APPT9 Manila: Location, location
With Day 1b ticking into the third level of the day, the big screen in the Grand Ballroom is currently showing 240 entrants so far today. That means we've smashed the previous record for the APPT Manila Main Event with over 500 entrants so far with registration still open until the end of the fifth level.
That's a tremendous result for this event. So why such the big increase in numbers from last year's APPT Manila?
There are several factors but the majority seem to agree that ultimately it comes down to venue.
PokerStars LIVE Manila at the City of Dreams.
This venue truly is world class. With three amazing hotels - Crown, Hyatt and Nobu - players are being catered for with amazing hospitality. I must say, when I was lounging poolside yesterday, I was rather impressed to receive my very own personal cooler box (or "eski" as we call it in Australia), filled with ice and bottles of complementary water. It was a nice touch. I was also pretty chuffed when I got back to my hotel room last night to find the complementary fruit bowl in my room had been refilled. I'm sure there are many poker players (and a few members of the media) who have raided the hotel mini bar at 4am with stomachs growling after a long day in the poker room. They tell me that eating an apple is better for you than a Kit Kat, so good work City of Dreams for keeping the poker community healthy!
The hospitality at the City of Dreams extends further than that. There are a number of wonderful restaurants located in the precinct, offering a wealth of different cuisines. According to Danny McDonagh, the Noodle bar downstairs on the gaming floor comes highly recommended (if you can find a seat), there's a delightful buffet at The Cafe which Sam Dawson has his eye on, and then there's the world famous premium Japanese cuisine at Nobu restaurant, just to name a few.
While players are not permitted to bring food into the Grand Ballroom where the tournament is located, there is wait staff on hand providing great food and beverage options to players right at the table.
And tonight, when the chips are all bagged, the players will be letting their hair down with the official players party which will be held at Chaos nightclub, which is just a stone's throw away from the PokerStars LIVE Manila poker room.
This really is a great venue for a poker tournament. Poker players are rather nocturnal creatures, and here they don't even have to leave the hotel to have everything they need, and more! If you didn't make it out to Manila this year, then plan your trip for next year and enjoy everything that the City of Dreams and PokerStars LIVE Manila has to offer.
Heath "TassieDevil" Chick is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.