Tournament coverage Poker

APT first to roll in 2011

Written by Pai Yao

This article first appeared in the Mar/Apr 2011 issue of World Gaming magazine.

After a great tournament in Cebu, Philippines in January the Asian Poker Tour (APT) will continue its 2011 touring season at Resorts World Manila from 28 March with its Manila event.

The APT is now firmly entrenched within the Asian poker landscape. Its success has been the result of many years hard work by people such as CEO Mr Jeff Mann though it does owe some thanks to its rival the Asian Pacific Poker Tour (APPT). A good rivalry within the Asian region has created a healthy poker industry which is blessed with world class tournaments, venues and destinations.

The first event on the APT calendar this year was held in Cebu (in the south of the Philippines) which has become the second home of poker in the country after Manila. Players from the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa and Sweden made up the final two tables. Andreas Lindblom from Sweden took the first prize of nearly PHP 2 million (approximately US$45,000).

Cebu is infinitely more relaxed than the hustle and bustle of Manila but if you come to Resorts World Manila in Pasay, Philippines you can enjoy the best of both worlds. It is close to the airport so when you arrive you won’t spend hours in the traffic of one of the world’s largest and most vibrant cities. You can enjoy Manila at your leisure once you’ve checked in at one of the fine hotels on offer at Resorts World.

Those hotels includes the Marriot which is one of those brands that offer a standard of service and accommodation that is consistently high wherever you are in the world. If you are lucky you might even score a room that overlooks the adjoining golf course and if you’re keen for a game your concierge will happily arrange a round. You can walk from the Marriot to the Resorts World poker room without ever leaving the building.

Resorts World Manila has everything you need outside the poker room too. You can sit by the pool, go to the spa or sample a huge variety of amazing food. From buffets to McDonalds to world class cuisine Resorts World pretty much covers all bases.

Resorts World Manila could easily lay claim to being the best of the 17 casinos in the country. Casinos in the Philippines tend to have a rustic feel compared to those in Macau or Las Vegas. But Resorts World has used its considerable international experience to make sure this casino has all the bells and whistles you would expect at any international casino.

When it comes to poker you will have no problem finding a game in the Philippines. The Philippines could easily argue they are the home of poker in the Asian region. They have strong historical ties with the US so poker naturally worked its way into the culture many years ago. The country’s biggest sports are boxing and 8 ball or 9 ball so it’s no surprise that poker, also an individual sport involving a lot of quick thinking, has been taken up so quickly in this country.

If you were lucky enough to make it to Cebu or any of the other events held on the APT calendar you will know they offer far more than just a poker tournament. ‘Poker tourism’ is the latest trend and this is great for the industry and the players who travel around the globe playing poker. Poker players want well-run events in interesting environments and the APT happily ticks these boxes. Why not make the short trip to the Philippines and try your hand at one of Asia’s best poker tournaments?