2-Card Manila is a poker variant that you don’t hear much about outside of Australia, and Event #8 of the Aussie Millions may be the only big buy-in Manila tournament in 2008, but the game drew 10 top-notch runners for the $3,250 2-Card Manila Championship at the Crown Casino in Melbourne.
Manila is a reduced-deck poker variant where all cards lower than 7 are removed from the deck. Two hole cards are dealt to each player, and five community cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. Unlike Hold ‘Em and Omaha, the community cards are dealt one at a time, with a round of betting after each card. Once all five community cards are dealt, players must use both hole cards with three cards from the board to make their best five-card hand. In Manila, a flush is a bigger hand than a full house because of the reduced deck and an Ace can only play high for a straight.
The 10 players who took to the felt for the 2008 Australian 2-card Manila Championship were -
Seat 1: Markas Salkanovic Seat 2: Karib Karib Seat 3: Warwick Mirzikinian Seat 4: Yevgeniy Timoshenko Seat 5: Graeme Putt Seat 6: Max Donnelly Seat 7: David Steicke Seat 8: Antonis Kambouroglou Seat 9: Fred Bart Seat 10: Mark Scott
Karib Karib ran Aces into trip Kings in the first level to become the first elimination. He decided against the rebuy, as did Mark Scott and 2006 champion Fred Bart, whose quest for a second Manila championship was cut short in the second level. By the end of the rebuy period, the seven remaining players had accounted for eight rebuys, with David Steicke leading the charge with a Negreanu-esque five rebuys among seven players!
After a short bubble period, Graeme ‘Kiwi G’ Putt went out in 4th, and the field of three played down to one rapidly, with Antonis Kambouroglou taking down the top prize and the $27,000 first place prize money when he eliminated former chip leader Warwick Mirzikinian to claim his trophy! The final list of finishers and payouts looked like this -
1st - Antonis Kambouroglou ($27,000) 2nd - Warwick Mirzikinian ($16,200) 3rd – Yevgeniy Timoshenko ($10,800) 4th – Graeme Putt 5th - Max Donnelly 6th - David Steicke 7th - Markas Salkanovic 8th – Fred Bart 9th – Mark Scott 10th – Karib Karib