The 2009 Asian Poker Tour Philippines Main Event is underway and runs until the 1st February at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Manila. Tournament Director Matt Savage has just announced that the $2500 + $200 Main Event has 262 runners with a total prize pool of US$635,500. First place will take home US$185,000 with 27 places being paid. 27th will get more than double their buy-in back.

Amongst those in the hunt for the title include Nam Le, Quinn Do, David ‘Chino’ Rheem, Steve Sung and Kwang Soo Lee – all members of the Asian Poker Tour’s elite team of ambassadors – The Poker Pack – who are currently in storming form on the international live circuit. They join a field that also includes 2008 Asian Poker Tour Philippines winner David Saab, Liz Lieu, Kasey Castle, 2009 Aussie Millions Highroller event winner David Steicke, Michael Pedley, 2009 PartyPoker.com Irish Poker Championship winner Rory Rees Brennan, Brian Huang, Ivan Tan, Andrew Scott and 1990 WSOP Main Event winner Mansour Matloubi.
 
The Philippines is strongly represented in the field and are led by WSOP bracelet winner Toto Leonidas with William Te Jr and Ramil Tandoc fancied to run well by the Filipino poker community. There are big contingents from South Korea and Japan, with 2008 Asian Poker Tour Philippines runner up Chris Roh and 2008 Asian Poker Tour Macau runner-up Joon Hee Yeah leading the charge for South Korea and representatives from JBetPoker, Team J3PT and the Japan Poker League making up a formidable Japanese contingent that includes Yasuhiro Waki and Yoshei Watanabe.
                                                                                                                     
Chris Parker, CEO of the Asian Poker Tour said: “We’re very pleased with the field and turnout which features players from all over the world. There are so many that are returning to play again after experiencing last year’s event. We’d like to thank all the players for coming to Manila and hope they all enjoy the famous Asian Poker Tour hospitality.”
 
The Asian Poker Tour Philippines has been running since the 27th January and is a six day festival of poker with extremely lively side action, with sit and gos and cash games running day and night. Amongst the side event winners so far are Henrik Eklund of Sweden who took down the PKR Headhunter tournament and Francis Uy of Manila who emerged victorious in the Ray Ban Invitational. A special Filipino Celebrity Charity Event has also taken place and was won by ‘The Playgirls’ who won 100,000 pesos for charity. Over 200,000 pesos in total went to various local charities.
 
The FHM/DafaPoker Player’s Party takes place on Saturday at 19.30 and promises to be ‘tastefully wild,’ with FHM cover models the hostesses. After the party, the Asian Poker Tour and FHM have hired party buses to take players around Manila’s hotspots. DafaPoker is the official partner of the Asian Poker Tour in presenting the Pot-Limit Omaha Hi tournament – a first for a major Asian Tour. The game is scheduled to take place at 14.00 on the 31st January. The buy-in for this tournament will be $185 + $15. On the same day at 19.00 there will also be a hugely anticipated 13 card tournament featuring a $460 +$40 buy-in. Other highlights include the world’s first GREED tournament.
 
Coverage of this year’s Main Event will be televised and distributed internationally later in the year.
 
The Asian Poker Tour is supported by the iPoker Network, Titan, Dafa Poker, PKR, PartyPoker, JBet Poker, Everest Poker, Microgaming Network, 888, 32 Red Poker, National Poker League and the Japanese Poker League.