APPT8 Manila Day 1A: A return to the Philippines
As a Manila virgin, I was getting fairly worried at around 5pm local time as the 20-minute journey from the airport to the hotel hit the 70-minute mark. Not that it was my driver's fault, the traffic had slowed to a crawl on along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, Manila's most popular road, which features up to six lanes - in both directions.
"There's a lot of traffic this afternoon," I ventured, playing the part of Mr-States-the-Bleeding-Obvious.
"It's not so bad," replied my driver unimpressed while he continued to dodge in between lanes like some sort of 'Frogger' genius, "get here at around 7pm or 8pm and you can't move..."
Given at this point that we were moving with all the pace of an arthritic snail suffering an asthma attack, I was inclined to believe him. Suffice to say then, Manila is a pretty busy place.
This is the first time the Asia Pacific Poker Tour has returned to Manila since Season 4, Binh Nguyen was the winner back then, picking up $260,700 when he defeated a field of 430 players. Of course, Manila was the host for the very first ever APPT event held back in 2007 when Brett Parise won the title and $179,775 - it's indeed hard to believe that was over seven years ago now. The other time that the tour graced this city, it was Australian Van Marcus who picked up the title and over 8 million in Philippine pesos ($164,380).
The buy-in for this year's event will be 45,000PHP + 5,000PHP, which equates to roughly $1,032 + $115. A brand new location as well for the APPT's regular players who came to Manila in Seasons 1, 2 and 4 as the tournament will be held at the Metro Card Club, conveniently located across the road from the spectacular Marco Polo Hotel where all PokerStars qualifiers will be staying.
There are two starting days but the event is a "repecharge", meaning anyone who plays on Day 1A and is unfortunate enough to be eliminated, will be able to buy in a second time on Day 1B. Day 1A begins at 3pm local time (UTC+08:00) and you can find a full schedule of what is happening at the Metro Card Club this week right here. I'll be bringing you all the news, interviews and feature stories right here on the PokerStars Blog as well as some of the crucial hands throughout the tournament. Stick around people, it's time for another thriller in Manila!