APPT9 Manila: No time to stop

Manila is a city that never stops. There are always cars on the roads. People in the streets. Things are happening, no matter if it's day or night.

And that seems to have caught on this evening at the APPT Manila Main Event.

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Since the bubble burst on our final 72 players, the all-ins and eliminations have been coming thick and fast. The chips are moving constantly around the table. Nothing stops here.

The tournament didn't even stop for a dinner break today. With a long 12-hour day planned, most people would be expecting a dinner break, but tournament staff suggested to skip the dinner break today to avoid stretching the day out any further than necessary. Players could order food at the poker table at any time, and the regular ten-minute breaks every two hours would satisfy a bathroom run or cigarette. There's no time for dinner in Manila.

Poker players can sometimes be a rather testy bunch when things don't go their way. I've often seen pros complain about the smallest things - their egos confusing themselves into thinking they are rock stars. So I'm pleased to report that I didn't hear or see one complaint from players this evening over the lack of a dinner break. Most seemed appreciative of the initiative of staff to want to minimize the length of the day as much as possible. And most seem pretty content with the quality food offerings at the tables here in the Grand Ballroom at the City of Dreams.

As the eliminations piled up, some of those who were sent to the cashier this evening included Jesse McKenzie (72nd), Azusa Maeda (68th), Gerald Casey (60th), Mark Benasa (56th), Daniel Belov (55th) and Andrew Gaw (54th). A short time ago the field was already down to 34 players with big stacks including Day 1a chip leader Douglas Olsson, Aaron Lim and Winfred Yu.

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With another two levels to play tonight we're looking to get down to the final two tables. And if play continues to be as busy as the streets of Manila, then we might just get there.

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