It's a pretty loaded field here today with plenty of Asia's finest players in attendance with the big screen currently showing 76 entrants for Day 1b of the APPT Cebu Main Event. We have previous champions, online pros, sponsored players and even a couple of Team Poker Stars Pros here this afternoon. However it's a rare occurrence in a poker tournament to find not one, but two reigning Player of the Year winners seated in the same room. Yep, take that Monte Carlo, we've got two of them right here in Cebu.
Taiwan's Hung-sheng "Shaq" Lin had an incredible twelve months to become the Asia Player of the Year for 2011. His year boasted nine major final tables in Macau, highlighted by a victory in the Macau Millions for HK$400,000. All up, Lin pocketed HK$1,200,000 for the year and became the first player to earn his ticket to the 2012 HK$100,000 Asia Championship of Poker. He also joins Team PokerStars Pro Bryan Huang in the exclusive group of previous Asia POTY champions.
Lin has also started the New Year on a bright note. He was victorious in the opening event of this series earlier in the week, the PHP10,000 Cebu Cup, to add yet another trophy to a rapidly-growing cabinet. He's one of the brightest stars in Asia at the moment, and certainly a player for us to watch today.
Also in today's field is the Australia New Zealand Player of the Year, Danny Chevalier. The unassuming Aussie has built his reputation on consistency, having cashed in five ANZPT events last year including three final tables. Chevalier also has a major title to his credit, with his breakthrough win coming in the 2009 ANZPT Queenstown event.
Confidence is an amazing thing in poker, and Chevalier has also carried the momentum from his previous successes into the New Year. In January he made it to 24th place at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure before flying half way around the world to reach unlucky 13th in the Aussie Millions Main Event. Two deep runs in two $10k buy-in events within a few weeks was an achievement in itself.
Chevalier will be looking to put his sponsorship prize to good use with an equally impressive run in the APPT Cebu Main Event.