APPT8 Manila Day 1A: Let the games begin

Adorned by numerous restaurants, cafes and eateries on either side, the Metro Card Club neatly sits in the middle of the Metrowalk Commercial Complex. The narrow corridor leading up to the entrance belies unexpected size of the room which fits in a good 30+ tables. Part of the room has already been partitioned off for the final table of the Manila Cup, an event that started yesterday and drew 116 runners with a not-too-shabby 263,000PHP first place prize.

Further on at the far end of the room, there's already eight cash game tables open, pretty impressive bearing in mind that it's still only the early afternoon here.

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Action is underway at APPT Manila

So far in the main event, there are 85 players who've stumped up 50,000PHP for the opportunity to play in the first Asia Pacific Poker Tour event in Manila since Season 4 back in 2010. Among those having entered today are Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin and Vivian Im while 2014 Macau Millions champion Hao Chen is also here, the latter looking to top the Player of the Year leaderboard. Lin has a long and steady stream of cashes but nothing in Manila, something she no doubt hopes to change in the next few days. Im won the APPT Cebu event back in Season 4 for $134,142 and is no stranger to success here in the Philippines. Other players who are playing include Christian Haggart who was the runner-up at APPT Seoul earlier this year, Raiden Yew Fatt Kan - Macau Poker Cup Championship winner and Ken Demlakian, an ACOP 'Spadie' winner.

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Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im

APPT President Danny McDonagh was typically upbeat about the numbers, "I think we'll get somewhere in the 200-300 range, I'd be delighted if we get over 300 and disappointed if we get under 200. Today I think we'll get over 100."

McDonagh has initially announced eight levels of play today with late registration available for the first four levels. "Plenty of time for you all," quipped McDonagh. With PokerStars qualifiers coming from as far away as the United Kingdom, Poland, Portugal and Iran, it's sure to be an action-packed day. And remember you can also get live updates right here!