The last cards have been dealt, the bags have been tagged and the players are off to celebrate a successful day on the felt as Day 1b of the APPT Manila Main Event has drawn to a close.
Anticipation was high before play kicked off on Friday afternoon and we weren’t let down as another 325 entrants took to the tables of PokerStars LIVE Manila at the City of Dreams. That boosted the total number to 585 entrants which is enormous growth on the 260 players who took part last year. No doubt the new location at the City of Dreams has proven to be popular with players. 41 different countries would be represented in what is the largest international poker event ever held in the Philippines with the USA, China, Korea, Japan and of course, the host nation of the Philippines, the best represented.
The prize pool swelled to PHP25,535,250 (~US$557,000) with the top prize awarded on Sunday coming in at a massive PHP6,016,250 (~$131,000).
For those taking their seats on Day 1b, there were a few fresh faces and plenty of satellite qualifiers, while some were back for their second and third bullets into the event as they took full advantage of the re-entry format.
Team PokerStars Pros Aditya Agarwal and Kosei Ichinose were back for another crack, but they were early casualties, along with Kim Gab Yong and Australian high roller David Steicke.
The Filipinos were also well represented once again with the local top dogs including John Tech, Andrew Gaw, Mark Benasa, Czardy Rivera, and Florencio Campomanes.
The opening flight was dominated by Scandinavians and we followed a similar trend on Day 1b with Norwegian Svein-Jorgen Kristensen flopping a straight to crack a set of jacks to claim the early chip lead.
However it would be Korean Dong Il Kim who stormed to the top of the counts late in the evening with a couple of well-timed flushes. Kim cracked an opponent’s pocket kings with a heart flush draw that connected on the turn, and a short time later, and he connected with a spade flush on the river to better top pair.
Kim received a late challenge from former APPT Seoul champion Aaron Lim, who eliminated two players in one of the final hands of the day, but in the end it was Kim who maintained the advantage.
APPT Manila Main Event Day 1b Top Ten Counts
Dong Il Kim (Korea) – 242,700
Aaron Lim (Australia) – 201,800
Shinobu Tanaka (Japan) – 178,700
Svein-Jorgen Kristensen (Norway) – 168,300
Hsein Ching Feng (Chinese Taipei) – 157,400
Seung Soo Jeon (Korea) – 153,000
Seonghwan Ahn (Korea) – 152,100
Seokchan Hwang (Korea) – 147,400
Heng Mun Lua (Malaysia) – 136,200
Shaobo Ye (China) – 135,000
Manuel Blaschke, Chane Kampanatsanyakorn, Mark Benasa, Jesse McKenzie, Wally Sombero, Andrew Gaw and Maria Esdaile are also safely through to Day 2 action. Head to the live reporting section of the website for the full Day 1b chip counts and Day 2 seating draw.
The players are off to the Welcome Party to kick up their heels tonight before the survivors will return to the Grand Ballroom of the City of Dreams at 2:00pm local time on Saturday to continue their quest for the APPT Manila crown. Only the top 72 players will finish in profit, so we’ll be bursting the bubble on Saturday before trying to get close to the final table before the end of the evening.
We hope you’ll join us on the PokerStars Blog once again for all the stories off the felt, and the action on it, at the APPT Manila Main Event! Until then, it’s time to have some fun at the Welcome Party!
Heath “TassieDevil” Chick is a freelance contributor to PokerStars Blog.