APPT Cebu: Clubs a winning suit in Shangri-La
Tournament venues tend to be fairly quiet in the AM hours as players charge up their batteries for a long day's play or sleep off a long night on the tables.
Not here at Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa. Players and their guests are hitting the brekky buffet early so as to maximise their experience at this stunning venue located near Cebu in the Philippines.
There was even a queue at the first tee of the six-hole par-two pitch and putt golf course - we've been particularly taken with the sixth hole, where a skilful player can bounce the ball off the helipad and onto the green for a chance at par. The players can't get enough of this place ...
Watch APPT Cebu 09: Welcome Party on PokerStars.tv
But the leisure activities won't last long for the majority of players here in Cebu today with a capacity field expected for day 1B in the PokerStars.net APPT Cebu Main Event.
The big guns will be out in force, including PokerStars.net Team Asia pros Celina Lin, Bryan Huang, Jonathan Lin and Tae Jun Noh, along with PokerStars.net Team Australia duo Tony Hachem and Eric Assadourian.
We'll also be keeping a close eye on past APPT Manila final-table participants like Ira Blumenthal (Thailand) and Ramil Tandoc (Philippines), APPT Macau ninth-place finisher Stefan Hjorthall, the host nation's highest profile player Neil Arce and winner of last month's Macau Poker Cup Chih-ying (Kitty) Chen.
Other big names in action today include 2008 APPT Macau High Roller champion Nam Le, top online player Tony bond18 Dunst, PokerStars.net ANZPT Queensland runner-up Phillip Willcocks and Australia's own clown price of poker, Dennis Huntly.
Like day 1A, players will start with a start bank of 20,000, and face seven one-hour levels (APPT tournament director Danny McDonagh has not scheduled a dinner break to allow players to make their own plans for an evening meal at one of the resort's many dining options). The structure for today's play is:
Level 1: 50/100
Level 2: 100/200
Level 3: 100/200 (ante 25)
Level 4: 150/300 (ante 25)
Level 5: 200/400 (ante 50)
Level 6: 300/600 (ante 75)
Level 7: 400/800 (ante 100)