Manila Megastack 7: Day 1A

June 02, 2017

Beveridge Leads Day 1A of Manila Megastack 7 Main Event
Manila Megastack 7 Day 1A chip leader John Beveridge.jpg

Manila Megastack 7 Day 1A chip leader John Beveridge

Day 1A of the Manila Megastack 7 is done and dusted with a total of 223 players anteing up the ₱30,000 (~US$600) buy-in and fighting it out at the felt over 16 30-minute levels.

Just 52 of these successfully circumnavigated the tournament minefield to lock up their Day 2 seat with Canada’s John Beveridge the man leading the charge after bagging up a monstrous 548,000 in chips – over four times the average stack.

Beveridge began the day slowly but popped up on the radar three-quarters of the way though the day and then proceeded to be involved in the thick of the action, sending a slew of players to the rail including Japan’s Tsuyohi and Israel’s Daniel Benor as play progressed.

The next largest stack belonged to Singapore’s Satheshkumar ‘Stash’ Muthu who pushed Japan’s Lisa Kito off a sizable pot on the last hand of the day to finish the day with a very respectable 418,500.

It was another Singaporean, Chee Keong Poh, who rounded out the top three after finishing play with 311,500. Poh was one of the early frontrunners and became the first to break the six-figure mark after rivering a straight against the unlucky Antonio Mata at the close of level eight. While the rampant Beveridge overtook him, Poh never fell out of the top five. You can see a break down of the full Day 1A chip counts here.

Play began with 133 initial entries and while this climbed to 150 midway though the first level, this quickly became 149 with the early departure of Victor De Guzman after the Filipino player’s flopped set of tens was beaten by Gerald Casey’s turned straight to send De Guzman to the changing rooms for an early bath. 

However, the late arrivals continued to pour in with the number of entries climbing to 192 by the end of level 4. The UK’s Simon Burns was one of the early frontrunners, coming into the event fresh from a final table appearance at the recent Poker King Cup Macau. 

Unfortunately, Burns could not recreate the run of form that saw him go deep in Macau and the Brit busted his first bullet at the hands of Australia’s Ennio Diccanio after running pocket sevens into the Aussie’s pocket queens around halfway through the day.

While Burns chose to re-enter and made it through the day with 79,500 Diccanio was not so fortunate and became one of the many Day 1A casualties as play progressed. 

Other notables who failed to make the cut included 2016 Asia Player of the Year Jack Wu, 2014 APOY Pete Chen and 2012 Asian Poker Tour POY Sam Ravazi. 

Day 1B plays out on Saturday 3 June at 2pm local time (GMT+7) and the PokerStars Blog Live Reporting Team will be on hand to bring you all the action as it happens so join us then.

Last gasp burst of action to close out day
Level 16 – Blinds 2,000/4,000/500

The last level of the day is always the most action packed and this was no exception with players dropping like flies. 
We caught one-time frontrunner Chee Keong Poh involved in a hand against Can Yee Ming that went poorly for the latter, though he managed to eke though to day 2, albeit with a much reduced stack.

We picked up the action on a flop of [3h4c6c] just as Poh (middle position) checked the action over to Ming (button), who led out for 27,000 into a pot of over 50,000.

Poh asked for a count – Ming had 70,000 behind – before mulling things over but eventually that the price was right and threw in the call. Both players checked the 3♦ and A♣ river, though it looked as though Poh was hoping Ming would bet on the end and looked disappointed when he failed to do so, rolling over Q♣9♣ for a rivered club flush. 

Ming did not look happy about this at all and while he still had chips left he promptly got up and left the table with a good 16 minutes still left on the clock before the end of the level. Poh raked in the pot to climb to 320,000.

The last 6-hands was announced shortly afterward with 58 players still in the running and it was John Beveridge who was in the thick of the action once again, busting the unfortunate Daniel Benor immediately afterward.

Pre-flop it was Linh Tran who was the initial aggressor, making it 9,500 from the button with Beveridge making the call from the small blind before Benor shoved for 69,500 from the big blind. Tran quickly folded but Beveridge was going nowhere and declared the call and the cards were turned over.

