The 2010 Full Tilt Poker Merit Cyprus Classic saw the doors shut on Day 3 Monday after six exciting levels of play. The returning field of 45 players was whittled down to the final 18, all of whom are in the money and guaranteed at least $12,995. Heading the final two tables of play is Mathieu Clavet, topping the pack with 650,000 chips.
Clavet had himself a great day filled with plenty of aggression. Right from the get go, Clavet got involved, playing numerous hands either raising or reraising preflop. Toward the end of the night, Clavet was able to get a nice boost when he called Kerem Kiyak’s all-in bet of 105,000 on the board of . Clavet held pocket eights and was up against the for Kiyak. The turn and river couldn’t save Kiyak from sinking and he was sent to the rail as Clavet scooped the pot and was pushed to just over 600,000.
Joe Cassidy, Andrew Feldman, John Dolan and Soren Kongsgaard all returned to action for Day 3. Unfortunately for this bunch, none will be seen on Day 4 — they all hit the rail before hitting the money. Dolan was able to put together solid runs in both the High Roller and Main Event, but fell short of a cash each time.
The bubble burst after short stack Elias Brussianos lost an all-in confrontation to Georges Hanna in the sixth level of the day. No help came to Brussianos, who shoved with the and lost to Hanna's .
Reaching the money were top pros Kelly Kim, David Benyaine and Van Marcus. Jeff Hakim and Eric Mizrachi will also be joining them. Mizrachi was able to outlast his brother Michael in the Main Event, but making it to the money wasn’t easy.
Mizrachi had to suckout to stay alive at one point and he needed to do so by hitting a two outer. He got all-in for his last 85,000 or so with two tens but was up against the pocket queens for Zsolt Vasvenszki. Mizrachi spiked a ten on the flop and held up from there. That pot gave him enough chips to ride the waves until the bubble burst and the day ended shortly thereafter, but he’ll still enter Tuesday’s play as the shortest stack in the room with 82,000 chips.
The big story in Cyprus is Kim, who has made it to the money for the second year in a row. It is only the second annual Merit Cyprus Classic, but last year, Kim placed 11th. Like Mizrachi, Kim’s journey to Day 4 wasn’t easy. On the bubble, he had to win a flip with the against Kfir Yamin’s pocket fives after all of the money went in preflop. Kim was able to flop a king but wasn’t out of the woods as Yamin added a flush draw. The turn and river blanked, and Kim rested easy knowing he’d have some chips to work with. He’ll come into Day 4 with 271,000.
Play resumes Tuesday at 2:00 pm local time in Cyprus. The final 18 players will need to be cut down to one-third of that for the televised final table on Wednesday. Will Kim be able to better his performance from last year? Will it be big names Benyamine or Marcus headlining the final table? Or will a Mizrachi make another big splash in the poker scene?
You’ll have to stay tuned to PokerNews for all the live coverage from Cyprus to see what will happen!
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