Ahhhh. Cebu. I’ve missed you.
It’s great to be back in the Philippines. If there’s one tournament that I circle on the calendar for the year, it’s definitely APPT Cebu. It’s the “must not miss” event of the Asian poker year. Tropical weather, stunning beaches, fantastic scenery, great food and cheap drinks. It’s poker in paradise. What more could you want?
We were last here in 2010 as part of Season 4 of the APPT. Back then we were based at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort, but this time around the tournament itself has a new home. The Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino will play host to us for the next week. It’s conveniently located a stone throw away from the airport and a short taxi ride into the heart of Cebu city. With restaurants, bars and a beautiful pool area, the players will be well catered for at this event.
However one of the big attractions of this event in the past was the luxurious attractions of the Shangri-La Mactan Resort. Three pools, a six-hole golf course, a private beach, jet skiing, snorkelling and plenty of tasty cocktail bars. Ahhh, bliss. While the tournament unravels this week at the Waterfront Airport Casino, the PokerStars online qualifiers are in for a treat, as they get to enjoy the Shangri-La Mactan Resort’s facilities to the full. We look forward to joining them for the infamous player’s beach party a little later in the week.
Cebu certainly oozes party vibes. There are plenty of cool bars and lively clubs, and even when we arrived at the airport, the arrivals hall was decorated with colourful banners around the room that resembled something similar to a child’s first birthday party.
It’s symbolic of how enthusiastic the locals are to embrace the tourism industry and present their best offerings for us to enjoy. The people are remarkably friendly and there are some wonderful locations to visit. We look forward to seeing plenty of sunlight this week, which makes for a refreshing change at a poker tournament.
Oh yeah, we should also talk about a little poker tournament that’s about to go down. It may not quite resemble the glamour of Monte Carlo, but the Waterfront Airport Casino will make history as a new champion of Asian poker is crowned this week. In 2012 it was Young-shin Im who claimed a memorable win for the ladies. Now, Young-shin is known as Vivian and the Team PokerStars Pro red spade has been slapped proudly on her chest. Will we see a new poker star of the future emerge this week?
The PHP100,000 APPT Cebu Main Event kicks off Wednesday at 12:15pm local time. You can follow live updates brought to you by the PokerNews team by accessing the links in the menu on the right-hand side of the page, while myself and my old blogging buddy Dave “F-Train” Behr will be bringing you the stories behind the chip stacks for you here on the PokerStars blog. We look forward to your company!