APPT Manila: Let me count these ... doh!

Franco Mabanta left his position with the Filipino Poker Tour to turn his attention to playing poker full-time. With that decision comes the ups and downs experienced by every poker pro. Indeed, Mabanta has been through the emotional wringer in the past few minutes.

First, the good. With a short-stacked player all-in and a call from the small blind, Mabanta raised 5000, with just a call coming from the small blind. The flop came 7c-4c-4s, Mabanta bet enough to put the small blind all-in, and he duly committed his remaining chips.

In a curious hand, Mabanta showed As-6s, the small blind held Kd-6d while the all-in player was in front with pocket threes. But the Ah on the turn ensured Mabanta would send both players to the rail.

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They were the best of times, they were the worst of times for Franco Mabanta.

Now, the bad. With the board showing 10h-10s-8s-4c-Js and all the chips in the middle, Mabanta thought his flush (6s-5s) was good until Hyoungjin Nam revealed Jd-10d for a rivered full house. It took a few seconds for the reality sunk in – Franco, it’s all part of the fun and frivolity that comes with being a poker pro.

Nam is up to 48,000, but his stack is shadowed by that of Michael Shell, a PokerStars qualifier from the USA. He holds 65,000, to lead from China’s Danny Yu (55,000), Nam, Daniel Nordstrom (45,000) and Victor Torres (41,000).

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Bring them to me: Michael Shell eyes some more chips to add to his impressive stack.

The majority of the PokerStars Sponsored players in the day 1A field remain in contention, with Wally Sombrero (21,000) leading the way from Sunshine Samson (14,000) and Bryan Huang (12,000). Derick Hernandez, the highest placed Filipino in last year’s APPT Manila main event, recently joined fellow local PokerStars Sponsored player Ronald Singson on the rail.

Jimmy Cha has also been eliminated after pushing all-in with As-Jh on a flop of Ad-8s-Js. Claus Valloe showed 7s-5s for the draw. Cha stayed ahead on the turn (10d) but was headed for the door when the Qs landed on the river. Always the gentleman, Cha shook hands with everyone at the table before collecting his jacket and leaving the tournament area.

With six of the nine levels consigned to history, players are on a 10-minute break. After level seven (300/600 with a 75 ante), there will be a one-hour dinner break. Only 70 of the 149 players who started the day remain in contention. Play should wrap-up about 11pm local time.

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