APPT Cebu: The party to end all parties

With respect to previous welcome parties held on the PokerStars.net APPT, this one is going to take some topping ... APPT Cebu kicked off with a bang last night at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa. The weather was warm, the beach meticulously groomed, the drinks cold and plentiful and the traditional BBQ, with beef and pork roasted over an open fire, was sumptuous.

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The party starts to fire up!

Throw in a couple of hundred players, qualifiers and their guests ready to party, a band and DJ, performers twirling fireballs and an amazing fireworks display, and we had a night to remember. Judging by the number of sleeping bodies under umbrellas by the pool today, some may be feeling the pain today, but it was well worth it.

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Team Australia pros Eric Assadourian and Tony Hachem with their partners Jess and Lizzie

Pre-event festivities wrapped-up this morning with a packed media conference in The Pavilion, while overlooking the brilliant blue waters of Magellan Bay. Guests included PokerStars.net Team Asia Pros Celina Lin, Raymond Wu and Bryan Huang, Filipino Poker Tour founder Alan Escano, PAGCOR's Eric Lavelo and APPT president Jeffrey Haas, who said that the Philippines would always hold a special place in the tour's history.

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PAGCOR's Eric Livelo (left) with FPT founder Alan Escano and APPT president Jeffrey Haas at this morning's media conference

"Back in August 2007, the Philippines hosted the first ever APPT event, and we're thrilled to be back here for the third time. Thanks to the support of PAGCOR, poker has surged in popularity here and Manila can rightly be described as the home of poker in Asia, with more poker rooms and tables than anywhere else on the continent," Haas said.

We're expecting a near-capacity field for day 1A of the PokerStars.net APPT Cebu Main Event, which will be getting underway in the next few minutes. Players will start with a start bank of 20,000. 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)

And check out Lynn Gilmartin's preview of APPT Cebu ... we're doing it tough!


Watch APPT Cebu 09: Welcome to Cebu on PokerStars.tv