Daniel Benor: 5♦5♣
John Beveridge: J♥J♣

Benor was in bad shape and did not improve when the community cards ran out 4♦10♥7♣9♣8♠. Benor headed for the exit while Beveridge stacked up to over 540,000.

There were another five bust outs before play drew to a close for the day, but unfortunately we were only able to catch one of them. It was Oleg Mordasson who lit the fuse with a raise to 10,000 from middle position before Japan’s Shigeji Kusakabe re-raised to 30,000 from the hi-jack.

The short-stacked Chinnarut Tamprateep moved all-in for his last 36,000 from the small blind, the big blind quickly got out of the way and Mordasson tossed in the extras to take play three-way to a flop of 5♣4♥8♠. Mordasson and Kusakabe checked the action down the whole way with the J♣ turn and 3♠ river completing the hand and ending Tamprateep’s tournament.

Tamprateep turned over 10♠10♥ and while this was leading Kusakabei’s 9♣9♠ it was not enough to beat Mordasson’s J♠7♦ and the Swiss player stacked up to 265,000 while Kusakabe dropped to 148,000.

Most of the other tables were in the process of bagging up their chips by this point, though there was one last hand left to finish with Lisa Kito and Satesh Muthu battling it out in the final hand of the day.

Pre-flop it was Muthu who was the aggressor, making it 10,000 to go from the cutoff with Kito defending from the big blind. Kito checked the 2♠J♦6♦ flop over to Muthu, who continuation bet 25,000. 

Kito hit the think tank for around 30-seconds but chose to make the call and the dealer burned and turned the 9♥ turn. This brought a second check from Kito and Muthu shot her a grin that would put a Cheshire cat to shame before firing a beefy second barrel of 60,000. 

That represented a little over 50% of Kito’s remaining chips and she eventually decided to give it up, finishing the day with 119,500 while Muthu raked in the pot without showdown to bag up a very respectable 418,500 – making him the second largest stack behind John Beveridge.

All that excitement concludes Day 1A but there will be a full end of day write up and chip counts to follow so watch this space.

Cheung busts Weir to close out level
Level 15 – Blinds 1,500/3,000/500

We caught Hong Kong’s Sparrow Cheung and Canada’s Robert Weir involved in a sizable pot that has just cost the latter his tournament life. Pre-flop the short-stacked Weir moved in the last of his chips and Cheung re-raised to isolate and the cards were turned over.

Sparrow Cheung: 9♦9♥
Robert Weir: 2♦2♥

The board ran out 10♥8♦4♦J♥7♣ meaning we lose another to bring the field down to 62 as level 15 ticked over into level 16. There are now just 30-minutes remaining of Day 1A with play concluding at the close of the level.

No change at the top
Level 15 – Blinds 1,500/3,000/500

There has been no change in the pecking order with Canada’s John Beveridge still holding on to his sizable chip lead. While his stack has increased slightly to just over 400,000 his lead has decreased slightly with Singapore’s Sathesh ‘Stash’ Mutha closing in with a stack of 323,000.

The next closest stack is that of Si Yang Phua who has 270,000 with Chee Keong Poh (260,000) and Ming Suan Tan (210,000) rounding out the top five.

Level 15 begins
Level 15 – Blinds 1,500/3,000/500

The penultimate level of the day is now underway with 72 players still in the running with the average stack coming in at a little over 92,000. Just 60-minutes remain before players bag up their chips for the day. 

Ahuja doubles through Choi, Small blind special for Beveridge
Level 14 – Blinds 1,200/2,400/400

The bust outs are coming thick and fast now as players attempt to go big or go home. One player who that’s working out for is India’s Ashish Ahuja who we caught involved in an interesting hand with Oleg Mordasson and Ikmyung Choi.

Pre-flop it was Mordasson who opened the action with a raise to 7,800 from under-the-gun before Ahuja moved all-in for his last 35,000 from middle position and the action folded around to Choi in late position.

