Metro Card Club Marks First Year Anniversary With A Php250,000 Guaranteed Pot Poker Tournament
The Metro Card Club at Metrowalk, Ortigas Center is having its first year anniversary today, and they are going to celebrate by hosting The Metro Hi-5, a No Limit Texas Hold’em Freezeout Poker Tournament which will have a guaranteed pot of Php250,000. The buy-in for the tournament is P5,000+500 (for the rake). Food and drinks will be served on the first break, and I think there’ll be some dinner, and of course there’ll be loads of poker action.
Anyway, the guys behind the Metro Card Club are good friends. Metro Card Club big boss Nick Galan and myself used to roll together with the A55 Poker group, a bunch of friends from the Southside who were enthusiastic about poker, specifically No Limit Hold’em. This was back maybe in 2005, and No Limit Hold’em was just being introduced to the scene, and only a handful of people played.
We were trying to make the poker scene pick up by throwing poker tournaments on a regular basis at any venue we could find – the Verano kubo, the roofdeck at the Parque España, the Stehmeier garden and other places. I remember when we even trained dealers at a backroom in Aveneto in BF. Eventually, the opportunity came to open up a poker room.
It wasn’t clear yet whether it was legal or not, but back then, PAGCOR still didn’t offer a license for Texas Hold’em, and we just decided to take the initiative to come up with the BBC at a hole-in-the-wall in Pasay City. The BBC ended when it ran into some problems regarding its legality. At that time, PAGCOR already picked up on Texas Hold’em and it was necessary to get a license to operate a poker room. Determined to succeed in the industry of gaming, specifically in the Philippine poker scene, Nick Galan teamed up with a wise bunch of investors, went through the process of getting all the necessary permits and licenses, and a few years after – a year ago to be exact – the Metro Card Club was born.
Unlike other casino franchises or PAGCOR institutions, the Metro Card Club maintained its focus solely with poker. You won’t find a baccarat table or a slot machine in the Metro Card Club. Instead, what you will find are two floors of poker tables, around 14 poker tables all in all, some used for tournament play and some used for ring games with stakes as low as 10/20 blinds all the way to something more expensive like 100/200 blinds.
Back in the days of the BBC, we would operate from 6pm to early AM, but it would take forever for the place to fill up even just one table. Those were the days when very few people played poker. But now, the Metro Card Club fills up several tables and is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. They have an entire staff of poker dealers, well-experienced pit bosses and floor managers, and a poker room operation that offers an unequaled service here in the Philippines.
Anyway, the business of poker is really booming because of the dedication put in by Nick Galan in order to make things happen. His drive and initiative to execute his plans to the detail have led to the growth and success of the Metro Card Club, and the only direction that it takes is to go up and keep going up.
Apart from the good business acumen of the people behind the Metro Card Club, I also have to give it out to its patrons. The poker scene has developed really well with a lot of poker enthusiasts who continue to learn the game and pay homage to the game with some great play. I believe the regulars at the Metro Card Club are indeed some of the most talented poker players in Asia. Some of them have even done the country proud by having success at international poker events, such as the Pokerstars’ Asia Pacific Poker Tour and the more prestigious World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.
And to the other key people of the Metro Card Club – Ronald Singson, Vanessa Singson, Neil Arce, Bryan Malantic, Mida Manahan, Pitboss Rodolf, Miguel Cuneta – my heartfelt congratulations.
Anyway, here’s a clip of Nick Galan winning a poker tournament after going heads-up with poker legend Daniel Negreanu during the Pokerstars APPT held here in Manila about a year ago.