An estimated 500 poker players of every shape, creed and colour descended upon Cebu from November 10th, for 5 days of the non-stop poker and party carnival that is the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour. The decision to move the tournament from Manila to the island-resort settings of Cebu this year proved an astute one, with the Main Event posting a larger prize pool and increased headcount.
Needless to say, no poker event in Asia takes place without a small-to-medium sized contingent of Kakis making the scene, luggage, bankroll, and protective eyewear in tow; all ready to do battle with the doyens of the Asian and international poker scene. Apart from Australasian based luminaries like Ivan Tan, Raymond Wu, Bryan Huang, Van Marcus, Neil Arce, Wally Sombero, Tony Hachem and Eric Assadourian, APPT Cebu also brought into town the likes of Nam Le, Tony Dunst and David Steicke.
The kakis got off to a solid start in the PHP$20,000 side event, with Ricky Foo (rickyfoo) and Norbert Koh (nkotb) slipping into the money for PHP$40,000 and PHP$70,000 respectively. Norbert would go several better in the PHP$10,000 side event on the 13th, crushing the tournament for the tidy sum of PHP$300,000, picking up his first tournament win in the process. In the 6-Handed side event several days later, Norbert would feature again by picking up a useful PHP$100,000 for his 6th place finish, after running his short stacked A10 into AK, making it 3 consecutive cashes for the Singaporean. Bubbling this event was Ricky Foo, who immediately signed himself up for the PHP$50,000 side event on a whim, only to find himself at yet another final table 8 hours later.
When play commenced 7-handed the next day, he promptly proceeded to mow down all comers in approximately 2 hours. His final hand saw his hapless opponent’s K10 out- flopped by his QJ with both players all-in pre-flop, awarding the unstoppable Ricky another notch on his belt, and the champion’s purse of PHP$850,000.
Last but not least, a big Pokerkaki shout out to Jack Ng as the last Kaki standing for the APPT Cebu Main Event. Father to Singaporean Pokerstars professional Bryan Huang, Jack more than held his own in his first big tournament appearance, baffling and outwitting experienced opponents enroute to a creditable 17th place. Jack banks PHP$214,000, in what we’re sure is only the first of many cashes to come.