Choi peeked down at his hold cards and seemed to like what he saw, quickly moving all-in for a massive 211,000 in total. This monster re-raise sent Mordasson deep into the tank, where he remained for close to a minute. Being as the call would be for his tournament life Mordasson eventually chose not to make it and bowed out and the cards were turned over.

Ashish Ahuja: 7♠7♥
Ikmyung Choi: A♣A♠

Ahuja was in bad shape against the best starting hand in poker, that was until the J♠5♥7♠ gave him middle set and the lead in the hand. The 2♦ turn meant that Ahuja would just need to fade the deck’s two remaining aces and did so when the river rolled off 9♠ to lock in the double. Ahuja climbed to 75,000 after that timely bink while Choi dropped to 176,000.

John Beveridge continued his run of form to take down yet another pot, this time with a small blind special of a hand. We picked up the action on the flop in a 3-way hand involving Beveridge (small blind), a player in the big blind and a player in middle position on a flop of 3♣7♣7♠ just as Beveridge led out for 2,500.

Both opponents called to keep play three-handed and the 5♠ hit the turn, bringing checks from all three players. The K♦ river saw Beveridge lead once more, this time for a tickly little 2,400 bet. While this was enough to get the big blind to fold the middle position player decided to take a look and threw in the call. Beveridge turned over 10♥3♥ and his opponent mucked instantly.

“Was that call just for information?” asked Beveridge as he raked in yet another pot to climb to the giddy heights of 390,000 and further extend his lead.

Level 14 begins
Level 14 – Blinds 1,200/2,400/400

There are now 81 players left in contention with the average stack coming in at a little over 82,600 with play concluding in around an hour and twenty minutes time.

Beveridge extends lead
Level 13 – Blinds 1,000/2,000/300
John Beveridge.jpg

John Beveridge

While Chee Keong Poh (295,000) and Ming Suan Tan (240,000) are still two of the tournament’s largest stacks it is John Beveridge who is now top dog and it does not look as though that will be changing anytime soon.

Linh Tran managed to slow the B-train down some in a blind on blind battle, which we caught on a flop of 10♥Q♠5♦ just as Tran checked the action over to Beveridge, who took a stab for a half-pot sized 2,000. 

Tran check-raised to 7,000 and Beveridge quickly threw in the extras to keep the hand heads-up to the A♣ turn. Now he had the initiative Tran chose to keep it and fired for 8,500, which was enough to get Beveridge to give it up and he dropped to 330,000 while Tran climbed to a little over 95,000.

However, this was just as temporary set back as the next time we walked past Beveridge’s table we found him in the thick of the action once again with the Canadian in the process of showing Japan’s Tsuyohi Ishibashi the door.

Pre-flop Beveridge limped from the hi-jack before the short-stacked Ishibashi moved all-in for 15,000 from the button and Beveridge tossed in the call.

Tsuyohi Ishibashi: K♣3♣
John Beveridge: 5♥5♠

Ishibashi found himself as a 30/70 underdog and while he caught a small piece of the 8♦4♥3♠ flop that was all the help the poker gods seemed willing to give him with the Q♥ turn and J♠ river completing the hand.

Ishibashi headed for the rail while Beveridge stacked up to 380,000 or so – easily over 100k more then next closest rival Poh.

Stacks at the break
Level 13 – Blinds 1,000/2,000/300
It appears that the tournament clock was incorrect when it told us that 108 players went on break – it has now been updated and 99 out of the 223 Day 1A Manila Megastack 7 Main Event players remain in contention with four levels left to play. 

Judging by the speed of eliminations this will be reduced by a good few more by the time play concludes for the day at 2:40am so stick around as we see who has what it takes to lock themselves up a Day 2 seat.

Stacks at the break
Level 12 – Blinds 800/1,600/200

The 108 remaining Day 1A players are on their last 10-minute break of the day and there are just 2-hours left of the first starting Main Event flights.

