APPT Manila: Crisis, what crisis?

Unless you’ve recently returned from a trip to Mars, you’ll be aware that the world is going through a bit of a financial “correction” at the moment. But the global cash crunch doesn’t appear to have had much of an impact on the size of the field for the PokerStars.net APPT Manila main event.

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Watch APPT Manila 08: Day 1a Intro on PokerStars.tv

Predictions of a starting field of around 100 on day 1A have been laughed off, with the ballroom here at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino filled to a near capacity of 149. It’s an early call, but there seems a strong likelihood that last year’s figure of 255 will be smashed.

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Anyone who partied too hard last night especially enjoyed the drums of Ati-Atihan.

Players have just been welcomed by APPT president Jeffrey Haas and co-founder of the Filipino Poker Tour Franco Mabanta, while a dramatic performance from Ati-Atihan has ensured all evil spirits (and bad beat stories) have been cleared from the tournament room.

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APPT president Jeffrey Haas welcomes players to Manila.

Not surprisingly, today’s starting list is dominated by Filipino players, including PokerStars Sponsored locals Sunshine Samson, Wally “The Dream” Sombrero, Derick Hernandez and Ronald Singson.

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PokerStars Sponsored player Bryan Huang shoots for another APPT cash.

We’ve also spotted PokerStars Sponsored player Bryan Huang, who is seeking an unprecedented fourth successive APPT cash. Bryan is also excitedly awaiting tomorrow’s APPT debut of his father Jack, who qualified for this event on PokerStars. Interestingly, Bryan is seated next to his good friend Josh Ang Pang Leng, who tops the list of Singaporean tournament poker money winners. Korean poker legend and PokerStars Sponsored player Jimmy Cha is seated nearby.

Other notables in action today include the always-entertaining David Saab, fellow Aussies Michael Chrisanthopoulos (third in the 2008 Aussie Millions), James Broom (the reigning Melbourne champion), Dave Lee (fresh from his PokerNews Cup final table) and APPT Macau High Roller runner-up Andrew Scott.

We’re also thrilled to see 1991 WSOP main event Brad Daugherty in the room, along with the ever-popular Isaac Galazan, the winner of the 2005 WSOP $2500 NLHE short-handed bracelet. Reigning APPT Seoul champion Yoshihiro Tasaka of Japan and Bali-based American Carter Gill (with two cashes on both the APPT and LAPT to his name in the past 12 months) are also playing today.

Play will continue for nine one-hour levels today, with a dinner break scheduled after level seven.

Level 1: 25/50
Level 2: 50/100
Level 3: 100/200
Level 4: 100/200 (25 ante)
Level 5: 150/300 (25 ante)
Level 6: 200/400 (50 ante)
Level 7: 300/600 (75 ante)
Level 8: 400/800 (100 ante)
Level 9: 500/1000 (100 ante)