APPT9 Manila: Just a little bit of history repeating

It took ten seasons of the European Poker Tour before it crowned a two-time EPT champion. The person who did it was a Team PokerStars Pro. It was also a female with British starlet Vicky Coren becoming the first in history to achieve the incredible EPT double.

We might be calling it a little early, but if we look into our crystal ball, we can't help but see the potential for a remarkably similar story emerging here at the APPT in Manila.

We are yet to crown a two-time champion here on the APPT. Ok, so it's only Season 9 of the tour so we're a season early, but we do have a former champion who is a Team PokerStars Pro and female, going deep here in the APPT Manila Main Event.

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Back in 2010 Vivian Im shot to fame and fortune when she won the APPT Cebu title right here in the Philippines. Opponents were fooled by her innocent smile as she ruthlessly dominated play to capture the title.

That victory did great things to elevate women in the game of poker in the Asia-Pacific region, so it was no surprise to see Im get snapped up by PokerStars with a sponsorship deal.

She obviously enjoys playing in the Philippines as she makes another deep run here in Manila. Im was one of the bigger stacks entering Day 2, and she's continued that good form today. Earlier today Im shot to the top of the counts after clipping overnight chip leader Dong Il Kim. In a four-bet pot, Im took down the hefty pot with a river bet on a J♥5♣4♠4♦2♣ board.

Now safely in the money, and with a big stack in front of her, Im will be looking to make it through the day and keep alive the dream of being the first two-time APPT champion.

However Im is not the only player remaining in this field capable of achieving that rare feat.

They are not female and they are not Team PokerStars Pros, but Aaron Lim, Chane Kampanatsanyakorn and Thanh Ha Duong are all former APPT champions. Lim and Kampanatsanyakorn are both former winners of the APPT Seoul title while Duong has a chance to achieve an even rarer accomplishment. Duong is the defending champion from this very event, so if he can capture this title then he'll go back-to-back to become the first two-time APPT champion!

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