The average stack is coming in at a little over 61,900 though some players have far, far more. It appears that Ming Suan Tan has dropped off slightly but is still very much in the running with a stack of 230,000 and the current frontrunner is Canada’s John Beveridge who has an impressive 285,000.

Other notable stacks belong to Ikmyung Choi (145,000), Jason Ng (133,500) and Lisa Kido (113,000) though this is far from a comprehensive count of the field. 

Other notables still in the running include Sparrow Cheung (74,500) and Linh Tran (75,000) and the UK’s Simon Burns has managed to run his second bullet up to 85,000.

Blinds up
Level 12 – Blinds 800/1,600/200

The blinds have climbed once more and are now up to 800/1,600 with a 200 running ante. The average stack is coming in at a little over 57,000 and 117 players out of the 223 initial entries are still in the running.

Mordasson slows down Tan
Level 11 – Blinds 600/1,200/100
Ming Suan Tan.jpg

Ming Suan Tan

It would seem that Ming Suan Tan’s table are struggling to contain his feisty behavior at present and the Malaysian player took down two back-to-back hands with some aggressive betting as we watched on.

While Tan tried to make this three from three it appeared that tablemate Oleg Mordasson had had enough and decided to try and contain the Tan rampage. 

It was Japan’s Akemi Kamada who opened the action with a raise to 3,000 from late position with Tan making the call from the small blind before Mordasson squeezed to 8,000 in total from the big blind.

While this was enough to get Kamada to get out of the way Tan decided he wanted to see a flop and threw in the extras and the dealer spread the A♣3♠2♥ community cards.

Tan tanked for a few seconds before counting out some chips and it looked like he was going to bet 8,800 but changed his mind at the last second and removed the single 5k yellow chip from his betting chips and led for 3,800.

Mordasson reached for raising chips right away, making it 12,200 in total. While Tan did not look like he liked it he eventually grudgingly folded leaving Mordasson to scoop a decent sized pot. Mordasson climbed to 95,000 after the hand but Tan still had a huge stack that looked to be close to 250,000.

Kjellgren makes monster
Level 11 – Blinds 600/1,200/100

Hong Kong’s Sparrow Cheung has been busy and has run his stack up to 80,000, though this now a little less after the following hand played out.

Pre-flop it was Cheung who opened the action with a raise to 2,500 from under-the-gun picking up three callers including Jian Qiang Kong in middle position and Daniel Kjellgren in the big blind.

The action went four-way to a flop of A♦6♥A♣ and with so many players in the hand Cheung seemed reluctant to lead after Kjellgren checked the action over to him and the other two players in the hand followed suit and checked behind.

The A♠ turn saw Kjellgren take a stab for 3,500 with Kong the only caller, taking the action heads-up to the 9♥ river. Kjellgren fired again, this time for 6,500 and after thinking it over Kong made the call, but could only pitch his cards into the muck when the Swedish player turned over A♥3♣ for quads.
Kjellgren climbed to 55,000 after the hand while Kong dropped to 63,200.

Poh busts Mata, Tan Leads
Level 10 – Blinds 500/1,000/100

We caught  Chee Keong Poh in the thick of the action once again just in time to see the Singaporean send Antonio Mata to the rail. It looked as though all the chips went in pre-flop with Mata’s 6♠6♥ holding a slender lead against Poh’s K♦J♦

That was until the flop came down jack-high and with no six making an appearance the unfortunate Mata hit the rail and Poh stacked up to 160,000.

However, that is not enough to keep Poh in pole position and there appears to be a new top dog in the form of Ming Suan Tan. While we have yet to get the Malaysian player in a hand he has a heap of chips at present and while they are unevenly stacked in four gigantic towers it looks like Tan has over 200,000 making him the current front runner.

Level 10 begins
Level 10 – Blinds 500/1,000/100

The blinds are now 500/1,000 with a 100 running ante and 150 players out of the 215 initial entries are still in the running.

