It has been a thrilling week and the first-ever PokerStars Festival Manila ₱55,000 (~$1,092) Main Event has concluded at the PokerStars LIVE poker room with India’s Uday Bansal registering a historic win for ₱ 4,676,000. With this grand victory, Bansal became the first poker player to win the largest international poker tournament in the history of the Philippines. It was the biggest live cash of his poker career. Before this remarkable win, his best live cash was INR 1,040,000 which he earned in the Main Event at 2015 India Poker Championship (IPC), Goa.
Bansal’s road to victory in this event was not an easy one. He had to battle it out hard enough to defeat the record-breaking 594-entry field that comfortably surpassed the ₱20 million (~$397,230) guarantee. In heads-up, he defeated Finland’s experienced player Antti Halme who walked away with ₱ 4,273,000 for his second place finish.
A Look at PokerStars Festival Manila Main Event Final Table Payouts:
|Place||Player||Country||Prize (PHP)||Prize (USD)|
|5||Jaehyun Lim||South Korea||1,500,000||29,792|
|6||Sam Razavi||United Kingdom||1,170,000||23,238|
|8||Hoa Thinh Nguyen||Vietnam||596,000||11,837|
|9||Tien Than Nguyen||Vietnam||470,000||9,335|
Bansal entered the heads-up battle as the chip lead over Antti Halme. Before heads-up,both players briefly discussed a deal but could not reach an agreement. However, when they returned to the play, both of them agreed to a deal based on ICM, left ₱300,000 (~$5,953) and the trophy up for grabs. It didn’t take even an hour to crown a champion, and it was Bansal who eventually took down the coveted Main Event title and the beautiful trophy.
On the final hand of the tournament, Bansal announced him all-in from the button and Halme called off for his tournament life.
The flop came 2s-7s-7c. While the flop gave Halme a glimmer of hope for a chopped pot, Bansal dominated the scene with his big holding of As-Js. When the turn card Jd fell, Bansal locked up the title. Halme was already drawing dead and by the time the river card 3s fell on the board, he got up to shake hand with the new champ.
Hailing from the capital city Delhi, Bansal still considers himself to be an amateur in poker. The 30-year-old, who is the co-founder of a company called SkyBulls, previously attended London Business School to earn a Master’s Degree in business administration and management. He has been playing poker for seven years in India and abroad and this win is his biggest poker accomplishment till date.
Sharing his feeling after victory, Bansal said, “Sure, Antti has more experience playing than me, playing heads-up, but I think in heads-up there’s a lot of variance. So I wanted to do a deal based on ICM,”… “But he felt that he is a better player. And he is, heads-up, to be fair. But we ended up coming to an agreement and it’s all good.”