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The tenth edition of PokerStars Manila Megastack kept the first fortnight of December alive with thrilling tournament action. The series is the first major poker festival to be hosted at the PokerStars LIVE poker room in Okada, Manila and played out from December 7-16.
With 2,539 players competing for total prize money of ₱34,463,266, the 10-day poker festival has now culminated, with the ₱30,000 buy-in Manila Megastack 10 Main Event crowning a winner in Japan’s Yasutake Oka.
Oka’s journey to the top was exceptional, and while he managed to outlast the 417-strong field, he found a tough opponent in local talent Martin Gonzales. Oka came into the heads-up play with a big one-to-three chip deficit against the latter, however, he scripted a phenomenal turnaround to take down the title, also banking a career-best ₱2,562,000 in addition to winning a ₱100,000 ($48,500) package to the 2019 APPT Manila.
Indian challenger Harsh Dembla has been a regular at live tournaments in Goa in recent years with two deep runs. After his fifth place finish in the 2017 WPT India ₹20K NLHE Deep Turbo (₹1.57 Lakhs), Dembla made a ninth place finish in the 2018 WPT India ₹55K NLHE Main Event (₹6.63 Lakhs) earlier this year.
In the just-concluded Manila Megastack 10, Dembla was seen in action all through the series and posted two scores early on. At the Main Event, he was the lone Indian to cross money line and finished ninth for ₱243,000 (₹3.29 Lakhs), bringing in his third score at the stop.
On the sidelines, Taiwan’s Fu Bang Huang outlasted a 77-strong field to win the Saturday Superstack for ₱363,000.
We also saw some exciting action in the Teams Event where the final four players made a deal, altering the prize payouts from first to fourth place. Eventually, Team Philippines comprising of Rodrigo Sequite and Ryan Peter Malangen won the event for ₱84,800. Team Korea, comprising of Sang Yeon Hwang and Eugen Co were runner-ups and snagged ₱62,900 in prize money.
Meanwhile, the Turbo Edition of Main Event crowned a winner in Korea’s Byungwook Ahn (₱233,500).
Asian heavyweight, Mike Takayama ran high and mighty at the series and walked away with two titles, one at the ₱15,000 Freezeout and he followed that up by taking down the ₱100K Single Day High Roller (Shot Clock).
The Manila Megastack series saw three Indians, Harsh Dembla, Ankit Jajodia and Rohit Behal in attendance. Between the trio they posted a total of seven scores at the stop, with Dembla topping the list with three scores that got him a total ₱4,89,790 (₹6.63 Lakhs) in prize money.
Jajodia was the first Indian challenger to score and like Dembla, he too picked up three scores at the series including a sixth place finish in the Kickoff ₱3M GTD Event. His cumulative earnings at the series stand at ₱2,40,628 (₹3.26 Lakhs).
Meanwhile, Behal cashed the ₱15,000 NLH, where he finished ninth (₱45,000 – ₹60,998), while Dembla finished eighth (₱56,300 – ₹76,315) in the event.
The event attracted 417 runners that included 167 entries from Day 1A and 250 from Day 1B. The field size was enough to overshoot the ₱10 Million GTD Main Event with the total prize pool kitty reaching ₱10,921,230. Besting the field was Japan’s Yasutake Oka, who won the Main Event title for ₱2,562,000, along with a ₱100,000 ($48,500) package to the 2019 APPT Manila.
Only the top 50 finalists posted a score in the event with a min-cash worth ₱48,500. By the time play ended on Day 1, only 90 runners were left in the fray.
India’s Harsh Dembla had a roller-coaster ride in the Main Event. Dembla held a healthy stack when the bubble burst and he had consolidated to around 600,000 by the time the field was down to 22 players. Things changed fast as he came into the final table with the shortest stack of 476,000, and eventually finished ninth for ₱243,000 (₹3.29 Lakhs).
Other notables who cashed in the event include Harold McDonald (17th for ₱108,000), Tomasz Monczak (19th for ₱92,000), Steven Cody (24th for ₱81,000), Michael Raymond (31st for ₱65,000), Redentor Edoc (40th for ₱54,000), Richard Marquez (43rd for ₱54,000), Joseph Sia (46th for ₱48,500) and Roger Spets (50th for ₱48,500).
Hassen Judeh’s (10th for ₱190,000) elimination set the nine-handed final table in motion. Holding ace-seven, Judeh moved the last of his chips pre-flop and was looked up by Marius Zalpys holding ace-jack. A jack-high flop saw Zalpys scoop the pot as Judeh went out on the final table bubble in 10th place.
Coming into the final table, Korea’s Siyong Lee held the largest stack of 3,056,000, while Martin Gonzales and Joachim Chia were a distant second and third in chips with 2,326,000 and 2,226,000 respectively.
1.Siyong Lee (Korea) – 3,056,000
2. Martin Gonzales – 2,326,000
3. Joachim Chia – 2,226,000
4. Rob Glasspool – 1,406,000
5. Yasutake Oka – 1,026,000
6. Flo Campomane – 752,000
7. Marius Zalpys – 751,000
8. Jessie Supnet – 494,000
9. Harsh Dembla – 476,000
While Siyoung Lee came into the final table as chip leader, he soon lost two big pots, one against Martin Gonzales where his stack stack dropped to 2.42 Million and in the next his pocket kings were run down by Rob Glasspool’s pocket tens that improved to a set on the flop and quads on the turn.
