The first-ever PokerStars Red Dragon Manila ₱500,000 Super High Roller has finally concluded and Manila native Lester Edoc made sure the trophy stayed in his home country.
Edoc outclassed a field of 25 unique players and 5 re-entries to capture a massive ₱5,222,000 ($102,127) in first-place winnings.
He defeated fellow countryman Florencio Campomanes in a thrilling heads-up battle which lasted two and a half hours. Campomanes walked away with ₱3,599,000 ($70,386) for his runner-up finish.
Only five players returned to the final table to compete for a slice of the ₱14,113,500 in total prize pool. Campomanes and Vietnamese poker pro Nang Quang Nguyen dominated in the early stages of the action, with the latter responsible for the first elimination of the final table.
China’s Yake Wu went all-in with jack-ten against Nguyen’s tens. Wu’s cards failed to improve on the flop and he eventually exited in fifth place for ₱1,341,500 ($26,236). Just a few moments later, fellow Chinese Lei Yu became the next to approach the payout desk after losing her ace-deuce to Edoc’s straight. Yu earned ₱1,658,000 ($32,426) for finishing fourth.
She was followed to the rail by Nguyen who put his remaining chips in with queen-seven against Edoc’s kings. The start-of-day chip leader settled for third place for ₱2,293,000 ($44,844).
Tight Race To The Top
Lester Edoc and Campomanes had almost even stacks when heads-up play started, with the lead being passed back and forth as the game progressed. Campomanes managed to widen the gap one hour into play, but Edoc recovered. Both attempted to reach a deal but failed, and they eventually decided to proceed with the action.
Edoc’s defining moment came when he doubled up on the turn with a gutshot, which was followed by him winning a huge pot. He never relinquished the lead since then and made his victory official after his ace-five proved superior against Campomanes’ jack-ten suited. In a show of sportsmanship, both players congratulated and hugged each other, with Edoc ultimately creating history as the first Red Dragon Manila Super High Roller champion.
Reflecting on his victory, Edoc said it was one of the best final tables of his career. Many times, he was down in chips but managed to navigate his way to the top. This win represents Edoc’s second largest cash to date. His biggest cash took place at the same venue, the luxurious Okada Manila, when he booked a runner-up finish in the 2019 APPT Manila.
The 38-year-old suggested that a combination of luck, passion and determination led him to victory. His total live earnings have now surpassed the $1,000,000 mark.