With the Day 1a field now officially locked out at a rather disappointing 51 players, we are starting to wonder whether we'll need to play the full seven levels that were originally scheduled for today. I mean, let's be honest here. We love poker, and tournaments are great fun, but we didn't come to Cebu to be stuck inside a casino all day!
I guess it's one of the only positives of an early elimination from the APPT Cebu Main Event - you get to go outside and play!
At least that's what we will tell Paul Hockin and Aaron Benton who are among the early casualties from today's field. Hockin was eliminated when his pocket kings were cracked by a river two outer, while Benton's fall was somewhat similar.
Benton also started out the hand with the dominant pair holding pocket nines, but that's perhaps where the similarities end. He decided to wait until the turn on a board of J♣2♠7♥3♣ before making his all-in move. Unfortunately Benton soon discovered that Spanish PokerStars qualifier Daniel Palau had flopped a set of sevens. Just a short time ago, the 2009 APPT Sydney champion was joyous after his beloved Collingwood won by a point in the traditional ANZAC Day Australian Rules Football match today. Now, he'll be looking to grab a cocktail and watch a replay of the game as his tournament is over.
Palau, on the other hand, is making his trip worthwhile as one of our early chip leaders with about 60,000 in change.
Meanwhile it appears that Team PokerStars Pro Raymond Wu will have to put his drink on ice for the moment after a recent double up. Wu went with a big combo draw holding J♦7♦ on a flop of 6♦9♦8♠. His opponent held 8♣6♠ for two pair which maintained the lead on the A♥ turn, but the river was the T♠ to complete Wu's straight for the double up. He's up to 39,000 and looking good to carry the red spade into Day 2.
Earlier today, PokerStars hostess Sarah Grant caught up with Wu for a quick chat:
As the players take their second break of the day, the big screen is showing 38 players are still alive on Day 1a. Maybe it would be more appropriate for it to say there are 13 players now at the beach.