Indian challenger Harsh Dembla played a solid game on the final table. Although he held the shortest stack i.e. 476,000, he took his time during early action and found a much-needed triple up in a hand where he moved all in for his last 130,000 holding pocket treys, that held up against Marius Zalpys’ ace-queen through the five-ten-jack-nine-deuce runout. Dembla climbed to 600,000 here, but was all but eliminated soon thereafter with only 11,000 left behind after he ran his pocket jacks into Oka’s pocket kings.Though Dembla made a strong bid to revive and even came up to 117,000 after hitting trip queens with queen-ten in the next hand, he ended up as the first casualty of the final table. In the hand, Dembla held and found callers in Oka and Glasspool, while Lee led out 900,000 from the small blind. Both Oka and Glasspool folded and Lee tabled . Though Dembla was ahead, the runout saw Lee spike a pair and that was the end of Dembla’s tournament run.
Jessie Supnet was eliminated in eighth place after he moved all in pre-flop for 318,000 from the cutoff and Joachim Chia flat-called from the button, sending Flo Campomanes in the tank. Campomanes finally declared a call, leaving himself with only 452,000 behind. Both players checked their options on the flop and Campomanes shoved the turn while Chia tossed in a single 50,000 chip to make the call. The cards were turned over and Supnet tabled against Chia’s and Campomanes’ . Campomanes collected the pot with his pair of aces sending Supnet to the rail even as Chia suffered a big setback.
The next player to hit the rail was Marius Zalpys, who moved all in pre-flop for the second time and was called by Campomanes from the hijack. Both blinds folded and Zalpys who held found his tournament life at risk with Campomanes holding . The devil’s flop of saw Zalpys getting up in preparation to leave and the on the turn was of no help for him. The river improved Campomanes hand to a set, and Zalpys was eliminated.
Joachim Chia bounced out next in sixth place after Lee opened the action pre-flop and Chia moved all in, that was called by Lee. Chia tabled against Lee’s . Lee hit one-pair on the runout and chipped up to 2.41 Million, while Chia left, wishing the rest of the table good luck.
Despite sending Chia to the rail, Siyoung Lee found his run end shortly thereafter, in fifth place. Lee had sailed into the final table where he had quite a roller-coaster ride. He found his nemesis in Gonzales as the duo moved all in in a battle of the blinds. Action folded to Lee who completed from the small blind after Gonzales led out for 700,000. Lee moved all in for 2.1 Million and the cards were on their backs. Lee’s were trailing Gonzales’ who kept ahead on the flop. The turn improved Gonzales to a set and he went further ahead to hit quads on the river, sending Lee to the cashier`s desk.
Four-handed play saw a couple of all in moves before Flo Campomanes was eliminated in fourth place.On his final hand of the tournament, Campomanes jammed for 900,000 from the cutoff and Gonzales instantly called from the small blind. “Really?” asked Oka, who stood up, looking surprised. Oka rechecked his cards and then grudgingly mucked his pocket eights. Campomanes and Gonzales were on their feet as Campomanes’ trailed Gonzales’ . The flop was favorable for Gonzales who hit a set of tens. Campomanes was drawing very thin and the on the turn had him drawing dead on the river.
UK’s Robert Glasspool was eliminated in third place after suffering a brutal beat at the hands of Yasutake Oka. Despite doubling up once, he couldn’t carry on much further and soon exited. Action saw Glasspool moving all-in on button with and Martin Gonzales made the call from the small blind holding . Gonzales led through the runout eliminating Glasspool in third place.
The heads-up match between Martin Gonzales and Oka began with the talk of a deal, but it didn’t materialize. Gonzales was clearly in the driver`s seat with a stack of 9,280,000 to Oka’s 3,230,000, but Oka proved a tough opponent once again, digging deep and fighting it out through the subsequent pots. Oka took over the lead and finally closed it out in a hand where Gonzales moved all in from the button with and Oka snap-called with . The rails of both players erupted in hoots and shouts as the flop ran . Gonzales was drawing dead after the landed on the turn and the on the river locked up the title for Oka, while Gonzales graciously conceded to a runner-up finish.
Final Table Results (PHP)
1.Yasutake Oka – ₱2,562,000
2. Martin Gonzales – ₱1,542,000
3. Robert Glasspool – ₱952,500
4. Flo Campomanes – ₱730,500
5. Siyoung Lee – ₱541,000
6. Joachim Chia – ₱433,000
7. Marius Zalpys – ₱354,230
8.Jessie Supnet – ₱298,000
9. Harsh Dembla – ₱243,000
Right as the Main Event was closing in towards conclusion, another 2-day tournament i.e. the Saturday Superstack crowned a winner in Fu Bang Huang of Taiwan. Huang topped a 77-strong field to bag the title for ₱363,000.
A prize pool of ₱1,344,990 was generated in the event that was divided among the top 10 finishers.
Huang cruised into the heads-up finale against Konstantin Pogodin of Russia who proved to be a formidable opponent. The heads-up match lasted over two hours before Huang emerged victorious and took down the title.
1.Fu Bang ‘Fubo’ Huang – ₱363,000
2. Konstantin Pogodin – ₱242,000
3. Eugene Co – ₱161,300
4. Masakazu Miyamoto – ₱134,400
5. Darren Ong Abdullah – ₱107,600
6. Seitaro Aso – ₱94,100
7. Kenta Honke – ₱80,700
8. Kentaro Somekawa – ₱67,200
9. Tetsuro Tomita – ₱53,800
Content & Images courtesy – PokerStars Blog/pokernews.com