APPT Manila: Saab in need of service

David Saab is hungry, tired, a bit grumpy and nursing a hangover, but the booming laugh of the Aussie livewire can still be heard over the rattling of chips in the ballroom here at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino.

Having established a solid reputation on home turf in both cash games and tournaments, last year’s APPT Manila main event marked Saab’s arrival on the international stage.

His endless chatter drew the ire of opponents (and a warning from APPT tournament director Danny McDonagh) but Saab led the field after day one in an impressive display.

Manila left an indelible mark on Saab, who relocated here after a miserable time at the 2008 Aussie Millions. He initially kept a low profile, but announced his arrival with victory in the APT Manila main event, then ran deep (46th) in the 2008 WSOP main event.

An ultra-aggressive display at the APPT Seoul main event ended when Saab was eliminated on the bubble (after leading for much of the tournament), and after a brief exile in the corner of the tournament room here today, he’s back holding court in the heart of the action after five levels of play today.


Danny Yu has started day 1A strongly.

In contrast, players at table eight have barely heard a peep from Deng ‘Danny’ Yu, but that hasn’t stopped him amassing the biggest stack in the room. We’re yet to have a Chinese champion on the APPT, but Yu (35,000) has started promisingly on the path to righting that statistic.

The alarm has just sounded, indicating the blinds are up to level 6 (200/400 with an ante of 50). One player who won’t be bothered by that is Korea’s Sid Kim, who bowed out when his pocket aces were cracked by the K-K of Japanese professional Mahjong player Takashi Ogura when a king landed on the flop.


Sid Kim's aces weren't good enough, and he's out of the APPT Manila main event.

The only WSOP main event winner in the field today, Brad Daugherty, has also left the same table after his A-J was cracked by J-9 when a tie-breaking nine landed on the turn.

That’s a tough beat, but not as bad as the one suffered by Clarence Poh. On a board of 9s-2d-2s-5s-5c, Poh showed pocket nines for a full house but Victor Torres revealed pocket fives for runner-runner-quads. Ouch. Clarence, we think there’s a slot machine downstairs with your name written all over it.