APPT Cebu: Cards in the air under the big top

By Landon Blackhall

The cards are in the air on day 1A of the PokerStars.net APPT Cebu Main Event, and as is tradition on the tour, players were treated to a taste of local culture. Today we welcomed performers who treated the players to a display of the Sinulog dance.

According to Filipino history, the first Sinulog was performed in the early 16th century after the arrival of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. Magellan presented a statue of the child Jesus (known as the "Santo Nino") as a gift to Queen Juana after she was baptised.

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Plenty of colour came with the Sinulog dance that opened play today

Upon receiving the gift she began to dance with joy, lifting the Santo Nino into the air in celebration. The other natives also began to dance with her and the Sinulog was born.

Play is underway in the Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa's Marquee - a massive tent that is by far the most spacious venue we've ever seen used for a poker tournament. It's at least twice the size of the infamous tent used in the 2007 World Series of Poker.

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Just need some trapeze artists ... the Shangri-La Mactan Resort's Marquee

A giant marquee under the hot and humid skies of Cebu might be a recipe for disaster, but the air-conditioning has been finely tuned to create comfortable conditions for the players.

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Team Asia's Raymond Wu ... ready for action on day 1A

The day 1A line-up includes PokerStars.net Team Asia pros Daniel Schreiber and Raymond Wu, 2008 APPT Manila champion Van Marcus, who is seated with compatriot Michael Marvanek and USA's Michael Shinzaki, who made the final table of the APPT Auckland Main Event last month. The APPT Macau final table is also well represented here, with Sweden's Pontus Kers, Mike Kim of Korea and China's Daoxing "Baobao" Chen.

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Daniel Schreiber is chasing a third APPT final table and fourth APPT cash

2009 PokerStars.net ANZPT Adelaide champion Karl Krautscheider is here, along with fellow Aussie Andrew Scott and APPT regular David Steicke. The Filipino contingent is also out in force, led by the ever-popular "King" Wally Sombero. The day's first elimination arrived late in the opening level when Byambaa Inkhbaatar called an opponent's all-in and showed a set of fours, which held up against a flopped pair of kings.