APPT Cebu: Sombero's courageous comeback
It's tough to keep a good man down, as we discovered when Filipino poker icon Wally "The Dream" Sombero walked through the door into the Marquee to take his seat on day 1A of the PokerStars.net APPT Cebu Main Event.
Less than two months ago, a van in which Sombero was travelling was ambushed in Quezon City, near Manila. The two gunmen, riding motorcycles, fired more than 60 bullets into the van, eight of which struck Sombero. The driver, who was also shot, managed to reach a nearby hospital.
Critically injured, the retired police Senior Superintendant underwent several operations and has been slowly but steadily recuperating in recent weeks. Amazingly, he arrived here today to contest the Philippines' biggest poker tournament with two bullets still lodged in his body.
Sadly, he lasted less than two hours before hitting the rail. We caught the action as a massive pot was being shipped over to the impressively named Burenjargand Badansuren (86 points in Scrabble, although we doubt it would fit) of Mongolia.
The money was in the middle on a flop that read 4-6-7; Sombero moved all-in over the top of Badansuren's bet of 1000 and the Mongolian snap-called, tabling pocket fours for a set against Sombero's pocket kings. There was no help for Sombero as turn and the river blanked out.
APPT Tournament Director Danny McDonagh has confirmed 106 entrants for Day 1A, including one no-show. Word in The Marquee is that we're in for almost double that number tomorrow and in good shape to reach the cap of 300. Players have just returned from their first break of the day with blinds up to 100/200 and an ante of 25. Terry Fan is the early chip leader on 45,000.