There’s a new sheriff in Kyrenia, Cyprus, and he’s got a new nickname. The man formerly known as Layne "Back-to-back" Flack is now calling himself "The World’s Most Interesting Man," for reasons we have yet to figure out. Whatever his nom de plume, Mr. Flack amassed an impressive 912,000 worth of chips on Day 3 of the WPT Merit Cyprus Classic and leads the remaining field of 21 players.
Another five levels of play saw 34 of the 55 players who started the day hit the rail as we closed in on the money bubble. Andy Bloch, Allen Cunningham and Chris Ferguson, the last of the Team Full Tilt members joined the likes of Sorel Mizzi, Bruno Fitoussi, Praz Bansi, Joe Cassidy, Roy Winston, Dan Harrington, John Monnette and Yosh Nakano on the sidelines, all casualties of Day 3.
Joining Flack atop the overnight leaderboard are fellow Americans Ralph "Rep" Porter (812,000) and Steven Fung (669,000), followed by Frenchman Antony Lellouche (562,000) and Full Tilt Pro Huck Seed (456,000). Aussie native Anthony Aboukhalil bookends the overnight field with just 52,000 in chips, but his performance is worth mentioning as his appearance on the Day 4 starters list is wildly improbable.
After starting Day 2 with just 9,050 in chips, Aboukhalil managed to build his stack back up to 87,000 by day’s end. He then plummeted to 12,000 throughout the day but somehow managed to stay afloat, winning countless critical all-in confrontations to stay alive. The money starts at 18th place, so it’ll be interesting to see whether he can continue to ride the wave of good fortune tomorrow and fade three more players to score a payday.
Another player who looked impressive on Day 3 was Nenad Medic. If our recaps had a SportsCenter-like "Top Plays" segment, the following hand would’ve been a candidate for the top spot.
Near the end of level four, with the blinds at 3,000/6,000, we walked up to a hand already in play between Medic and local amateur Zorlu Menderes. The board read and Menderes had just check-raised a 23,000 bet from Medic, making it 53,000 to go. Medic made the call and when the fell on 5th Street, Menderes open-shoved all in for 133,000. Had Medic called and lost, he would’ve been left with approximately 150,000 in chips, which was well below the tournament average.
“I think you’re bluffing this time,” Medic said to Menderes, staring at him from across the table.
After some serious deliberating, Medic made the call, tabling for two pair, and Menderes knuckled the table in defeat, showing the cards he’d made the bluff with — .
Medic stacked up just under 600,000 in chips after the hand, but ultimately bagged and tagged 378,000 in chips at the end of Day 3, good for eighth place overall heading into Day 4.
PokerNews’ live coverage of the WPT Merit Cyprus Classic will resume at 12:00 p.m. local time (GMT+3), when the remaining 21 contestants continue their fight for one of six spots at Saturday’s final table, and a shot at the $579,165 grand prize.
End of Day 3 Top Ten Chip Stacks:
Layne Flack – 915,000
Rep Porter – 812,000
Steven Fung – 669,000
Antony Lellouche – 562,000
Huck Seed – 456,000
Rony Jazzar – 428,000
Jonathan Little – 393,000
Nenad Medic – 378,000
Joseph El Khoury – 318,000
Uri Keidar – 292,000