First Asia Pacific 안전놀이터Tour

 

The first ever Asia Pacific 안전놀이Tour kicked off on the 24th of August in Manila, the capital of the Philippines.  The total prize pool of $500,000 is to be shared among the more or less 200 players coming from 30 different countries.  The event is being held at the Hyatt Hotel and is set to end today, August 27.

According to Same Lightman,  organizer of the event, “”There has been a massive explosion in poker over the last 10 years.  Poker used to be associated with shady men in smoke filled rooms but that’s not the case any more. Televised poker and the Internet has changed all that.  Poker is a skills based sport based on mathematics and psychology.”

The region can thank PokerStars for bringing this tour to Asia.  PokerStars is an online poker site (which I am sure you know) with millions of players around the world.

Just one thing I noticed, though, it seems the locals were not really part of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour.  I have some friends in Manila who are avid poker players.  Actually, they play home games every weekend.  It didn’t seem that they were too excited about this big event, though.  In fact, none in their group joined nor even watched the events.  Does the $2500 buy in have anything to do with it?  I don’t know.  It is just a bit sad that people who are really passionate about poker cannot relate all that much to a big tournament like this one.

Pictures from the Final Table

When I took these pictures the mood in the tournament room was lively. People cheering, chanting,  Matusow losing $7500 in the stands playing Chinese Poker. Other pros seen playing from their leather chairs were Juanda, and Phil Hellmuth. Phil Gordon had his ESPN stage in the corner of the room behind the bleachers of the final table. Pros got their make up done before taking the mic with him and finishing off with $100 Roshambo. Bracelet winners were announced throughout the night as well as the retirement of one of Harrah’s longtime employees. As you’ve probably heard, Jamie Gold dominated the table and the evening and some questioned whether or not he made a deal with the devil. Others, myself included, discussed leaving after Allen went home fourth for $3,628,513. It was no surprise that he didn’t want to take the bust out interview in the media room. Jamie Who? How about Jamie who cares. The hand everyone continues to talk about is Richard Lee’s bust out Jacks. Why, Richard, why? He did take his interview, and what a class act. He has a new fan in me. Ok, how about some pics?

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