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APPT Cebu: Once more unto the breach

You made it to Day 2. Congratulations. If nothing else, it's a moral victory. You might have been worried that you were going to do something silly with ace-jack in Level 1 of Day 1, but you've proven that you can hang with the big dogs in the big game. Time was called on Day 1, you dumped your chips into one of those silver bags and then you retired to the bar for a celebratory San Miguel Light. Bravo, old fellow. Well played.

Now the nerves are back a little as you re-enter the Casino Filipino Mactan for Day 2. You've remembered that you are still at least eight levels from the money. It seems a dauntingly long way away.

First order of business: check the draw and find your bag. The draw, the draw. Where's the damn draw? How are you going to find your table before play starts? Start to panic.

Realize the draw is posted on the cage. Relax again. Find your seat and grab your bag.

Be chastised by the dealer. You'll need to produce some identification if you want to open that bag. Fumble around in your pocket for your wallet or your passport (you did remember to bring ID, didn't you?). Produce your ID. Smile as the dealer looks from your name and photo to your bag and then your face.

You can put your ID away now. And wipe that goofy grin off your face. Poker is serious business!

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Serious business.

Grab the bag again. Pull on both sides as if you're opening a bag of chips (crisps, if you like saying things like you're from London, even though here at APPT Cebu you almost definitely are not from London). Furrow your brow when the bag won't open. What's the glue on these things made of - some sort of jacked-up SuperHorse? Time is wasting! Open the damn bag!

Try to relax again by taking a swig from your water / energy drink / coffee. Tea, if you're from London. Which we've already determined you're not, so put that tea away and drink coffee like the rest of us.

Resort to clawing a hole in the side of the bag with your fingers. Victory! The bag is open. Good thing you were hungover this morning from a raucous night yesterday on Mango Avenue in Cebu City. Leaving no time to trim your nails this morning was a strategic decision that's already paying massive dividends.

Dump your chips out into a pile on the felt and crumple the defeated bag into a ball. Turn over your shoulder to look for a trash can in which to make a fadeaway three and vanquish the hated bag once and for all.

No trash cans? Not a single trash can in the whole room? What are you going to do with this bag? Slump your shoulders in resignation and act as if the only reason you turned around was to glance at a pretty girl. That one there, with the open-backed dress. Or maybe the one in the jeans with the high pony tail.

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Turn back to the table and realize the dealer has her hand out, requesting your discarded bag. Aha. Right. The dealer. Meekly hand the crumpled bag to her as if that's what you'd been planning all along.

Stack your chips. Take a deep breath and sit down to play. Then realize that nobody else is here and that you've still got 11 minutes until cards are in the air.

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