APPT Manila can now lay claim to 285 runners. It's an impressive feat, especially considering the slowing global economy. Apparently not only is there still an appetite for poker in Asia, it seems to be growing.
As for Day 1b there were indeed a few well-known poker players who were playing. The first that comes to mind is the sole representation of Team PokerStars Pro - Lee Nelson. Nelson won the 2006 Aussie Millions and already has a couple of cashes on the APPT. Nelson was looking for more on Day 1b of APPT Manila.
John Phan, perhaps the hottest player in poker right now (excluding newly crowned World Champion Peter Eastgate), made the trip out to Manila in an effort to secure his spot in the global player-of-the-year contests.
Also making the trip to Manila was former WPT Ladies Night winner JJ Liu. Liu, who is perhaps best-known for coming in second in the 2007 edition of WPT Bay 101, has been a huge proponent of poker and has made several appearances on the APPT.
Unfortunately for both Phan and Liu, they couldn't really get anything going in the early stages of APPT Manila, and busted out without so much as a glimpse of Day 2.
On the other hand, Nelson played solid poker throughout the day and will go into Day 2 with $32,000 chips to his name.
Also playing Day 2 were Celina Lin, Edward Sabat, Carter Gill, Matthew Konnecke, Van Marcus, defending champ Brett Parise and 2004 Miss Earth Priscilla Meirelle. Yes; you read that correctly. A former Miss Earth was in the action today, and all the guys at her table didn't seem to mind one bit.
Of the players just mentioned, Lin, Marcus, Parise and Meirelle made Day 2. It was a strong day for women all around, as U.K. player Tasha Ellis was one of the chip leaders throughout the day and ended with $112,000.
A positive sign for the APPT was the large contingent of Filipino players for the second day in a row. Melvin "The Miracle" Matibag, Ramil Tandoc and Chi Kan Tang all led the way for their fellow Filipinos.
Matibag lived up to his namesake in the later stages of the day when he bested another player's pocket kings with 9-8 suited to win a $60,000+ pot.
It was a very busy Day 1b and only 39 of the 136 players who started the day made it to Day 2. Combined with the players from Day 1a we will attempt to go from 77 players to a final table tomorrow.
The action is sure to be fast and furious so get your refresh button ready and log on to PokerListings' Live Tournaments section at 12:30 local time to get all the action.
Here's a look at the top 10 chip leaders heading into Day 2:
|1. Michael Shell||$124,300|
|2. Chang Yong Suk||$124,300|
|3. Tasha Ellis||$112,100|
|4. Josh Peng Ang||$88,800|
|5. Henrik Daniel Nordstron||$75,200|
|6. Donny Michael Morris||$71,700|
|7. Van Marcus||$69,700|
|8. Jeppe Drivsholm||$65,400|
|9. Victorino Torres||$64,800|
|10. Dimitrios Pappis||$63,300|