This story has been filed by By Sean Callander
The cards are in the air for the historic first event on the inaugural
PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour.
Players from all over the world – including Team PokerStars’ big guns Daniel
Negreanu, Joe Hachem and Vanessa Rousso – have converged on the Hyatt Hotel and Casino in Manila.
The ballroom has just been filled with 250 (and counting) players, along
with some equally eager dealers – many of who will be also having their
first taste of a big-time poker tournament.
It’s clear the APPT has already captured the attention of players all over
the globe – the field includes players from the US, Europe, Australia and
numerous Asian nations, a great sign for the future of the game in this
The day kicked-off with a touch of local culture from the award-winning
group, the Cercada Sisters. After some instructions from tournament director
Danny McDonagh, the cards were in the air.
Already, some enthralling match-ups have been set-up via the table draw.
Negreanu found himself on table 17 with highly ranked online player Marcus
Collins, while Team PokerStars’ Manlee Wan had 2007 Aussie Millions $1,100
Omaha Hi/Lo champion Jethro Horowitz to his immediate left.
However, the award for toughest draw of the day went to local player Rey G
Serafico. The Filipino player qualified for the tournament via a freeroll
but seated just two seats to his right is 2005 WSOP champ Joe Hachem.
Emerging young Australian player, the ultra-aggressive Julian Powell, is
also on table one.
Another table to watch is table four, where Joe’s younger brother Tony was
preparing to go to battle with Emad Tahtouh, who finished runner-up in last
year’s PokerStars EPT event in London.
Since we’re talking history at this Manila event, the name Nick Blackburn
will be forever etched in the history books as the first player to be
eliminated from an APPT event.
Blackburn, from the USA, was miles ahead when he pushed in with his aces against Sydneysider Carl Gosselin’s kings, and the board came 9h Qc 4h 5cbut a king on the river crippled Blackburn, and he bowed out just two hands later. Tough break Nick.