CITY OF DREAMS Manila, Philippines
Records were meant to be broken. The ninth staging of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Main Event easily set a new mark which could be difficult to topple as Day 1B saw an avalanche of players. A massive 325 Day 1B entries combined with Day 1A’s participants of 260 to bring the grand total of runners to a collosal 585. This is the biggest field in Philippine history for major events with a buy-in of US$1,000 and above. The number shattered the old APPT record set in 2010 when 430 players took part.
“This is now the biggest international event on Philippine soil ever,” said Fred Leung, the Senior Marketing and Business Development Manager for Pokerstars Live Events Asia.
New Philippine record set (Photo APPT)
This number was achieved with the help of a multitude of online and live qualifiers, where many competitors bypassed the PhP50,000 (approx. US$1,100) buy-in for this Main Event. 93 seats were won in online and live satellites while dozens of seats were won during the satellites leading up to the Main Event.
Other major tournaments in the region may have difficulty matching this number as Pokerstars has successfully meshed its online entity—which is the biggest in the industry—and its live component via the Pokerstars Live room here at the City of Dreams Manila. As a result, the total prize pool has now ballooned to well over PhP25M (approx. US$556,000) with the eventual champion possibly pocketing about PhP6M (approx.US$133,000) which includes a Main Event entry to the season-ending Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP).
Day 1B was graced by Team Pokerstars Pro Aditya Agrawal (who used his second re-entry), Asian Poker Tour veteran and fourth ranked Japanese player Yuri Ishida, international poker visionary Mike Kim and a phalanx of top Filipino players including Eric “AttyBubba” Sia, Flo Campomanes, Mike Takayama, Mark Benasa and three-time casher in the 2015 WSOP Andrew Gaw.
South Korea’s Kim Dong Il grabbed the overall chip lead at the end of Day 1B by amassing 242,700 in chips, bettering that of Day 1A top man Douglas Olsson stack of 207,500. Aaron Lim of Australia was a distant second with 201,800 in chips while Pokerstars qualifier Shinobu Tanaka of Japan finished in third for the session with 178,700. Rounding out the top five are fourth placer Sven Jorgen Kristensen of Norway (168,300) and Chinese Taipei’s Feng Hsein Ching (157,400). The earliest sighting of a Filipino advancer on the list is tournament veteran Lester Edoc at 25th place (81,000). Edoc, however, leads a noteworthy cast of seventeen from the host nation including the likes of Benasa, Gaw, WSOP 2015 combatant Jose “Boyet” Drilon, 2012 Philippine Player of the Year Martin Corpus, APT Weekend Series titlist Ian Brion, and the Godfather of Philippine poker Wally “The Dream” Sombero—who made it through on his last bullet.
A total of exactly one hundred players survived the Day 1B wars and now join the 75 who got in from Day 1A. Hostilities resume at 2:00PM today (August 8). Preceding that is the PhP5,000 NLHE Shootout (12:00NN) and following the Day 2 resumption is Day 1 of the PhP25,000 Megastack Freezeout NLHE.
APPT Manila is approaching its riveting climax. Are you in?