The Hyatt Hotel & Casino in Manila, the Philippines played host to Day 1a of the PokerStars.net Asia Pacific Poker Tour earlier today, with 149 players from around the globe taking their shot at the title claimed by Brett Parise in 2007. Among the notable players participating on Day 1a were Michael Chrisanthopoulos, Dennis Huntly, David Saab, Andrew Scott and James Broom.
With many former World Series of Poker Main Event champions in Las Vegas for the final table of the 2008 Main Event, at least one champion ventured to Manila for the APPT event instead. In 1991, Brad Daugherty became the first WSOP Main Event champion to take down a prize pool worth $1 million. This week in Manila, he was the lone World Champion on hand during day 1a action, fighting for his share of the prize pool. Daugherty busted on Day 1a when he got his chips in with on a board of , but his opponent had made a better two pair with . The on the river gave both players a full house, but Daugherty's jacks full of sixes was not good enough to keep the champ in the building.
Filipino Poker Tour founder Franco Mabanta rode an afternoon roller coaster before his departure from the felt. In one huge hand, he sent two players to the rail after raising preflop and finding two callers to a flop of . Mabanta led out with a bet, and the small blind called all in. The other opponent was all in preflop, and Mabanta tabled for ace-high and the lead in the side pot as the small blind showed . The short-stacked player tabled and looked to triple up until the came on the turn. The came on the river, and both of Mabanta's opponents headed to the rail.
Just a few hands later, Mabanta was involved in another big pot, this time with decidedly different results. With a board of , Mabanta got the last of his chips in the middle against Hyounjim Nam. Mabanta felt good about his for the flush, but Nam tabled for the rivered full house and sent Mabanta to the rail.
Chang Yong Suk was relatively quiet through most of Day 1a, but went on a late surge to finish the day tied for the chip lead with Michael Shell. One huge hand found Suk all in preflop against one short stack and Hyoungjim Nam, who had Suk and the short stack covered. The short stack tabled for live cards against Suk's and Nam's pocket sevens. Suk picked up a flush draw on the flop, then turn the nut flush when the landed. The on the river was no help to his opponents, and Suk virtually tripled up.
Just a few hands later Suk had all his chips in the middle again, this time calling Eric Sia's preflop shove with . Sia tabled , and needed help when the flop came down . The turn improved neither player when it brought the , and the on the river vaulted Suk into the chip lead as Sia was left on life support as the day drew to a close. Suk and PokerStars qualifier Michael Shell led a field of 38 survivors into Day 2, as notables David Saab, James Broom, Michael Chrisanthopoulos and Sunshine Samson all made it through Day 1a. More big names are expected to take the field on Day 1b, so join PokerNews at 12:30 PM Manila time for all the live updates.
The top ten chip counts from Day 1a play:
Michael Shell – 124,300
Chang Yong Suk – 124,300
Pang Leng Josh Ang – 88,800
Hans Daniel Nordstrom – 75,200
Donny Michael Morris – 71,700
Victorino Torres – 64,800
Wenceslao Sombero – 60,100
Jong Sung Kim – 55,800
Ramil Soriano Tandoc – 53,800
Antony Phillips – 52,400