APPT Manila: Poker fun we can believe in

With the recent US elections, politics is a hot topic of conversation at the tables today. Political views are as common as bad beat stories - everyone has them, and everyone wants to share theirs with the table.

Like a misplayed poker hand, many players are sagely offering their wise counsel on why Obama won, and the implications of this.

One player bucking the trend is Derick Hernandez, the highest-placed Filipino at last year's APPT Manila. He's sporting a "John McCain for President" cap.

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Derick Hernandez: A clothing maverick

A friend was visiting the USA recently, and Hernandez asked him to bring back some Obama merchandise. Unfortunately, on the friend's return, he had given the Obama gear to other friends, and only had a McCain hat remaining.

So, Hernandez decided that if he couldn't have Obama-wear, he'd proudly display his McCain hat instead.

Like McCain in the recent campaign, Hernandez has been a marked man at the tables, with other players eager to knock out one of the Philippines' best-known players.

In successive hands recently, Hernandez raised in middle position, only to have another player come over the top with a large re-raise, forcing Hernandez to fold. His chip stack is dwindling, but he still has enough chips to turn his fortune around and head back to the final table of APPT Manila for successive years.

Similarly, it is understood that many folks here for the APPT Manila event went out on the town last night. Most had a heavy head this morning, but fortunately, were not playing today. David Saab, on the other hand, had the misfortune of backing up from a late night of entertainment to start under the strong glare of the lights at the feature table.

Continuing the political theme, we hear that a group of late night party animals discovered the nearby 'Hobbit House' which reportedly features the world's most politically incorrect Barack Obama-merchandise store.

This venue featured a number of very short men and women selling Obama T-Shirts, who have taken matters into their own hands as part of an inventive employee-ownership arrangement.