Filed by Sean Callander
The opening day of the historic first event on the inaugural PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) has wrapped up. Appropriately, a player of Asian descent, Australian David Saab, topped the chip count at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino in the Philippines capital Manila.
Saab, the reigning Australian Heads-up champions, drove his opponents mad with his incessant chatter but others found his aggressive play hard to counter as he became the first player to break the 100,000-chip barrier.
Others prominently placed at the end of the day’s play included Swede Roger Spets (100,000), Kelly Flynn (80,000), Korea’s Junhee Yea (70,000) and Canadian Dan Idema (65,000).
Another player to finish the day strongly was local Filipino player Alex Pagulayan. Nicknamed ‘The Lion’ and ‘The Killer Pixie’, Paguluyan was born in the Philippines, raised in Canada but returned to his homeland in 2004.
He is famous for having once sunk six balls on a break in a nine-ball tournament in a match he eventually lost! His achievements include the 2007 World Summit of Pool, the 2005 US Open Nine-ball Championship and the 2004 WPA World Nine-ball Championship.
Paguluyan finished the opening day of the APPT Manila event full of steam when he doubled-up through Kelly Flynn.
After raising to 3500, Paguluyan was reraised by Flynn to 8000. The Filipino moved all-in for an additional 18,700 and Flynn made the call.
Flynn showed Ac Jh, but Paguluyan was ahead with Ah Kh. The board of 10d 8s 4d 4h 6s improved neither player, rocketing Paguluyan to 55,000 in chips. Could he won day add a WSOP bracelet to his pool achievements? What a double that would be!
Play recommences at 2pm local time tomorrow, and will continue until the final table is decided.