Poh pulls ahead further
Level 9 – Blinds 400/800/100
Chee Keong Poh.jpg

Chee Keong Poh

It would seem that Chee Keong Poh is taking his responsibilities as chip leader seriously and seems reluctant to relinquish his commanding hold on the tournament at present, a fact that Japan’s Yoshinari Tuschiya has just discovered to his detriment.

We caught Poh in the thick of the action once more with Wei Guang Tan the man to kick start things with a raise to 1,800 from middle position with Tuschiya (cutoff), Poh (button) and Antonio Mata (big blind) making the call to take the action four-way to a flop of 9♥6♥K♦.

After Mata checked Tan c-bet 2,300 with Tuschiya making the call and the action was on Poh, who reached for raising chips and made it 5,300 to go in total. While this was enough to get Mata and Tan to bow out a skeptical Tuschiya made the call to take the action heads-up to the K♣ turn.

Tuschiya quickly announced he was all-in and was beaten into the pot by Poh and the cards were turned over. While Tuschiya, holding K♠4♠, had turned trips this was not enough to beat Poh’s 9♦9♠ turned full house. 

TheQ♠ river brought Tuschiya no help and he hit the rail while Poh stacked up to a monstrous 135,000. 

Level 9 begins
Level 9 – Blinds 400/800/100

It’s game time once again and the 173 remaining players of the 215 initial entries are now back in action. This number may increase once we receive confirmation of the official figures but there will be no more re-entries for the remainder of this first starting flight as the re-entry period and late entry period is now over.

Poh takes lead at close of level 8
Level 8 – Blinds 300/600/75

It would appear there is a new sheriff in town and it’s Chee Keong Poh who is the new chip leader, though there is still a long way to go before the day is done – another eight levels in fact.

However, for now Poh is very much the frontrunner and has padded his already ample stack out still further at the hands of an unfortunate tablemate.

We caught Poh in action in a heads-up hand on the turn against an opponent sitting in the big blind with over 10,000 in blinds and antes already in the center of the table on a board reading 8♠K♦6♣5♣.

The betting was complex, with the big blind leading out for 1,600 and Poh re-raising to 3,600, only to get three-bet to the tune of 9,600 in total from the Big Blind. Poh made the call to swell the pot close to 30,000 and it was off to the 4♦ river.

Being as he had kept the betting initiative the Big Blind led for 10,000 and was quickly called by Poh, who immediately rolled over A♦7♠ for the rivered straight. Poh’s opponent looked distinctly unimpressed and sulkily threw his cards face down into the muck leaving Poh to rake in a chunky pot and climb to 105,000 – making him currently the only player to hit the six-figure mark.

Other notable stacks include:

Anacleto Quijano – 71,000
Jun Obara – 70,000
Oleg Mordasson – 68,000
Alan Lim – 67,500
Akemi Kamada – 62,000
Linh Tran – 55,000
Shih Wang – 50,000

The 173 remaining players are now on a short 10-minute break with the re-entry period concluding when play resumes.

Last level for re-entry
Level 8 – Blinds 300/600/75

Blinds have climbed once more to 300/600 with a 75 running ante and 173 of the initial 215 entries are still in the running. This may still grow further, but only during the next 30-minutes as the re-entry period concludes at the end of this level.

Burns back in action, Weir wins one
Level 7 – Blinds 200/400/50

The UK’s Simon Burns has chosen to fire a second bullet and has been re-seated at the table of his nemesis Ennio Dicciano so there well be revenge on his mind, though whether he gets it is anyone’s guess.

We were lurking near the pair’s table hoping to catch the two in action, but caught an interesting hand between Robert Weir and Anacleto Quijano instead.

Pre-flop Dicciano was sitting under-the-gun once more and limped, with Quijano and another player in middle position coming along for the ride in addition to the small blind and Weir in the big blind.

The 7♣3♦9♠ flop saw the small blind check and Weir lead for 1,500 with Quijano the only caller. The K♠ turn saw Weir fire again, this time for 3,000 with Quijano making the call once more to bring both players to the river, which saw Weir move all-in for his last 7,050.

This was enough to win the hand and Quijano folded to drop down to roughly 60,000 or so while Weir climbed to 18,050.

