Trip of a lifetime to Manila APT courtesy of 32RedPoker.
Re-cap: My name’s Stephen and I won the 32 Days of Christmas Big Freeroll at 32Red Poker (you can read my reaction, here.). They jetted me off to the Phlippines to experience my first offline poker tournament. The following is my experiences in Manila…
Flights over to Manila went like clockwork. The Singapore Airways staff were wonderful…always helpful, always smiling and always there when needed. The taxi ride from Manila airport to the hotel, however, was a bloody nightmare… Each road has three lanes of traffic but there seemed to different rules of the road for each one. It was constant dodging in and out of traffic and cutting people up with a blast on the horn. Pedestrians were another added problem…they just wandered around in the middle of the road hoping to get to the other side. Scary stuff…
Although the armed guards at the entrances were a little disconcerting, once at the hotel I was made to feel like royalty from start to finish.
The beatifully turned out girls were ever bowing, hands clasped together, and asking after how I was as if it was the most important thing in their lives. Bless them…a very humbling experience. I Immediately registered for the poker main event with no problem and looked forward to the poker ahead.
Having a couple of days to spare before the game I decided to go walkabout solo in the city. Hell’s bells! I was being beeped every ten yards by taxi drivers who insisted they could take me to the ”beautiful ladies”!!! OMG!!! Then I was approached by men selling watches and cigs. Quickly learned that if you ignore them they just go away…but it took a bit of getting used to.
Spent much of my spare time lounging by the pool or having a ciggie in the lovely Japanese gardens.
As far as the poker is concerned I didn’t progress very far. Only 6 hours into the tournament and I got suckered into taking KK on with my JJ. I think (in fact I know!) I froze up a bit, it being my first none online poker game, played far too tight so didn’t get the benefit of the good hands. However the experience of those few hours was invaluable to me.
Bought into the inaugural APT Omaha side event for $200. Was doing fine until my J99A double suited shove, after the big stack had raised heavily (again!), was called. He had 3468…what the hell hand is that to call with ??? Anyway he hit a low straight and sent me out in 13th place…3 short of the payouts…gutted! But again a great experience and was playing my more normal game and it was working quite well till that hand. (think I was about 65% to win so it was no bad beat, but it felt a bit like it at the time.)
All the sponsors of the big side events had each bought a few very sexy and scantily clad young models along with them…adding to those beauties from the APT, it was like an ocean of bare flesh around every poker table…the girls that is, not the players!
This is where my photos have let me down, got lots of snaps of the girls posing but they have not processed well at all…also my snaps of the pole dancing at the Friday night party didn’t come out, but the sight of a long legged beauty moving up that pole without using her hands will remain indelibly imprinted on my brain for some time to come!
At the Friday night party most of the party-goers were bussed to a lapdancing club courtesy of FHM…however a few of us decided to play poker instead…how sad is that eh? Anyway we hijacked an APT table, got ten boxes of matches from hotel reception and we played the inaugural APT matchstick event with a £15 buy in. Having discussed my over tight play at some length and being pretty well smashed…I played the most ridiculously loose and aggressive poker I’ve ever played! Showed two successive bluffs of 38os and 27os…then my third straight all in was called…but I had aces that time. Anyway I won the game by 4.00 in the morning and received my trophy (made from matchboxes!) and a handy bit of cash too. What a wonderfully fun night!
One quick word about the main event final hand. Both players had 1,500,000 chips and both ended up all in preflop: AK vs QKs. The queen on the turn handed the tournament to the local lad…who was way behind before the cards were played out…It just goes to show that luck still plays a big part in poker.
So I have had an absolutely wonderful time over there and I am determined now to play a lot more live poker, there is nothing to compare to the buzz from live events.
Thank you to everybody at 32RedPoker for giving me this opportunity…well appreciated and very well enjoyed…and I’m sure I can put the experience to good use and will be aiming to qualify for similar events in the future.
Great stuff 32RedPoker.