Marc Rivera might have flown under the radar for the first few days of the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship, but now there’s no chance of dodging the spotlight: With 10 million chips to his name, Rivera is going into the final table of the PSPC with the second largest chip stack and every shot at a high seven-figure pay day.
His path to this strong final table position started cautiously. At the end of Day 1, he tripled up to a nice 170,000 chip stack and sat in the top tenth percentile of the remaining field, but 50 other players were in the same position as him. Day 2 proved to be bad day for him, only growing his stack to 230,000 and slipping down to the middle of the field.
At the end of Day 3 he managed to grow his stack to 865,000—a seemingly impressive quadrupling up. But it was a day where the field was cut down to a third and the average stack size had grown considerably. Compared to the field, Rivera had an under-performing day and he went in 32nd out of 38 remaining players.
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He had just 17 big blinds, the second smallest at his table. His path forward was going to be fraught with danger.
And then the unbelievable run started. Throughout Day 4 he increased his stack size by a factor of twelve, leaving scores of casualties in his wake. By the time he was counting his chips at the end of the day, Rivera found himself second in chips among the remaining eight.
He’s now guaranteed a $500,000 payday, is an odds-on favorite for a seven figure score, and has every chance at winning that $5.1 million first place prize.
Path to the PSPC
Rivera might be a Platinum Pass winner, but he’s no soft spot. The engineer-turned-pro-player has a string of live cashes to his name in both his home nation of the Philippines and in the United States.
He has three first-place finishes on his highlights reel, including his best score to date: Winning the APPT National Event 4 in August last year for $85,940 which also netted him his $30,000 Platinum Pass.
Since then his string of good successes has continued, including an incredible run at last September’s APT in Manila where he cashed in five events, including three final tables.
Rivera brought a rail with him—two friends from the Philippines who also won Platinum Passes and will be there to support him on Thursday: Mike Takayama and Lester Edoc.
“I am feeling very happy because I have them with me,” Rivera said last night while bagging up his chips for the Final Table. “I’d been wanting to go with them,” he said, when he found out both were jetting to the Bahamas. He was over the moon when he won the APT and knew he’d be joining them.
Rivera has played poker for 12 years after being introduced to the game by his brother Ashley, who said he was “going to love it.” Sure enough, his passion for the game and experience both live and online on PokerStars have brought him to the cusp of becoming an instant poker millionaire.