APPT8 Manila Day 1A: A leveling war

Today we are playing exactly eight and a half levels.

"But Chris," I hear you cry, "surely that's an unusual amount of time to play in a tournament? In our experience, we generally play full levels or until a set number of players are left which generally the bubble or the final table bubble."

"That's a very comprehensive answer," I'd reply, "clearly you have thought this through."

The reason is that tomorrow will see the Season 8 APPT Manila welcome party, which starts at 10pm at 71 Gramercy, Kalayaan Makati - the bar/lounge is on the 71st floor of the tallest building in Manila and has a reputation for being one of the fanciest joints in town.

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Danny McDonagh believes the players are going to love the location of the APPT Manila party

With that in mind, it was important that tomorrow's Day 1B, which starts two hours earlier at 1pm instead of Day 1A's 3pm, was finished early enough so that all the players and their guests would be able to make the buses that will depart from the Marco Polo Ortigas Hotel at 9:30pm and 9:45pm.

We asked Danny McDonagh what to expect at the party he replied, "Great food and drink and the best view in Manila. The players are going to love it!" Smart casual is the name of the game when it comes to the dress code and the party goes on officially until 12am but it would be safe to say that more than few players who haven't made it to Day 2 will happy to spend a little longer (literally) on top of the world.

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Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im will be back tomorrow to try again

Of course, some of those who are playing today will be able to relax and look forward to the party tomorrow night while others will have to take a second crack at the tournament before they can even think of having a night off. Unfortunately for Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im, she has just become one of those in the second group.

"I lost lots of little pots then lost with pocket tens to pocket eights when he hit an eight," said Im sadly before confirming she'd be back again tomorrow to take join another sizeable field and take a second shot at APPT Manila. For the Team Pros, the work comes first, the party comes after.