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2013 bwin WPT Merit Cyprus Classic Day 2: Alexey Rybin Atop Final 31 Players

Posted at 18:45 2013-08-19 by William Powell

Day 2 of the 2013 bwin World Poker Tour Merit Cyprus Classic saw the survivors of Day 1a and Day 1b joined together into a field of 103 players. Action started an hour later than usual, and rightfully so, as the legendary Merit players' party went on into the early hours of the morning and everyone needed the extra bit of rest. At the end of five 90-minute levels of play on Day 2, only 31 competitors remain. Leading the pack at the end of a frantic day of poker was Day 1a chip leader Alexey Rybin with 858,000 in chips.

Day 2 Top 10 Chip Counts

RankPlayerChips
1Alexey Rybin858,000
2Asaf Avci519,500
3Natalya Nikitina468,000
4Kayhan Tugrul461,000
5Rami Shouman396,500
6Albert Daher382,000
7Barış Topkaya309,000
8Bernard Samaha276,500
9Andrei Nikonov267,000
10Alexandr Lakhov265,500

Rybin started the day third in chips and just kept pounding away on Sunday en route to finishing an astonishing 338,500 chips ahead of his nearest rival, Asaf Avci, who finished with 519,500. Third on the leader board is former WPT Regional champion Natalya Nikitina who has 468,000.

A day of crazy action was expected, and that's exactly what everyone got as the players did not down. What could not have been predicted, however, was just how fast and furious the action would turn out to be. Forty percent of the field was gone in the first two levels alone; 26 players fell in the first level of the day and 17 more in the second. Four- and five-bets were coming often, and players were check-raising like it was mandatory. "Get it all or go home" seemed to be the motto for a lot of the players.

Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi turned up just before the day started, under the impression that he could buy in for a second bullet before play began after having deliberately missed the opportunity on Day 1b. The tournament director stood firm, Mizrachi left disappointed.

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An early casualty was PartyPoker Pro and famed television presenter Kara Scott. She called a bet for all her chips only to find out her opponent, Aston Astapau, had rivered a straight. Not long after that, it was game over for fan favorite Sam Trickett from England, who came second in the 2012 World Series of Poker $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop, winning over $10,000,000. Trickett made a move with the {A-Hearts}{2-Diamonds} on a player who seemed to have misread the action holding the {Q-Diamonds}{Q-Spades}. After Trickett shoved, his opponent made the call, and no ace came to the rescue. Trickett stalked off, no doubt in search of further action.

Canadian online qualifier and all-around bundle of energy Max Droege enjoyed a good day, picking his spots and grinding through to end with a decent stack of 224,500. He was spotted at the players' party very late last night, so we expect he will be getting a good night’s rest before Monday's Day 3.

Other notables still in contention are Sergey Rybachenko (216,000), Giacomo Fundaro (199,000), Manig Loeser (185,500), Tobias Peters (110,000), and Kfir Yamin (90,000).

And speaking of the aforementioned players' party thrown by the Merit Cyprus crew, here's the video:

All remaining 31 players will return on Monday at 1 p.m. for the start of action, and it will surely be a day you don't want to miss. Be sure to tune in with the PokerNetwork Live Reporting Team for all of the Day 3 coverage you can handle.

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