Archive for Philippine Poker

Philippine Events: The Metro Card Club Presents The Perfect 10 Poker Tournament

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Events, Philippines Sports with tags , , , , , on March 9, 2009 by JJ Duque

Metro Card Club Perfect 10 Poster

Metro Card Club Perfect 10 Poster

The Perfect 10 is a No-Limit Texas Hold’em Freeze-out Poker Tournament which will feature a guaranteed pot of Php10 Million. That’s roughly $200,000 into the pot. It may not sound as big as some pots like in the World Series of Poker, but that’s by far going to be one of the biggest pots in the history of Philippine poker.

In any case, it’s a huge tournament that will expect a lot of Philippine poker players to compete in 4 days of poker from March 12 to March 15, 2009 at the Metro Card Club in Metrowalk, Ortigas Center.

The poster for the tournament posted faces of some great names of those who have done well in poker tournaments in the Philippines, in Asia and other parts of the world. Most notable, of course, is Neil “Dirty Ice Cream” Arce, who was the recent big winner at the Asian Poker Tour Manila main event.

But anyway – this is not going to be about Neil “Dirty Ice Cream” Arce. This Perfect 10 Poker Tournament will be about the rise of a new champion, the next new poker millionaire as the poster goes. And without sounding too arrogant, I really sincerely believe it’s going to be me. I honestly believe I have one of the best poker skills in the Philippines, and one who has a really great read on the game of poker. This is my time. I won a satellite to earn my seat into the tournament, and will win The Perfect 10, and the top prize of roughly Php3 Million pesos.

My name is JJ Duque, and I am the champion of the Metro Card Club Perfect 10, and the new poker millionaire. 🙂

Philippine Sports: Neil Arce Wins Asian Poker Tour Manila Main Event

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Events, Philippine News, Philippines Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2009 by JJ Duque
2009 APT Manila Main Event Champion Neil Arce

2009 APT Manila Main Event Champion Neil Arce

260 plus players made the $2500 buy-in for the main event of the Asian Poker Tour recently held at the Dusit Thani hotel in Manila. Three exciting days of No Limit Texas Hold’em tournament play saw some of the best poker professionals from all over Asia visit the Philippines and take their shot at a pot that was supposed to be a guaranteed $1 Million.

However, the lack of participants forced APT CEO and Chairperson Chris Parker to withdraw his guarantee for the $1 Million, but still the prize pool for the APT Main Event still was a whopping $600,000 plus. That’s still a lot of cash to play for.

And eventually, when it was all said and done, it was the Philippines very own Neil Arce who emerged as the APT Main Event champion, winning for himself a whopping $200,000, a pimp ass trophy to show off, and indeed a reinforced reputation as one of the best poker players in the country.

The poker success of Neil Arce was first noted when he became the first Filipino (with a Philippine address) to go deepest in the WSOP Main Event back in 2007 where Neil Arce placed 222nd in a field of 6,300+ players, also earning himself $51,000+.

Neil Arce also won the 2008 Filipino Poker Tour (FPT), and eventually caught the eye of the top brass of Pokerstars.net, and took Neil Arce into the family of Pokerstars.net.

A week prior to the APT Main Event,  Chris Parker confessed that Neil Arce had confidently told him that he was going to win the tournament, and he certainly kept true to that promise.

I had followed the progress of the APT Main Event since the doors to the APT opened on Tuesday January 27. I visited the Dusit Thani regularly, grinding out the cash games. But then, this post isn’t about my meager accomplishments as a poker player, this is about Neil “Dirty Ice Cream” Arce!

On the first day of the tournament, Neil Arce had a monster chip stack to lead all poker players on Day 1a. On Day 2, I caught Neil Arce struggling a bit, dropping from the chip leader to going around average. There were 18 poeple left the last time I checked his progress in the 2009 APT Main Event.

Going back for final table action, I wasn’t surprised to find Neil Arce there. But when I arrived at the Dusit Thani, there were only 3 players left, and I was already ecstatic for Neil Arce at being guaranteed $70,000 for his assured 3rd place finish.

Neil Arce assured himself of at least second place when he busted out Casey Kastle with a showdown of A-6 vs A-K. The A-6 of Neil Arce looked dominated by the Big Slick of Casey Kastle, but a 6 on the flop kept Neil Arce ahead, and eventually lead to the elimination of Casey Kastle, and forcing heads-up action against APT Macau runner-up Steve Yeah of Korea.

The heads-up showdown between Neil Arce and Steve Yeah lasted 25 minues with Neil Arce bullying Steve Yeah in several hands before the final showdown of K-Q suited of Neil Arce against the A-K Big Slick of Steve Yeah.

Neil Arce was indeed worried that Steve Yeah had the advantage with a better hand. In fact, the flop looked even more worrisome for Neil Arce as his hand failed to improve. However, a Queen showed her panties on the turn and Neil Arce erupted in celebration along with the legions of Filipino fans cheering their kababayan. The Queen held up to knock out Steve Yeah, and Neil Arce was then crowned 2009 APT Manila Main Event champion.

A fine performance for Steve Yeah who gets another 2nd place finish in the Asian Poker Tour main events, the first in Macau and now in the Philippines. And while Steve Yeah didn’t win, his two runner-up finishes certainly shows him as one of the best poker players in the Asian Poker Tour.

Of course, there to cheer Neil Arce on were his lovely girlfriend Maike Evers and his good friends Nick Galan and Miguel Cuneta of the Metro Card Club, (which is also where Neil Arce plays most of his poker).

Neil, galing bro! Let me know when the party is.

Metro Card Club Marks First Year Anniversary With A Php250,000 Guaranteed Pot Poker Tournament

Posted in All About The Philippines, Duke420 Articles, Philippine Current Events, Philippine Events, Philippine News, Philippines Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2008 by JJ Duque
Metro Card Club Big Boss Nick Galan

Metro Card Club Big Boss Nick Galan

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.

Congratulations, Nick!

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.