Tournament coverage Poker

Delfin safe as WPT National Philippines gets underway

Written by Ben Blaschke

The WGM team flew into Manila early yesterday to witness a historic day for poker in this region with the inaugural running of WPT National Philippines at Solaire Resort and Casino.

Just the second WPT National event to be held in Asia following WPT National Sanya – which was first held in 2012 and will return for the third year in a row next week – the new Philippines leg is the latest phase in the WPT’s expansion with suggestions that more events will be announced across the region in the coming years.

With the spectacular surrounds of Solaire’s Grand Ballroom providing a wonderful backdrop, a total of 144 players took their seats on the first of two Day 1 flights including WPT commentator Mike Sexton, high stakes pro Daniel Cates, David Steicke, JJ Liu, Lacey Jones, Iori Yogo and Mike Takayama.

Of those, only 2013 ANZ Player of the Year Yogo was among the 41 players to survive the cut with a healthy stack of 129,800 – good enough for fourth. However, with players allowed one rebuy back into this event either for today’s second Day 1 flight or at the start of Day 2, we can expect to see the rest back at the tables again and looking for a deep run.

New Zealander Delfin Cruz is the current chip leader with 183,200 ahead of Indonesia’s Kelvin Kelvon and Vietnam’s Minh Nguyen Duc.