Today, i'm here at the Hyatt hotel and casino in Malate, Manila writing on-site about the biggest poker tournament the Philippines, even Asia, has ever seen. The APPT is a series of $2,500 buy-in tournaments to us by Pokerstars, the biggest online poker site in the world today. Using Manila as a kick-off point, they will be hosting tournaments all over the region culminating to the main event tournament in Australia.
Why did they use manila as a kick off point? well, Mr. Jeff Haas, APPT's president, described the APPT's mission and vision to help develop Asian Poker and develop the region as the next poker frontier. Apparently, the leaders of the poker industry has noticed us in our little corner of the world when Jeff noted that the largest poker market in the region was the Philippines. Doesn't that just make you feel proud to be a part of the Philippine Poker Community?
The APPT officially kicked off two days ago with a press conference, a great party and celebrity/media freeroll tournament. Our very own Nick G of Pokerfilipinas won the tournament and a seat to the main event worth $2,500! Not only that, he busted out Pokerstars player and multiple WSOP bracelet holder Daniel Negreanu heads up at their table in the semi-shoot out event. Priceless! I had the chance to exchange a few words and photos with the 2005 world champ Joe Hachem, who didn't seem affected at all by his poker fame and was such a cool guy. Daniel was pretty cool too, and we got to chat for a few seconds before i took a picture with him.
just to get an idea, Joe Hachem and Neil Arce walked into an elevator heading up to the poker area. Joe was looking down at his feet when two guys walked in and saw them wearing their Pokerstars logos an said "hey! you guys from Pokerstars?" to which Joe, still looking down, replied "you could say that." and the guys jumped up and said "joe Hachem!" haha... great story
I strongly recommend the local players to come over and watch this event, and be a part of poker history.
Stay tuned for more updates coming very soon. It's currently day two and we are down to 49 players with 24 being the magic number for an ITM finish.
Ill be here til we see our boys make it to ITM ;)