The 2016 calendar year has only begun and already there have been two big poker festivals in the Philippines. At the turn of the New Year, the WPT National Philippines held a weeklong event, and days after, the Asian Poker Tour began its first event of the year, the APT Kickoff 2016.
This event has been running since Wednesday January 13 and will conclude on Thursday January 21. The past two days of the ongoing festival saw the beginning stages of the Main Event take place. This event had a buy-in of P55,000 ($1,152). During these flights, the APT introduced something new, an incentive for the early birds called the Main Event Bubble Protection. If a player pre-registered for the Main Event, drew for their seat before the beginning buzzer, and had their chips into play at the first hand of round 1, then they were eligible for the Main Event Bubble Protection. In the event that a protected player happened to bubble, then that player will be awarded one free seat to the next APT Main Event.
In addition to the Main Event Bubble Protection, the APT is also going to be awarding the eventual winner the first-ever APT Championship Ring. The APT Championship Ring was on display at the APT Poker Room for the players to get a first hand look at the newest prize.
The APT Champion's Ring
Overall Chip Leaders
After both day one flights wrapped up, there were a total of 134 combined entries of which only 67 players survived into day 2. The overall chip leader was Korean player Seung Soo Jeon with 134,125 chips, which he accumulated at day 1b. Jeon is a highly recognized player in the APT circuit with many victories under his belt, most notably, the championship title at the APT Asian Series Cebu Main Event in 2013. The next player in the chip ladder was the day 1a leader, Filipino player John Sayo. He bagged 95,050 chips. Sayo is definitely an up and coming new kid on the block. He placed 8th at the Welcome Event in December, and followed it up with a 6th place finish at the festival’s Main Event. The player who landed third in chips was another APT Main Event champion, Julius Malzanini from Germany. He bagged 85,500 chips at the end of day 1b.
Notable Pros Left in the Field
Among the survivors, there were several notable pros and champions in the list such as quadruple crown APT Player of the Year champion 2012-2015 UK’s Sam Razavi, Japan’s Iori Yogo and Tetsuya Tsuchikawa, Korea’s Sim Jae Kyung, Norway’s Kai Paulsen, and APT Main Event titleholders, John Tech, Lim Yah Loon, and Kwan Kit Kwok.
New Players in the Field
There were several new faces in the field who qualified into day 2 of the Main Event such as Russian player Vladimir Geshkenbein who has earnings from the USA and in Europe, and a few at the Aussie Millions. Another was American player Aaron Mermelstein who has quite an extensive list of cashes from all around his country.
Day 2 of the APT Kickoff 2016 Main Event resumes today. We will have a recap for you as soon as it concludes.