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Highlights

Main Event
Day 3 completed

30 Players Through to Day 4, Antonio Buonanno Still Leads

Webjoker • Level 19: 4,000-8,000, 1,000 ante
Antonio Buonanno
Antonio Buonanno

The 2014 partypoker World Poker Tour Merit North Cyprus Classic Main Event started its third day of play with 71 players. With the bubble at 45, there were sure to be a lot of disappointed faces early on.

The big stacks came in guns blazing, busting shorties left and right. And not just the short stacks were at risk, as the bigger stacks didn't avoid each other, either. Start-of-day chip leader Antonio Buonanno had his first six-bet in within the first three hands. Christian Christner put in a five-bet to 67,000, but folded to the 131,500 his aggressive Italian neighbor made it.

Christner was clearly five-betting with not too big a hand, as he folded rather quickly, but some players put in chips voluntarily with premium holdings. Over at Table 1, there was a three-way all-in clash with aces versus queens versus jacks. The aces held up and Abbas Morady almost trippled up, busting one and crippling another.

Dmitry Kataev was one of the bigger stacks in the room early on, and in several updates we discussed his fearless play. Seated behind 40-high towers worth thousands, he looked like a fearless killer, ready for bubble action to increase his stack even more. Well, despite being one of the bigger stacks in the room, he departed before the money. Two hands with ace-king up against bigger hands was all it took for him to go from half a million to zero.

Another controversial moment was a hand Nikolay Vershinin was involved in. Following a raise to 10,000 from early position, action folded to Abbas Morady in the hijack. Before Morady had made his decision, Vershinin had already shouted "All in!" Vershinin wasn't doing this intentional, so much was clear from his demeanor, but that didn't change the situation. This wasn't the first time, either — according to the floor staff, it had happened at least twice before this tournament.

The floor ruled that if Morady would raise, Vershinin would be able to either fold, call, or raise (all in perhaps) — whatever he wanted. Whatever happened, though, he would have to pay 10,000 for Perez's raise. However, if Morady would make the call or fold, the all in would stay and Vershinin had to commit all of his chips. This gave Morady the ultimate move if he had a really big hand, but in the end he decided to fold and leave the pot to Vershinin and Perez.

It was a controversial ruling, but in the end it didn't matter as Morady folded and left it to Vershinin (all in with the {K-Spades}{J-Diamonds}) up against Perez (who called with the {J-Hearts}{J-Spades}). A king on the flop doubled Vershinin, but he would lose a bunch of those earned chips as he received a two-round penalty.

Toby Lewis gathered a lot of chips in the meantime by getting aces all in agains Ali Hassan's ace-king. By the time the chips were in the middle, Hassan had just one out left. Hassan had paired his king on the flop, but after the chips went in on the turn, Lewis had a flush draw accompanying his already-leading over pair. The river wasn't that one single card Hassan needed, and he left the tournament a couple of places before the bubble would burst.

One of the first hands after Vershinin came back from his penalty, he was all in. The amateur player from Russia open shoved a lot of big blinds with pocket nines, this time when it was his turn, and Ori Miller behind him made the call with ace-king. An ace and king on the flop resulted in Vershinin on the rail two spots before the money.

For an exciting minute, it looked like Sam Trickett was going to bubble the WPT North Cyprus. Alexander Lakhov had opened before the flop, and Sam Trickett had just flatted with the {K-Clubs}{K-Diamonds}. The {9-Diamonds}{10-Hearts}{K-Spades} flop saw Lakhov bet 25,500, and Trickett just called again. The {A-Clubs} fell on the turn and Lakhov pushed all in for a couple times the pot. Trickett had 209,000 left and made the call with his set of kings. When play was done at all the other tables, the cards opened. Trickett had a more than decent hand, but it needed to fill up as Lakhov had {J-Hearts}{Q-Spades} for the nuts. The {9-Hearts} fell on the river, pairing the board and doubling Trickett.

It wasn't Trickett to bubble, it was a different well known British player that would go home empty handed. Louis Salter, EPT Monte Carlo runner-up Jack Salter's brother, ran ace-king into aces and was drawing dead to a chop on the turn. Not even a chop would come, and Salter left in 46th place.

The remaining 45 players were guaranteed $8,500 from that moment on. Where in most tournaments action cools down a couple of places before the bubble, and heats up right after as all the shorties try to either double up or die, this WPT by the Mediterranean Sea was the other way around. Action leading up to, and on the bubble, was fast and furious, but things went in a slower pace from there. Sure, players busted, but not as fast as before the bubble remarkably.

Day 1b chip leader Albert Daher found himself short stacked and lost his last chips with seven-nine against ace-three. Day 1a chip leader Andrey Pateychuk departed not much later with ace-king suited all in before the flop against aces.

The last notable to bust was Trickett. He lost a big hand where he bet big on the river, but folded to the surprise shove from Yuri Salikaev. Trickett said he was sure Salikaeval had set of nines; "Show me a card that's not a nine!" he said with a smile. Salikaeval didn't, or maybe couldn't. Trickett lost the remainder of his stack not much later with king-queen all in against fan-favorite Lakhov's ace-jack suited.

Trickett would be the last elimination of the day. Not that the organization waited for Trickett to bust to call it a day, he just so happened to get eliminated in one of the last hands of the fifth 90-minute level.

In one of the breaks before Trickett's bust out, Royal Flush Girls Violet Dillion and Tugba Ercan talked to him and Toby Lewis about their WPT Cyprus experience:

Thirty players remain, and those 30 will return tomorrow for Day 4. Antonio Buonanno leads with 1,175,000 in chips, with blinds at 5,000/10,000 with a 1,000 ante when players return. The plan for Day 4 is to play down to a final table of six. It could very well become a very long day, and PokerNews will be there to supply you with all the updates and photos you can ask for. See you at 1 p.m. local time!