Wu in the running
Level 7 – Blinds 200/400/50

Taiwan’s Jack Wu is one of the more recent additions to the Manila Megastack Main Event, having recently busting in 13th place in the ₱100,000 Single Day High Roller Shot Clock event. Unfortunately for Wu only the top 6 places paid so he will be looking to recoup some of his losses in the Main.

The number of entries has climbed to 210 to grow the Day 1A prizepool to ₱5,499,900 with 170 players still in the running. The average stack is coming in at 37,000 and play will be concluding at the end of level 16 (not 14 as we incorrectly reported earlier) at around 2:30am local time (GMT+7).

Tran starting well
Level 6 – Blinds 150/300/25
Linh Tran.jpg

Linh Tran

Linh Tran is one of the more recent arrivals but wasted no time in chipping up. We caught the Vietnamese-Canadian player in the thick of the action, winning two back-to-back hands to bring himself into contention as one of the tournament’s early front runners.

In the first we arrived in time to see Tran embroiled in a heads-up pot against a player sitting in middle position with the community cards spread 10♦6♣7♥8♣8♠. Tran, sitting in the small blind, had just checked the action over to his opponent, who fired out a 12,500 bet into a pot of over 25,000.

Tran did not take long to make the call and his opponent rolled over 5♣5♥ for a pair and missed straight draw. However, this was not enough to beat Tran’s pretty looking 10♥9♥ and the he raked in a tidy pot.

Looking to play his rush, Tran re-raised to 2,350 from the button the very next hand after a player in early position raised to 700 and picked up a mid-position caller.

The original player called and the middle position caller bowed out to take the action heads up to a rather dry flop of  2♦2♥8♣, which was checked over to Tran, who continuation bet 2,750.

After thinking it over for a few seconds Tran’s opponent made the call and the dealer burned and turned the 7♥ which brought a second check from the early position player and a chunky 6,500 second barrel from Tran.

Tran’s opponent made the call once more and the 10♦ river completed the hand. Now the early position player chose to lead and fired out a 14,000 bet into a pot of over 23,000. Tran quickly moved all-in bringing an equally quick fold to take down the pot and climb to 72,000, making him one of the larger stacks currently.

Level 6 begins
Level 6 – Blinds 150/300/25

The field has climbed to 206 with 166 players still in the running.

Ogura cripples Thoo, Quijano picks off Dicciano
Level 5 – Blinds 100/200/25
Ennio Dicciano.jpg

Ennio Dicciano

The action is heating up here at the PokerStars LIVE Manila card room and the number of entrants for the Manila Megastack Main Event has risen to 202, 162 of whom are still in the running, though in the case of Malaysia’s Ken Thoo we are not sure for how long.

We caught the reining ACOP beer pong champion in action on a jack-high board against Japan’s Mamita Ogura just as Thoo moved all-in on the turn and was snap called by Ogura. 

Thoo turned over [ackh] but this was not enough to best Ogura’s 8♠8♥ and the Japanese player took a huge bite out of Thoo’s stack, leaving the Malaysian with a paltry 2,250 while Ogura chipped up to 55,000.

Ennio Dicciano is another who recently took a big hit as we caught the Australian in action against Anacleto Quijano. It appeared that Dicciano had limped from under-the-gun once more, prompting a player sitting UTG+1 to raise to 800. Quijano made the call, only to see Dicciano limp-raise to 2,800 in total.

While this was enough to get one of his opponent’s to bow out Quijano made the call to take the action heads-up to a flop of Q♥8♦5♠, which both players checked.

Dicciano checked the 4♣ turn over to Quijano, who now fired for 4,000. With the action back on Dicciano he check-raised another 5,000 on top, which Quijano quickly called to bring the two players to the 8♥ river.

First to act, Diccianno reached for a handful of yellow 5k chips and threw them into the pot for a hefty 20,000 bet, which was speedily called by Quijano.

