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APPT Cebu: Lee Sang Yong to the fore

For the Day 1c players, six levels are in the books. For the staff and the bloggers, 18 levels are in the books. And after 18 levels, the only thing that's clear at the 2012 PokerStars.net APPT Cebu Main Event is the weather. It's far too soon to be making any predictions about how the next three days of this event will go, when the fields combine and play down to around 30, and then 9, and then 1.

But we can definitely fill you in on what's been happening here. Things started a bit groggily, a result of another banging PokerStars party at the Shangri-La Resort and a street festival celebrating the murder of one of the world's great explorers. Being the professionals that we are, we loaded up on water and coffee and got down to the business of tournament reporting.

Hard-to-miss stories were what we were looking for on Day 1c - and former MMA fighter Heath Herring is hard to miss. When rookie MMA fighter Terrence Chan turned up, the duality of his and Heath's respective poker and MMA careers hammer-punched us in the face.

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Heath Herring

The spotlight was also on the locals today. The Godfather of Filipino Poker, Wally Sombero, took his seat in the field. At day's end he was still sitting there, a testament to his survival instincts and staying power. He was seated not too far from one of the more curious pieces of art we've ever seen inside a poker room.

It looks like the chip leader for Day 1c is Lee Sang Yong with a stack of 104,600. That's more than anyone on Day 1a accumulated but less than the 119,000 of Day 1b chip leader Antonio Martins. That makes Martins the overall Day 1 chip leader.

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Lee Sang Yong

Tomorrow the 129 survivors from all three Day 1 flights will combine into one field. We'll also all be far less hungover. The pace from the start of play tomorrow to the end of play on Monday evening should be measured - though tomorrow night's player party at the VUDU Club in Cebu City may cause Sunday to feel like it's draggin a little. Our early guess is that we'll need 22 levels across the three days to find out whether Team PokerStars Pro Vivian Im will repeat as Cebu champion or whether someone else will pick up the trophy and the hefty check representing the winner's share of the prizepool.

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