APPT8 Manila Day 1B: APPT Manila's new poker venue
As has previously been mentioned, the Metro Card Club is a brand new location for the Asia Pacific Poker Tour here in Manila. The venue, tucked away behind an expansive food court, is also conveniently close to a Starbucks that does not seem to close.
Suffice to say people in the Philippines really, really like their coffee.
Being close to the numerous eateries, take-away joints and cafes brings numerous benefits as players are able to order from a "novel-sized" book of choices and the staff at the Metro Card Club then pick it up from around the corner.
On top of that, next to the club is a martial arts gym meaning you can theoretically go from taking a bad beat to er...taking another bad beat. Actually, perhaps it's best to leave the self-defence work to the experts for now?
The club itself has been somewhat refurbished before hosting this year's APPT Philippines event. It may not quite match the grandiose and ostentatious designs that you would find in Macau but with the focus more on the local regular players, it is supremely functional as a venue.
A special word must also go to the dealers here, who include in their number some of the quickest and most accurate chip counters I've seen outside of the European Poker Tour. The dealers of the EPT have a well-founded reputation of being the best but those here in Manila run them pretty close having been incredibly efficient with next to no problems occuring for the players or floor staff.
Maybe this should count as being unsurprising as the dealers definitely get a lot of practice in. Yesterday when we arrived at the club around 2pm, there were already eight cash tables open and by the time the tournament had ended it looked to be double that. Today at 5pm, there's 11 already with a further two in the process of starting. Certainly this seems to be the place to come to in Manila if you want action.
And speaking of action, the APPT8 Manila event is now up to 150 entries so far today with registration due to close shortly. At the last break Nicky Pickering caught up with Vincent Rubianes, the man with easily the best hair in the room.