While the PokerStars Festival Manila Main Event just kicked off today with Day 1A, the High Roller is hammering home on the other side of the tournament floor. The unofficial final table in that event is now set as just nine players remain, and with only six places paying out, tensions are high.
Currently it’s Japan’s Yo Seb Rhee out in front with 579,000 in chips, well ahead of second spot Sathesh Muthu from Singapore on a stack of 410,000. The two of them tangled earlier where Rhee got the best of Muthu who was actually leading the way at the time.
Muthu opened the action to 12,000 in the cutoff before Rhee played back at him for 27,000 from the big blind. Muthu called and the flop was spread Q♠10♣4♣. Rhee continued for 25,000, and after being raised to 100,000, he quickly shoved all in for 250,000. Muthu went deep into the tank and ultimately used two time bank chips before giving it up. Rhee showed the 9♠ and the pot was pushed his way.
Rhee is dominating the action now but it was a different story for start-of-day chip leader Tom Jonathan Or-Paz. He got off to a disastrous start losing three quarters of his commanding stack within the first hour of play. Or-Paz managed to hang around for another hour until his stack was decimated when he lost a flip to Lester Edoc. Or-Paz three-bet jammed pocket fives and couldn’t hold versus king queen when the board ran out Q♥8♥6♣J♦8♣. That left him peddling just one big blind which he promptly lost in the following hand with eight seven to Peter Plater’s ace six when Or-Paz failed to improve.
While Or-Paz found the rail a few hours ago it was the recent elimination of Englishman Simon Burns that took us to the unofficial final table. In his last hand the action folded around to Burns in the small blind and he moved all in with nine seven, only to be called by Plater holding ace deuce in the big blind. An ace fell as the community cards came down and with that Burns was sent packing.
The elimination of Burns signalled the beginning of the one-hour dinner break that the players have just commenced. They’ll all be back soon to vie for the High Roller trophy, the title and the PHP3,100,000 (~$61,500) first place prize!
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