APPT9 Manila: A new chapter for Filipino poker

The APPT has returned to the bustling city of Manila for the continuation of Season 9 of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour with the PHP50,000 Main Event set to commence on Thursday.

For first-time visitors, Manila is such an eye-opening city. Its streets resemble organized chaos with cars, buses, motorbikes and spectacularly-colourful jeepneys weaving their way around the city with the sounds of roaring engines and beeping horns resounding through the air. The city pulses with activity. Over a land area of under 2,500 hectares, Manila's population of over 1.6 million make it one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

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It's not the first time that the APPT has visited the capital of the Philippines, but it is the first time that the event has been hosted inside the PokerStars LIVE Manila Poker Room at the City of Dreams.

This venue is truly stunning. Featuring three lavish hotels, Michelin star dining, edgy nightclubs, high-end shopping and a world of entertainment options, visitors won't have to even go outside to get everything they need. However for those that want to venture out into the streets, the venue is close to the enormous Mall of Asia, Manila Bay, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Intramuros, Rizal Park, Fort Santiago, Bahay Tsinoy and other tourist attractions.

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The PokerStars LIVE Manila Poker Room opened in December last year, and has already hosted several well-supported events. Those events were tailored towards the local Filipino market, however the APPT Manila event will mark the first major international event for the venue and expectations are high for a big turnout. We're expecting to see the locals battle with a throng of international players arriving from Australia, Asia and beyond to be part of this exciting event.

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Last year's APPT Manila Main Event drew 260 players for a prize pool weighing in at PHP11,349,000. The buy-in remains unchanged this year but with the addition of an optional, single re-entry for each of the two starting days, we're sure to see those numbers exceeded for Season 9.

Such are the size of the fields for this event that tournament organizers are using the space in the Grand Ballroom of the City of Dreams. It's only a short walk from the main poker room which will be used for cash games throughout the week while tables have been setup in the ballroom for the tournaments of the APPT Manila.

Much like the streets of Manila, we're sure the Main Event will be a hive of activity with plenty of surprises around every corner as a new chapter is written for Filipino Poker at the PokerStars LIVE Manila poker room.

The Main Event kicks off at 6:00pm Thursday (GMT+8) and the best place for live coverage of the event is right here on the PokerStars Blog.

Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.