The first of two starting days of the partypoker World Poker Tour National Cyprus Main Event at the Noah's Ark Deluxe Hotel & Spa attracted a total of 74 unique entries and 12 re-entries. Once nine levels were finished, less than half of the entries survived and advanced to Day 2. Any of the 41 Day 1a survivors are also eligible to return on Day 1b and then take the bigger of the two stacks forward to Day 2 on Sunday.
Sergey Minaev, who finished sixth in the LEI Main Event on Thursday, bagged 193,300 in chips for the lead thanks to a spectacular showdown with Paul-Francois Tedeschi near the end of the day. The Frenchman had flopped two pair and Minaev put him all in after the turn with for an open-ended straight draw and flush draw, spiking another spade on the river to bust Tedeschi.
Michael Mizrachi showcased yet another of his incredible roller coaster rides that saw the American from zero to hero and involved in many big pots. He busted Manig Loeser after flopping a full house with pocket aces and the Vienna-based pro rivering a weaker full house to fall into the trap. Loeser however re-entered successfully and bagged up 70,200. World Series of Poker bracelet winner Simeon Naydenov also re-entered and got pushed out of a big pot by "The Grinder" in the last level to finish with 54,900 in chips.
Other big stacks include Dimitar Yosifov (157,100), Yilmaz Aykutalp (116,600), Onur Unsal (104,900), Barny Boatman (90,400), Kelly Kim (88,200) and Nikolay Tsanev (84,800). Tsanev could have had even more chips but ran pocket queens into kings and the of Mohamed Almani in the last few hands of the day. Other familiar faces of the international poker circuit were even less fortunate: Jan Bendik, Sinem Melin, Roman Pavliuk and 2013 PCA champion Dimitar Danchev all ran out of chips entirely.
Day 1b kicks off at 13:00 local time (12:00 CET) and the PokerNews live reporting team will be back to bring you all good and bad beat stories.