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After a sterling show at Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Macau in March followed by the historic run at the 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP) through the summer, the action has returned to the Asian circuit for the Indian challengers. Just off the felts from Casino Deltin Royale, which was stage to the Deltin Poker Tournament (DPT), many Indian players are now warming up to compete at the upcoming 2018 APPT Manila that will kick off the City of Dreams, Manila, Philippines on August 4.
The APPT Manila is part of the PokerStars sponsored APPT series of live poker tournaments that are hosted in China, South Korea, Australia, Philippines and New Zealand. The APPT first started in 2007 and was the first series to bring government-sanctioned real-money Texas Hold ‘em poker tournaments to Korea and China. The series was replaced in 2017, by PokerStars Festival Manila as part of PokerStars’ re-branding move, but after wide opposition from poker players, PokerStars announced that the APPT will be back in 2018 with its full schedule of events.
The 2018 edition for APPT Manila promises to be more action-packed than its previous runs and holds the glittering attraction of five platinum passes that will be up for grabs in star tournaments. Led on by the rapid rise of interest in poker on the domestic felts, fresh new Indian talent can be expected to be seen at APPT Manila this year. Already, a number of players have taken to social media to declare their travel plans. The bags are packed for the driven and passionate Indian poker contingent who is indeed ready to go!
In the recent years the APPT Manila has been a favorite haunt for Team India. Back in 2015, Dhaval Mudgal finished runner-up in Event #6: ₱5,000 NLH Freezeout and banked a payday of ₱138,180 (~₹1.78 Lakhs) as Rohit Bhalla final tabled Event #4: Deepstack PLO Champion for ₱69,700 (~₹90,069) in sixth place. Many good scores were posted by regulars, Amit Jain, Romit Advani, Srinivas Polishetty and others.
The Indian attendance in the 2016 APPT Manila was equally energetic and the participation line-up included names like Kunal Patni, Pranay Kapoor, Rohit Bhalla, Sameer Rattonsey, and Vinod Megalmani.
In 2017 many Indians attended and posted scores in the APPT Manila replacement series i.e. the PokerStars Festival Manila. The Indian run was headlined by Uday Bansal capturing the ₱55,000 Main Event for ₱4,676,000 (~₹60.42 Lakhs), while Indian-origin Dhanesh Chainani claimed two titles i.e. the ₱11,000 Knockout Event for ₱169,400 (~₹2.18 Lakh) and the ₱16,500 Six-Handed event for ₱198,000(~₹2.55 Lakhs), Viren Kapur took down the ₱16,500 PokerStars Open for ₱1,234,000(~₹15.94 Lakhs), Sam Polishetty won the ₱5,600 Limit Hold ‘em Knockout event for ₱92,100(~₹1.19 Lakhs), Siddarth Singhvi shipped the ₱16,500 Bubble Rush for ₱280,000(~₹3.61 Lakhs) and WSOP bracelet winner Aditya Sushant claimed the title in the ₱22,000 Open Face Chinese Pineapple event for ₱227,200 (~₹2.93 Lakhs).
This year again a huge lineup of Indian players will be heading east to attend the grand poker festival.
While seasoned pro Dhaval Mudgal has confirmed his participation in the series and will be playing the entire schedule, other Indians who are expected to be attending include Adda52 pro Kunal Patni, Zarvan Tumboli, Varun Gupta, Nishant Sharma, Vivek Rughani, Pranav Khandalkar, Ankit Kapoor, Alok Birewar, Saurabh Arora, Shravan Chhabria, Ashish Munot, Vivek Megalmani, Gautam Rohilla, Pavan Gundesha, Naren Purohit, Team Manager of GPL India`s Bengaluru Hackers, Vidwath Shetty, Arjanveer Singh Chadha, Abhinav Iyer, WSOP bracelet winner Aditya Sushant, Hardik Shah, Ashish Ahuja, PokerBaazi Team Mentor Jasven Saigal, Rohit Behal, Kuldip Dipak Pawar, Sriharsha Doddapaneni and Kanishka Samant among many others.
The 11th edition of this nine-day tournament series will be held at the PokerStars Live Manila poker room with a roster that comprises of 22 official Asia Player of the Year events and most importantly, the APPT Manila Main Event with a buy-in of ₱55,000 (~₹70,800) and a ₱20 Million (~₹2.57 Crores) prize pool guarantee. Overall the series features over₱37 Million (~₹4.78 Crores) in guaranteed prize money.
Four other featured tournaments – APPT Kickoff (₱3 Million Guaranteed), APPT National(₱5 Million Guaranteed), APPT Megastack (Shot Clock & Big Blind Ante) and APPT Saturday SuperStack (₱3 Million Guaranteed) headline the schedule and are expected to draw in a sizeable Indian participation.
It’s not just the chase for the top prize that will drive the poker pros to the field, it is the glittering catch each of these five headline tournaments offer i.e. the $30,000 worth Platinum Pass to the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) Bahamas! The Platinum Pass includes a $25,000 Main Event buy-in, accommodation at the Atlantis Resort and $2,000 in travel and food expenses.
Another tournament to look out for will be the APPT High Roller that features a30-second Shot Clock and Big Blind Ante format and carries a ₱2 Million guarantee, in addition to allowing unlimited re-entries.
Keep following all the updates from APPT Manila 2018 right here on PokerGuru!