Friday, January 25, 2008

The Main Event's Upon Us

The Metro Main Event is kickin' off this Saturday, Jan 26 at 2pm. We've been looking forward to this thing for quite a while, and I gotta say I'm super excited to sit and play with the finest in the RP and some stellar performers from abroad.

If you're planning on playing and haven't signed up yet, you better do so now - go over to the Metro Website and get the number to call - 110 seats max. Not sure how many have been sold already but I hear they're going fast as the day approaches.

If you're not playing, come on down and watch the first major tourney of the poker year.

You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

To the winner of tomorrow's Metro75

I'm staking you to the Main Event. seat. 50/50 deal.

Sinulog Tourney: Some thoughts...

My last post extolled the virtues of the new Bravio card room in Mandaue City, and, much more importantly, hinted at the growth and excitement swirling around Cebu poker. It certainly is a growth market, and can easily lead the way for Philippine poker in general.

I'd now like to talk about the 2nd annual Sinulog tournament that was held last Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Casino Filipino Lahug, sponsored by our good friends at All-In poker and of course PAGCOR.

A whole bunch of us went to play.

Format: 5K+1K buy, unlimited rebuy through 5 levels, 1 add-on, 1.5m guaranteed. That alone is gimmicky enough, but I understand the motivation, given the organizers wanted a smaller buy but guarantee the pool. OK...we played it last year and it pretty much worked out. The rebuys and add-ons were also raked 10% for charity. Fair enough.

Oh, and an aside: to the gentleman reading the format and rules at the outset - there is no such thing as a freezeout with rebuys ;).

It's a contradiction in terms, like "intelligent nick"...

After all this, things get a little tough to swallow. I do hope my memory serves me well. The 1st 5 levels were pegged at 30 minutes each. Each succeeding level was 20 minutes long. A little too brazen on the old "we want a lotta rebuys" meter. Starting stack 10K, add-on 20K. Starting blinds 100-200, 200-400, 300-600, 500-1000, 800-1600 (I think: somebody correct me if i'm wrong) but the point is by the add-on, we were at roughly 800-1600.

After the break, the blinds got 2000-4000, then 3000-6000, then 5000-10000 with a 1K ante!!!!! So after 8 levels, anybody with 100K to 200K - who ought to be healthy even with the skews the multi rebuy and add-on format presented, would have just 10-20 BB left in their stacks! Needless to say All-In was the phrase of the evening. Congratulations to you who either held up or sucked out :)...

Not good.

Add to that slow dealers (try 5-7 hands every 30 mins on my table with one guy), less -than-stellar tournament direction (who stops the whole tourney to collapse a single table? When I asked a floor this question, he answered, "ganyan talaga e", and you get a tourney that I am unlikely to attend again unless dramatically overhauled.

We should be past all this by now. It's been 3 years since we've been running legal tournaments. We're inviting the world to our country to play. I do hope operators consider this for the future.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bravo, Bravio!

Man, I love my business. You get to meet the coolest people, always seem to find yourself in the middle of where the action is, party good, and of course, gamble.

Last Friday, 20 or so of us hopped the batplane and winged it over to Cebu for Sinulog weekend and a whole lotta poker. This was gonna be a poker-packed couple of days, with the Bravio Grand Opening and All-In Poker Sinulog tourney going on.


The girls in front of the trusty batplane

First of all, Bravio. This fantastic establishment is product of a partnership between Ace Technologies, the Cebu Players Club, PAGCOR, and some other fine people interested in growing the Cebu Poker scene, which is a great scene, by the way.

Biased as I am, I must say it's raised the bar - not only for Cebu poker, but for Philippine poker. It is hands down the most exciting and well-executed concept in Poker within these shores.

8 tables, billiard lounge, full service restaurant, a massage room, and a great, great staff.

Outside Bravio

Billiard Lounge

Poker at Bravio

Bravio kitchen

Red for good luck

Opening Ceremonies

Me and Mayor Jonas Cortes of Mandaue City

Degenerates Convention

After the opening ceremonies, we were treated to some great food from the Bravio kitchen and got down to what we flew over for...Poker.

about 60 people sat the P3300 freezeout, which kicked off at about 7:30...after several hours of play, the final table convened with seven of the Metro crew in! Derick H., Eric S., Bryan M., Checkpoint Louie, Kent, and me (it was an accident, i swear)...7 outta 9 - not bad. Anyway, played on a TV table (the FT'll be televised on RCTV in Cebu) and slowly busted one after another until Derick - you may remember him from the FT at the APPT - finally took it down. GG guys.