“Do you have it?” quizzed Dicciano, but Quijano just sat there silently waiting for the Australian to show down his hand. Eventually Dicciano did so, turning over J♠9♦ for a missed gutshot straight draw. 

Quijano quietly tabled 4♥4♦ for a turned set to win a juicy pot and climb to 66,000 while Dicciano dropped to 66,000 after that little misadventure.

Back in action
Level 5 – Blinds 100/200/25

The 160 remaining Day 1A players are now back in action with the first break out of the way. The re-entry period will remain open for another 2-hours until the end of level 8, which should be at approximately 10:20pm.

Break Time
Level 4 – Blinds 100/200

The field has grown to 192, though only 160 of these remain in the running and players are now on a short 10-minute break.

The UK’s Simon Burns has become another of the early casualties, running pocket sevens into the pocket queens of nemesis Ennio Dicciano to hit the rail shortly before the break.

It appears Dicciano is the current frontrunner with a stack of over 85,000 with Gerald Casey, sitting on a stack of 78,000, the only other player anywhere close to Dicciano’s early lead. 

Other notables still in the running include Sparrow Cheung (23,300), Manila Megastack 6 final tablist Soo Gee Lim (28,075) and Sam Razavi, who is looking a little short with a stack of 10,250. 

Blinds up
Level 4 – Blinds 100/200
The blinds continue their inexorable rise and this is the last of the early levels before antes come into play. There are currently 156 players fighting it out at the felt and there will be a short break at the end of this level so we will endeavor to get you some chip counts then to see who is powering into an early lead.

Burns takes a hit
Level 3 – Blinds 75/150
7:30pm:Thumbnail image for Simon Burns.jpg  

The UK’s Simon Burns

Level three is nearly done and dusted and the number of entries has now climbed to 157, 156 of whom are still in the running.

While he started well Simon Burns has recently taken a hit and the hand’s of one of Perth’s finest – Ennio Dicciano – that brought chuckles from the rest of the table, though not in a malicious way.

Pre-flop it was Dicciano who got the ball rolling with an under-the-gun limp, picking up one caller sitting UTG+1 before Burns popped it up to 700 to go. Both Dicciano and the other player made the call to take the action three-way to a flop of K♦6♠4♣.

First to act Dicciano wasted no time in getting stuck into the action and led for 1,200 into the 2,100 pot. The neighboring player quickly folded but Burns did not look to be going anywhere and the Brit threw in a quick call to take the action heads-up to the turn.

Dicciano did not seem deterred by the appearance of the A♦ and quickly fired a second barrel, this one a slightly larger 3,800 which Burns called once again to bring both players to the 2♠ river.

While this looked to be an innocuous card Dicciano seemed to like it just fine and loaded up the third barrel, this one a hefty 8,500. Though he took slightly longer about it Burns tossed in two 5k yellow chips to represent the call and Dicciano rolled over the mighty A♠2♣ for a backdoor two pair, to chuckles from the rest of the table and a wry smile from Burns, who pitched his cards into the muck.

Dicciano climbed to 70,000 after that spot of good fortune while Burns took the hit with good grace and dropped down to around 35,000.

Casey and Burns early front runners, Ladies good for Garcia
Level 2 – Blinds 50/100

There are still 149 players so far on the first of the Manila Megastack 7’s starting flights. The early frontrunners are currently Gerald Casey who has run his initial starting stack up to an impressive 77,000 already, helped in part by the early elimination of Victor De Guzman.

The UK’s Simon Burns is another player who has a decent sized stack and currently has 60,000. Confidence breeds confidence and Burns is coming off the back of a decent result after final tabling the recent Poker King Cup Macau Main Event where he finished in 7th for HK$232,000 (~US$29,800) and will be looking to add to this already impressive tally with a decent score here in Manila.

Another player who’s tournament is on the right track is Jonald Garcia, with the Filipino player taking down a decent sized pot from tablemate Haibo Jiang.

Pre-flop Garcia got cute with an under-the-gun limp before Jiang raised to 300. Action folded back over to Garcia who re-raised to 725 and Jiang made the call to take the action heads-up to the A♥10♣5♦ flop.

