It’s not often that the last starting day of a major poker tournament sees fewer entrants than the first, but that was the case in Cyprus for the 2010 Full Tilt Poker Merit Cyprus Classic Main Event. Day 1b saw 72 players hit the felt; a much smaller number than the 109 that played Day 1a, even with late registration allowed for the entire day. Nevertheless, the concentration of talented players and notable names was high.
After the five levels of play on Saturday, only 11 players had hit the rail, making for 61 that would be left to combine with the 80 survivors from Day 1a. John Dolan ran well in the $25,000 High Roller Freeze-Out, but fell short of the money. As of right now it looks as though he may be setting himself up for bigger things in the Main Event. The November Niner wrapped up the day toward the top of the leaderboard with 95,400 chips. He was one of the few of players who built a sizable stack during play on Saturday, but no one was able to eclipse the 100,000-chip mark and give Day 1a chip leader Nicolas Chouity a run for his money.
Sorel Mizzi and Manig Loeser also had big days on the felt, finishing with 90,225 and 91,550, respectively. Mizzi led the pack for most of the day and stayed in steady cruise control at his table. One of his bigger triumphs came when he shoved the turn over an opponent's bet on the board of . His opponent folded and allowed the aggressive Mizzi to pick up a nice pot. While he was busy being table captain, Karina Jett, who was also seated at that same table, sat back and picked her spots nicely to help her survive to Day 2.
Also taking to action on Saturday were Antonio Esfandiari, Carter Phillips, Sam Trickett, Ben Roberts, Jeff Hakim, Dominik Nitsche, Joe Cassidy and Jennifer “Jennicide” Leigh. They will all be moving on. Along with them, David Benyamine, Ori Miller, Andrew Feldman and Perica Bukara all showed up late after resting up from an extremely late night in the High Roller, which saw Bukara take home the title. That entire bunch has also made it to Day 2.
Some of the less-fortunate players included Roy Winston, Martin Klaeser and Martin Kabrhel. Winston went out after making a big call with top pair for his tournament life only to have his opponent’s two overcards spike an out on the river to send the former World Poker Tour champion to the rail early. Kabrhel stuck the last of his chips in with one card to come on a draw but failed to get there to see his tournament come to an end.
Play resumes tomorrow at 2 p.m. local time when all 141 of the remaining players will clash on the poker battlefield.
There are still plenty of big-name pros left in the field along with handfuls of hungry amateurs looking to be the next Full Tilt Poker Merit Cyprus Classic champion. Be sure to check back with our live reporting team here at PokerNews for all the live coverage.
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