APPT Cebu: Puno is numero uno on day 1b
For many of the 236 players who ventured to Cebu this week, their time here was about more than just a poker tournament. With the Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa offering so much off-the-felt action, the APPT Cebu is a truly the ultimate in poker-travel destinations. Win some flips and it might mean a big stack, while a bad run will see you hitting the beach or riding a jetski. Win-win.
Of course the fantastic added value was highlighted last night when hundreds hit the private beach for the infamous PokerStars beach party. We've seen some parties in our time covering major poker tournaments around the world, but this was undoubtedly one of the best.
The left many of today's players feeling a little lethargic and the early play reflected this. The action was a tad on the slow side and we didn't see the massive all-in clashes and mega stacks of the previous day.
The Team PokerStars Pros were out in force, minus 2005 World Champion Joe Hachem. We believe it was a stomach bug which kept Hachem in his room for most of the day, but he did make a late appearance and got through the day unscathed with 33,600 in chips.
The same couldn't be said for fellow PokerStars Team Pros Celina Lin and Tae Joon Noh. Lin will be spending some time in the sun tomorrow after her elimination during today's play. She was dented early with a set over set, before she again ran her overpair into a set to finally end her day. Tae Joon Noh lasted a little longer but fell in the dying minutes when he got a little frisky with 8♥5♥ on an eight-high flop against an opponent's pocket nines.
Bryan Huang (68,525), Tony Hachem (34,275) and Raymond Wu (20,000) all made it safely through the day and their experience will be important when Day 2 commences tomorrow.
While we didn't see any runaway chip leader, Max Bloom (65,600), Alexander Beeckx (73,225) and Richard En (85,325), were all prominent before they were all pipped at the post by local player Ronaldo "Mike" Puno who bagged up 85,700 in chips which was good for the end of day chip lead as 90 players survived the day.
They'll join the survivors of day 1a as the final 127 players come together under the roof of the poker room tent for the first time tomorrow with Day 2 action kicking off at 12:15pm local time (GMT+8).
For some, tonight will be spent relaxing with a quiet dinner at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort, while others are more adventurous and hitting the local Cebu city for a night of shenanigans. Whatever tickles your fancy, we hope you have a good evening and we'll see you once again tomorrow live from Cebu!