Heading: No bull, it’s a carabao

Filed by Sean Callander

The final numbers are in for the opening APPT event in Manila, with 255
players signing up for the $2500 buy-in main event, creating a prize pool of
just under $600,000 and a first prize of $179,755.

To put that into perspective, the previous biggest prize offered in a
Philippines poker tournament was one-million pesos, which equates to about
$21,500. That makes $180,000, well, a whole lot of pesos!!

In addition to the big prize pool up for grabs, players also received a
small, carved animal on arrival at their tables.

Water Buffalo Souvenir

Theories flew thick and fast as to its origin, but the small figurine is in
fact a Carabao, a species of water buffalo and a national symbol of the
Philippines (representing the Filipino people’s hard work and sense of

From a distance, it looks like a herd of miniature-sized boars have taken
over each table!

Speaking of national symbols, we caught a quick word with Joe Hachem, the
2005 world champion, during the first break.

Joe Hachem

Two years of constant travel since winning the WSOP title have started to
catch up with Joe, who by his own admissions is feeling run down.
And as has been the case since winning the 2005 main event bracelet, players
love to take on the world champ.

The latest to battle Hachem was Timmie Chua, a local player clearly not
overawed to have one of the world’ top pros at his table.

Just after the break, Hachem raised to 525 and was called from the cutoff by
Chua. On a flop of 9s 4c 3s, Hachem bet 1500 and Chua called. A 9d came on
the turn, Hachem bet 3500 and again, Chua called. It’s check-check on the
river (7h), and Hachem announces he has no pair. Chua shows pocket kings to
take down a nice pot, and halve Hachem’s stack.

That’s the problem with being the world champ – everyone wants a piece.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in