Tourney Time

Awesome job by all involved, and special, special thanks to the Cebu Players Club for raising the bar.

Next time you find yourself in Cebu, head on over to Bravio, A.S. Fortuna Street (near the Honda dealership), Mandaue City.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pokerstars Steps to the Plate

Just got this message from Pokerstars Philippines Regional Manager and kick-ass poker player Franco M. Looks like Pokerstars has stepped up and is rolling out FREEROLLS to provide seats to the upcoming Metro Main Event, the P3 Million extravaganza scheduled this January 26-27.

Read below:

Happy January Poker Players!

As you all know by now, the biggest Filipino-created
poker event in the history of our country is drawing
very near. The Metro Main Event, slated on January 26
and 27 at the Metro Card Club in Merowalk Meralco
Avenue, boasts a whopping record guarantee of 3

But what you probably don't know is that the
tournament just got bigger. The Metro Main Event is
now also the first stop of the FILIPINO POKER TOUR, a
breathtaking brand new TV show presented by specifically to televise the talents of
the Filipino to be aired all over the Phlippines!
That's right, the event will be having featured tables
and a grand final table to showcase the skills of the
local players on television. This assures that the
champion of of the Metro Main Event and the first-ever
FPT will walk away a star!

As always, we at PokerStars want to give everybody a
better chance at participating in this momentous
affair. So we've prepared two easy and extremely
advantageous ways for you to qualify online.

1. The 11 Daily Freerolls: From Jan. 14-24, we will be
having satellite freerolls on PokerStars.NET where one
winner EVERYDAY will be given a free seat to the Metro
Main Event. We're not kidding. All you have to do is
log on to at 7PM on any of these dates,
play without spending a single peso, and if u win any
of the 11 daily satellites, we buy you your seat.
Can't get any better than that.

2. The Last Chance Rebuy Satellite: On January 25, the
day before the event, we'll be having a $1 rebuy
tournament with a guarantee of FIVE seats on
PokerStars.COM. You heard us correctly, your single
dollar could metamorphose into a PhP30,000 seat into
this monumental event!

PokerStars is available on windows and now on MAC as

Good luck at the tables everybody!

Franco Mabanta
Phlippine Regional Manager

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

An auspicious year

Looks like 08's rolled on in, and i for one am looking forward in a big, big way to some exciting stuff. With the number "8" in this year as well, i'm sure you feng-shui gamblin' types are rubbing your hands in anticipation of the good luck to come. Here's to this year being beyond lucky for all of you.

Luck aside, a whole buncha people have been working hard in anticipation of 2008. In poker, I now count (and i may be mistaken) 14 legal, operating cardrooms around the country, with most peppered around Metro Manila.

Cebu has two, but we've partnered with the handsome bastards over at the Cebu Players Club to build a 300+ sqm card club/resto/lounge/billiard destination in Mandaue City. If you'll be at Sinulog, and i'm sure a bunch of you will, stop by and say hi.

We and the Davao boys are crankin' up the drawing board to move our existing Davao operations to larger premises to spread more tables. Look for that to happen in the next 60 days.

It's all good.

Pokerstars has committed to the APPT returning to Manila this year, and I'm certain the festivities and attendance this year will dwarf last year's.

Poker, poker, and more poker.

This would be an interesting time for the few of you who pop by this blog to comment on what you'd like to see in RP poker this year: comment here and we'll get on the more intriguing suggestions.

Peace and a prosperous bankroll pumpin' new year to y'all!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Latest Addition to the Fun Bunch

Some of you guys may be aware that until recently, I had three lovely daughters. Well, as of last Friday at 10:05am, I now have four! Little Zoe Clarissa showed up healthy, happy, and hungry at Asian Hospital, to all of our delight. Barb's doin' fine, has already enjoyed a few glasses of good merlot (after a nine-month hiatus from anything alcoholic), and Zoe's sisters are treating her like a little celebrity in the house.

Couldn't be happier.

Anyway, a child psychologist told me once that it was never too early to start reinforcing desirable skills and behaviors in our children. So we've now begun to try to equip her with the skills she'll need to get along comfortably in life:

Hold'em skills

Stud Skills

Stay tuned to this blog to see how she progresses :)