APPT9 Manila: Something for the big kid in us all

Believe it or not, there are a few poker players in this world who are socially responsible enough to start a family. However attending a poker tournament isn't exactly thought of as a family outing. Poker tournaments involve long days and late nights stuck inside a casino which isn't really the ideal environment for kids, and no family person really likes travelling on the road spending time away from their loved ones.

One couple in that situation is Sam Razavi and his partner Maria "Menchu" Esdaile. Both enjoy plying their trade on the poker felt, but that makes it tricky when kids are involved. Fortunately Razavi successfully made it through Day 1a yesterday with 50,500 in chips which means that he's on babysitting duty today as Esdaile is taking her shot in the APPT Manila Main Event on Day 1b.

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The good news for Razavi is that the City of Dreams caters wonderfully for kids and parents. Just outside the entrance to the Grand Ballroom where the Main Event is being held, it's very hard to miss the doors to the larger-than-life interactive play centre called "DreamPlay" from the animated geniuses at DreamWorks.

It's described on their website as an "all-new interactive entertainment concept that is the one place in the world where your favourite DreamWorks Animation characters come together to allow you to PLAY, CREATE and LEARN"

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Little adventurers get to play at Shrek's swamp house, learn how to make gingerbread men at Gingy's Kitchen, become a Kung Fu master with Kung Fu Panda, ride with the Penguins of Madagascar in their very own boat, or join the Afro Circus in a multi-level foam play area.

Those with creative flair can sit in the Director's chair to create their own animated movie, or you can even be part of the story in the 4D DreamTheatre.

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Having written all of that, I'm now pretty jealous that this centre is for kids because it sounds...AWESOME!

If poker was a cartoon it would be much more fun for players. Your eyes would pop from your head when you were slowrolled. Your face would go bright red and steam would shoot from your ears when you were tilted. Or if your opponent inflicted a bad beat, you could just bop them over the head with a giant sledgehammer.

So while we're here playing for millions of Pesos at the APPT, it's nice that we can revisit the big kid inside us all and turn poker trips into a family affair when visiting Manila. At worst, it's a chance to grab a souvenir to take back home.

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