APPT Manila: Adieu for Liu; three cheers for the APPT

It’s official – the field for the 2008 APPT Manila event has surpassed last year’s tally by 30 players. This year’s figure of 285 players is a remarkable statistic given the global financial crisis and underlines that poker in Asia can, for the moment, rise above such adversity.

The total prize pool is PHP 26,790,000 (approximately USD $542,856. The top 32 players will receive a payout, with the winner set to take home PHP 8,037,000 (approximately USD $162,856).


A whole pile of pesos awaits the APPT Manila champion.

Already 37, of the 136 players who started day 1B have hit the rail, including David Steicke, Sarah Lee, Carter Gill and PokerStars Sponsored player JJ Liu, who was KOed after a tongue-tying hand with Hong Kong’s Phil Lau.

After five players saw a flop of Qs-10d-9h, Liu and Lau went to the turn after Liu bet 800, Lau raised 2400 and Liu called. Liu pushed all-in on the turn (10h), with Lau making the call. She showed Ks-Qh, while Lau had 7h-8h for an open-ended straight flush draw, with the 6s enough to ship the chips in his direction.

John Phan’s hopes of improving his standing in the global Player of the Year standings have also ended. With the board showing Qd-9h-2h-7d, Denmark’s Henrik Hvidberg bet enough to put Phan all-in. The dual 2008 WSOP bracelet winner duly obliged. Hvidberg showed pocket kings, but Phan had outs (7h-8h). But the 3c on the river sent ‘The Razor’ to the rail.


John 'The Razor' Phan has been cut down midway through day 1B.

Slowly, some big stacks are starting to emerge. Canadian PokerStars qualifier Dimitrios Pappas tops the chip count on 36,000, followed UK PokerStars Supernova Natasha Ellis (33,000), James AndyMcLEOD Obst (31,000), Dan Alspach (30,000), PokerNews Cup winner Nali Kaselias (22,000) and PokerStars Sponsored player and local model Priscilla Meirelles (20,000), whose not letting the big reputations on table 17 push her around.