Day 4 of the 2013 bwin World Poker Tour Merit Cyprus Classic began with 14 players, and after eight hours of play only six remain.
For the fourth consecutive day Alexey Rybin is the man atop the chip counts. The fearless and aggressive Russian grabbed chip lead at the end of Day 1a and he's never relinquished it. Rybin boasts 2,698,000 in chips heading into Wednesday's final table, more than a million above his nearest rival Albert Daher (1,595,000). Pierre Sayegh, who seemed to be card dead for most of the day, will return as the short stack with 349,000.
2013 WPT Cyprus Merit Classic Final Table
The first player to fall on Day 4 was Baris Topkaya, and it was none other than Rybin who handled the dirty work. Oleg Suntsov was the next to hit the rail. Bernard Samaha felt priced in to call Suntsov’s three-bet shove with the and came from behind to beat Suntsov’s when the board ran out .
Despite picking up those chips, Samaha exited in 12th place. Holding the , Samaha made trips on a board of but ran into the full house of Andrei Nikonov holding the . The on the river changed nothing, and Samaha made his way out of the tournament. Moments later, Natalya Nikitina’s lost a race against Daher’s and she exited in 11th.
Interested in playing on PartyPoker? Why wait? Click here, download the software, and start getting in on the action today!
The remaining 10 players moved to the unofficial final table and the eliminations slowed dramatically. A few short stacks doubled up, while Andrei Nikonov couldn’t win a race.
It was more than two hours before the next player was eliminated. Jeff Firatli exited in 10th when he shoved with over Daher’s . Alexandr Lahkov fell soon after that when his couldn't outrun Kayan Tugrul's .
Kfir Yamin had declared throughout the tournament that it was “my time.” Finally, on Day 4, he ran out of time. Yamin had a few double ups during the day but finally ran his into Sergey Rybachenko's .
The last to go before the official six-handed final table was Canadian online qualifier Maximilian Droege. He had been a bundle of energy and endless chatter from the time the first card was dealt until his exit. After losing a flip to cripple his stack, Droege moved the rest of his stack in preflop with but was in bad shape when Rybachenko called with . The cards fell , and Droege stood up to a generous round of applause.
The remaining players congratulated each other before departing to prepare for the chance to win the top prize of $258,000, which includes a seat at the $25,000 WPT Championship next year.
The final table starts at 1 p.m. local time on Wednesday. PokerNews will be following along with the live stream, which has a 30 minute delay, so we will bringing you all the action beginning at 1:30 p.m. See you then!
Photo courtesy of the World Poker Tour.