she won the NLH Deep Stack Turbo (event 3). Hsiao has been frequenting the Philippine circuit since last year and has consistently experienced quite bit of success.

Final table payouts
Prize pool: P8,732,328 (US$163,367)
1st Yuka Asaka – Japan – P1,605,000 (US$30,000)
2nd Mark Gruendemann – Ireland – P935,000
3rd Yu Hui Han – Singapore – P658,000
4th Ivan Klaric – Croatia – P523,000
5th Rommel Angeles – Philippines – P380,000
6th John Niko Costiniano – Philippines – P278,000
7th Tsui Han Hsiao – Taiwan – P205,000
8th David Jansen Erquiaga – Philippines – P148,000
9th Jian Qiang Kong – Singapore – P115,328
10th Jukka Jarvinen – Finland – P96,000

Terry Gonzaga wins two events

Terry Gonzaga
Terry Gonzaga – Photo PokerStars Live Manila

Filipino Terry Gonzaga was the only player at the series to boast of two titles. Gonzaga first bested a field of 121 at the P8,000 NLH event to pocket P189,400 (US$3,500) then went on to win the P5,000 NLH Turbo, this time defeating the 144 entries for P147,500 (US$2,760).

Another well-known local player earning a title was Michael De Leon. He topped the 159 entry field of the P5,000 NLH Knockout Turbo event to win P120,300 (US$2,250). This win comes just days after his runner-up finish at the Metro Walk to a Million 1M event.

Luen Kwok wins first-ever victory at the Shot Clock event

Luen Hei Kwok
Luen Hei Kwok – Photo PokerStars Live Manila

The highest buyin tournament was the P15,000 NLH Shot Clock event. With a total of 133 entries, the prize pool came to P1,741635 (US$32,610). Among the notable players in the money were Australia’s Anthony Abram (16th) and Filipino Richard Marquez (12th) however taking it down was Hong Kong’s Luen Kwok who captured his first-ever live tournament victory along with the P330,000 (US$6,180) first prize.

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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