Without a doubt, the biggest poker festival of the Philippines this year is the ongoing APPT 10 Manila. The twelve-day festival has been running for eight days at the PokerStars Live Manila hub in City of Dreams Manila with Day 1a of the Main Event on center stage earlier today. Having covered many poker events in the country, the APPT definitely attracts the largest number of players, big names coming in from all over the region, and even a large contingent of players representing other parts of the world.
At today’s Day 1a, it was certainly all that and more. There were a total of 228 entries with well-known pros scattered all over the room. It was impossible to glance at a table and not find at least one or two pros heating up the felt. As the levels increased, many of them fell such as last year’s champion Australia’s Aaron Lim, Korea’s Jae Wook Shin, Vietnam’s Thanh Ha Duong, USA’s Gerald Casey, Filipino Mike Takayama, China’s Yifan Zheng, Norway’s Kai Paulsen, Malaysia’s Ying Lin Chua, and even 2015 Asia Player of the Year, Hong Kong’s Alan Lau.
Despite that, there were still a large number of pros who held on until the final buzzer to be one of the 62 survivors of the day.
Runner-up Olsson and third placer Leonarez survive
Returning for redemption from last year’s runner-up finish was Sweden’s Douglas Olsson. Olsson struggled with a short stack all day but after winning a much needed double up during the last level, his stack jumped back to life and from there, it kept on increasing. Filipino pro Jessie Leonarez, last year’s third place finisher also held up his end. Like Olsson, he picked up some key pots during the last level, winning with a set of fours and shortly after with two pair holding ace-nine to bag up a healthy stack for Day 2. These two players were the only lucky ones to have made it through from last year’s final table crew.
A good day for Team PokerStars Pros
It was also quite a successful day for Team PokerStars Pros with all of them except for Korea’s Vivian Im making it into the survivors list. Singapore’s Bryan Huang Diwei bagged up the largest stack of the bunch with just over six digits in chips. China’s Yaxi Zhu and Chinese Taipei’s Chen-an Lin ended the day with decent stacks, but Japan’s Kosei Ichinose will definitely have the toughest road to climb in Day 2 after bagging up a very very short stack.
Day 1a massive chip leader Chinese Taipei’s Jen-yen Chien
The player who deserves the most recognition is Chinese Taipei’s Jen-yen Chien. Chien not only accumulated an incredibly monstrous stack of 286,900, he also leads his closest foe, Japan’s Gareth Pepper, by over double. Pepper ended the day with 141,100 chips. Chien is clearly on fire these days. He won the ACOP Platinum Series XIV in Macau late last month to earn his biggest career win of US$46,688. He also won a side event during that series to pick up another big wad of cash. Chien is also running fifth in the Asia Player of the Year 2016 standings.
More pros survive Day 1a
Other pros who also made it through were Malaysia’s Alex Xiang Wei Lee, UK’s Samad Razavi, Filipino John Tech, Canada’s Linh Tran, Japan’s Wataru Kosugi, China’s Jason Wai Tung Lo, Australia’s Piyush Gupta, and Korea’s Seung Soo Jeon. For Jeon, he was in danger of getting the big boot during the last level of play but luckily, his ace-five offsuit shove somehow managed to improve to a crazy low end straight against a player’s pocket queens.
We will be keeping a close eye on all of these players in Day 2 but for now, for those who fell today, there is one more qualifying flight left to get back in the running. Day 1b starts at 1pm Friday, August 5, 2016.
More: Day 1 A Chip counts / Full Coverage