The $25,000 High Roller Freeze-Out continued play on Thursday at the 2010 Full Tilt Poker Merit Cyprus Classic. Returning to the felt after Day 1 were 24 heavy hitters, with David Benyamine leading the charge. Play lasted until about 4:30 a.m. before the final nine finally called it quits. Going into Day 3 at the top of the board is Perica Bukara, finishing the day with 951,700.
Bukara was just in Tallinn last week where he finished 14th in the European Poker Tour Main Event. He seems to have brought not only his luggage to Cyprus, but also his aggressive nature and hand-making ability. Time after time, Bukara would either hold a monster preflop or make one on the flop to take a hefty pot from one or two of his adversaries; something that at first had the other players annoyed, but eventually had them laughing by the end of the day.
When the day began, there were plenty of notable players in the field. November Niners Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi and Filippo Candio returned, as did Phil Ivey, Sorel Mizzi and Martin Kabhrel. All five were eliminated during the day.
Mizrachi busted Ivey in the first level of the day. After the turn brought the on the board of , Mizrachi moved all-in dark before the river. The dealer placed the on the river and Ivey called all-in for his last 60,000 or so. Mizrachi showed him bottom set with the and Ivey mucked, hitting the rail before he could even get anything going.
This started what looked like it was going to be a successful day for Mizrachi. He played extremely active all day long and built his stack up to be one of the biggest in the room, where he kept it for most of the day. After having a river bluff picked off by Carter Phillips, Mizrachi started to slide. His wings were finally clipped by chip leader Bukara, who out-flipped Mizrachi’s with after an ace flopped.
Of the 36 players who entered this contest, three have made the 2010 WSOP November Nine. Although Mizrachi and Candio saw their tournament lives end Thursday, John Dolan is still in the hunt and sitting third going into Day 3 with 455,500 chips.
Dolan flopped top pair against Benyamine on the flop before backing into a flush as the turn and river came the and . There was action on every street, with the largest bet coming from Benyamine on the river where he fired a big 91,500. Dolan tank-called with the and won the pot worth over 300,000 chips.
Here’s a look at the remaining nine players in their seating assignments for Day 3 and chip stacks.
Seat 1: Ziv Caspi – 103,500
Seat 2: David Benyamine – 400,300
Seat 3: John Dolan – 455,500
Seat 4: Perica Bukara – 951,700
Seat 5: Andrew Feldman – 356,000
Seat 6: Sam Trickett – 188,200
Seat 7: Ori Miller – 546,000
Seat 8: Jon Turner – 197,700
Seat 9: Carter Phillips – 401,600
The final five spots get paid, so there’s still plenty of work to do for all the players left.
Play will resume on Friday at 4 p.m. local time for the High Roller Freeze-Out. If you can’t wait that long for your poker fix, the Main Event kicks off at 2 p.m. and will have some of the biggest names in poker taking to action. It’s going to be an exciting day of poker on Friday and the PokerNews live reporting team will be on hand to bring it all to you!