Thrilla in Manila! - Final table set for APPT

Van Marcus
Van Marcus is the chip leader heading into the final day of the APPT main event.

From 255 players to just nine - that's all that remains at the PokerStars Asia Pacific tour main event in Manila.

Although Day 1 saw the exit of high-profile PokerStars pros Joe Hachem, Daniel Negreanu and Vanessa Rousso there was still plenty of great poker to be played on Day 2.

There were also a few celebrities in their own right. International Starcraft gamer Guillaume Patry made a serious attempt at the chip lead while Masa Kagawa, who placed third in the prestigious $100,000 buy-in event at the Aussie Millions, was also in the hunt for a large portion of the day.

The APPT is definitely an international affair and Day 2 of the main event was no exception. There were players from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand and the U.S.A.

It was Australian David Saab who carried the chip lead into the day but Malaysian-based Swede Roger Spets quickly overtook him. Saab was crippled when his set of eights was cracked by an opponent who drew to a flush. Shortly after that Saab was eliminated completely.

Japanese player Norihito Suzuki had the unfortunate distinction of being the bubble boy when his A-3 fell to pocket jacks.

By the time the final nine players had been decided there were still seven countries being represented with players from across the globe.

Perhaps best known is the chip leader - Australian Van Marcus. Marcus grabbed the spotlight at this year's WSOP when he made the final table of the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha w/rebuys event. Marcus ended up finishing third behind Qushqar Morad and eventual winner Alan Smurfit.

Prior to his WSOP showing, Marcus had also made a couple of final tables at the Aussie Millions. Marcus carries the most experience into the APPT so look for him to take it home.

Also of note is US player Nicolas Bamman who made $16,250 at the weekly $1,000 Bellagio tournament earlier this year. The law school student bought into the APPT for the full $2,500 buy-in but is going to see a good return on that investment.

Ironically the rest of the players the final table have little to no experience in live poker. For quite a few of them this is their first live tournament (although it probably won't be their last).

The only Manila resident left, Derick Hernandez, is sure to have the crowd cheering loudly. Primarily an online player over the past seven years Hernandez won a PokerStars weekly tournament (the precursor to the Sunday Million) in 2004.

Check back tomorrow to see how the exciting final table of the APPT plays out. Here's a look at the chip counts heading into Day 3:

Player Chips
1. Van Marcus 738,000
2. Roger Spets 413,000
3. Derick Hernandez 287,000
4. Nicolas Bamman 240,000
5. Bas ver Liere 207,000
6. Maor Feldinger 199,000
7. Ira Blumenthal 184,000
8. Brett Parise 173,000
9. Kazuhiro Sato 109,000

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