APPT Manila: Suk joins Shell in lead after day 1A

Less than one-quarter of the 149 players who started day 1A of the PokerStars.net APPT Manila main event will return for day 2 on Saturday after a dramatic day of play at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino.

Just 38 players had chips to bag at day’s end as the blinds took their toll in the hour either side of the dinner break.

Korea’s Chang Yong Suk and US PokerStars qualifier Michael Shell both finished the day on 124,300. Singapore’s Josh Pang Ang (88,800), Swede Daniel Nordstrom (75,200) and Donny Morris (71,700) filled out the top five.

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The day ended in sensational circumstances on either side of the room. Suk ascended the chip count after taking a huge pot against Eric Sia. The chips were in pre-flop, with Sia holding Ac-Qs while Suk showed pocket kings. The board stayed low (2h-8c-10d-6s-5h) and Suk had snared the chip lead in the final minutes of the day.

Across on table 18, the battle between Rudy Lim and Rumil Tandoc escalated to all-out war after a series of raises and a flop of 10d-2d-4h. Lim picked up chips to bet but before he could release them, Tandoc announced all-in. Lim pulled back the chips.

APPT tournament director Danny McDonagh ruled that Lim appeared to have no intention of deceiving Tandoc but had acted out of turn.

Lim considered his options but instead showed his hand (Ah-Qh), then folded his hand. Unfortunately, Lim’s decision to expose his hand meant a one-round (eight-hand) penalty, half of which will need to be served on day 2. It was a stunning end to another memorable day for the APPT.

Twelve hours ago, organisers held their breath that the recent economic downturn wouldn’t put a serious dent in the number of players entering the APPT Manila main event.

But fuelled by the massive growth in the popularity of poker in the Philippines since last year’s historic first APPT event here in Manila, entries soared to almost 150. It seems last year’s tally of 255 will almost certainly be surpassed on day 1B.

While many of the big names will be in action tomorrow, today’s field wasn’t bereft of talent. The line-up included several PokerStars Sponsored players highlighted by the strong local contingent of Sunshine Samson, Wally “The Dream” Sombrero, Derick Hernandez and Ronald Singson. Samson and Sombrero survived – Sombrero is seventh in chips (60,100) while Samson is down to just 8700.

PokerStars Sponsored player Bryan Huang was also in action, but his hopes of securing a fourth APPT cash in a row ended midway through the day. Other notables in the day 1A field were 1991 WSOP main event winner Brad Daugherty, Singapore’s Josh Ang Pang, in-form Australians David Saab, Michael Chrisanthopoulos, James Broom, Dave Lee and APPT Macau High Roller runner-up Andrew Scott. Saab, Chrisanthopoulos and Broom will be back on Saturday.

There’ll be no shortage of big names in action tomorrow, including Team PokerStars Pro Lee “Final Table” Nelson. Play starts at 12.30pm local time, and will continue for eight-and-a-half levels.


Watch APPT Manila 08: Michael Mariakis on PokerStars.tv