Neither of the two players seemed keen on that and the action went check, check and did so again on the 2♣ turn before Garcia decided to take a stab for 900 on the 10♥ river.

Jiang made the call but could only fold when Garcia turned over Q♥Q♦ to take down the pot and climb to 40,000.
De Guzman straightened out
Level 1 – Blinds 25/50
There are now 149 players in contention with Hong Kong’s Sparrow Cheung, Japan’s Hisashi Ogi and Shinobu Tanaka and Manila Megastack 6 final tablist Soo Gee Lim all now seated. There were 150 players but Victor De Guzman took a nasty beat to close the level and become the first casualty of the day. 

Pre-flop De Guzman was under-the-gun and open limped, prompting a neighboring player to make it 200, picking up 4 callers before action was back on De Guzman, who squeezed to 1,300.

The only caller was the in position Gerald Casey and the action went heads-up to a flop of [4xTx7x]. De Guzman continued to sell a convincing story and continuation-bet 1,700 into the 3,400 pot, which Casey called once more to bring play to the [3x] turn and this is where the fireworks happened.

De Guzman checked, Casey bet close to pot and De Guzman moved all-in and was quickly called. While the Filipino player had flopped top set with pocket tens he had just been out-turned by Casey, who was holding five-six for the straight. There was no pair up and De Guzman headed for the rail, though he still has the option to re-enter should he choose. Casey stacked up close to 50,000 after that timely catch at the close of the level – blinds are now 50/100.

A good start
Level 1 – Blinds 25/50
There are now 133 players currently seated in the Manila Megastack 7 Main Event, 12 of whom have come all the way from Perth in Western Australia. 

The Perth Poker League has turned up in force and are all sporting some snazzy looking black shirts with their poker league’s logo, and while a good 50% of them are also sporting some rather impressive tattoos as well, we don’t think they are compulsory for membership.

We caught one of Perth’s finest in action with Kevin Jones kickstarting proceedings with a raise to 125 from under-the-gun and receiving zero respect for his early position raise, picking up four callers to take the action 5-way to a flop of K♥2♥10♠.

With so many players in the hand no one looked keen to bet and the action was checked around. The K♠ turn saw small blind Dennis Gamboa take a stab for a half pot bet of 300 with Bach Hoang Nguyen, sitting on the button, the only caller.

The K♦ river killed all further action, meaning Gamboa’s 10♥10♦ was good enough to take down the small early pot. 

Manila Megastack 7: Day 1A cards in the air
Level 1 – Blinds 25/50
And we’re off. The cards are now in motion as the first of the Manila Megastack 7’s two Day 1 starting flights gets underway. Notables in attendance so far include former Asia Poker Tour player of the year Sam Razavi and his better half Menchu and there is a sizable line of poker aficionados queuing up at the registration desk, all eager to get into the thick of the action. 

Manila Megastack 7: Day 1A ready to go
blue_yellow_chips_26Jan17.jpg   5:15pm:
The PokerStars LIVE Manila card room at City of Dreams is filling up as players arrive to stump up the ₱30,000 buy-in for the ₱8 million guaranteed Main Event

With the format offering late registration until level 8 (10:20pm) and multiple re-entry the sky’s the limit for those with deep enough pockets. Entrants will be starting with a 30,000-chip starting stack and playing 14 30-minute levels with play concluding a little after 2am local time (GMT+7). 

The number to beat is 284, which was the number of eager competitors who battled it out at the baize back in December on Day 1A of the Manila Megastack 6, easily surpassing the ₱6 million guarantee on the first of the starting flights. While the guarantee is now ₱8 million, numbers have been good in the side events and there is certainly potential for this event to knock the ball out of the park and beat the 646 record set back in December 2016. 

Stick around as the PokerStars blog Live Reporting Team walks you though the action when play begins shortly.


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PokerStars Blog reporting team at Manila Megastack 7: Ben Wilson. Photography by Chris Librojo. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog


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