Tags: Albert DaherAlexander LakhovAli HassanAndrey PateychukAntonio BuonannoChristian ChristnerDimitri KataevDmitry KataevLouis SalterMario PerezNikolay VershininOri MillerSam TrickettToby LewisTugba Ercan

Day 4 Seat Draw and Chip Counts (full)

Webjoker • Level 19: 4,000-8,000, 1,000 ante
TableSeatPlayerCountryChip Count
11Toby LewisUnited Kingdom617,000
12Nikolay BaryshnikovRussia506,000
13Ori MillerIsrael450,000
14Andrii NadieliaievUkraine198,000
15[Removed:2]Lebanon528,000
17Oleksandr GnatenkoUkraine211,000
18Dmitry MezhirovRussia182,000
     
22Nicolas ChouityLebanon492,000
23Michel HabibLebanon110,000
24Evgeny StarikovRussia240,000
25Oliver PriceUnited Kingdom626,000
26Dmitry BayramovRussia100,000
27Abbas MoradyIran543,000
29Antonio BuonannoItaly1,175,000
     
31Marco Della TommasinaItaly250,000
32Serdar SaglamTurkey800,000
33Alexander NudinRussia516,000
34Markus RossGermany399,000
36Igor DevkinRussia138,000
37Nuri KuralTurkey59,000
38Alexander LakhovRussia641,000
39Sofia LövgrenSweden228,000
     
41Alexander BogdanovRussia226,000
42Christian ChristnerGermany721,000
44Paolo PetrucciItaly384,000
45Vitaly ZholudevRussia249,000
46Andrejs PerederejevsLatvia169,000
47Dimitrios BallasGreece290,000
48Yuri SalikaevRomania577,000
49Dmitry GromovRussia595,000
Antonio Buonanno it
Antonio Buonanno
it 1,175,000 -75,000
Serdar Sağlam TR
Serdar Sağlam
TR 800,000 737,000
Christian Christner de
Christian Christner
de 721,000 151,000
Alexander Lakhov ru
Alexander Lakhov
ru 641,000 241,000
Oliver Price gb
Oliver Price
gb 626,000 -19,000
Toby Lewis gb
Toby Lewis
gb 617,000 -228,000
Dmitry Gromov ru
Dmitry Gromov
ru 595,000 351,000
Yuri Salikaev RU
Yuri Salikaev
RU 577,000 502,000
Abbas Morady IR
Abbas Morady
IR 543,000 313,000
[Removed:2] LB
[Removed:2]
LB 528,000 -172,000
Alexander Nudin RU
Alexander Nudin
RU 516,000 96,000
Nikolay Baryshnikov ru
Nikolay Baryshnikov
ru 506,000 -84,000
Nicolas Chouity lb
Nicolas Chouity
lb 492,000 12,000
Ori Miller il
Ori Miller
il 450,000 -150,000
Markus Ross de
Markus Ross
de 399,000 -99,000
Paolo Petrucci IT
Paolo Petrucci
IT 384,000 229,000
Dimitrios Ballas gr
Dimitrios Ballas
gr 290,000 55,000
Marco Della Tommasina it
Marco Della Tommasina
it 250,000 -110,000
Vitaly Zholudev RU
Vitaly Zholudev
RU 249,000 -71,000
Evgeny Starikov RU
Evgeny Starikov
RU 240,000 195,000
Sofia Lövgren SE
Sofia Lövgren
SE 228,000 125,000
Alexander Bogdanov RU
Alexander Bogdanov
RU 226,000 226,000
Oleksandr Gnatenko UA
Oleksandr Gnatenko
UA 211,000 46,000
Andrıı Nadıelıaıev UA
Andrıı Nadıelıaıev
UA 198,000 198,000
Dmitry Mezhirov RU
Dmitry Mezhirov
RU 182,000 18,000

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Done for the Day

Webjoker • Level 19: 4,000-8,000, 1,000 ante

We'll be back as soon as possible with end of day chip counts, a recap, and later tonight the seat draw for Day 4.

Price Doubles Through Gnatenko

Webjoker • Level 19: 4,000-8,000, 1,000 ante
Oliver Price
Oliver Price

Oliver Price opened under the gun, and Serdar Saglam three-bet from the button to 47,000. Oleksandr Gnatenko in the big blind cold four-bet from the big blind to 278,000, and Price shoved all in for 295,000 total. Saglam folded after some thinking, but Gnatenko made the call for a couple of bucks more.

Oliver Price: {K-Hearts}{K-Diamonds}
Oleksandr Gnatenko: {A-Spades}{K-Spades}

Price got up from the table as soon as the flop was dealt, because the {A-Clubs} was in the window. The {K-Clubs} and {4-Spades} accompanied the ace though, and Price got back in his seat with his flopped middle set. The {3-Clubs} hit the turn, and the {9-Clubs} fell on the river, double up for Price.

Oliver Price gb
Oliver Price
gb 645,000 350,000
Oleksandr Gnatenko UA
Oleksandr Gnatenko
UA 165,000 -295,000

Tags: Oleksandr GnatenkoOliver Price

Sam Trickett Eliminated in 31st Place ($9,500)

Webjoker • Level 19: 4,000-8,000, 1,000 ante
Sam Trickett
Sam Trickett

Sam Trickett lost a huge pot where we saw him bet out 80,000 on a board of {8-Clubs}{3-Spades}{2-Diamonds}{9-Clubs}{K-Hearts}. His opponent was Yuri Salikaev from Russia, and that player shoved all in for just a little more.

Trickett said he was sure Salikaev had pocket nines, and folded after just fifteen seconds of thinking or so.

Not much later, the remaining chips went in the middle. Alexander Lakhov opened the cutoff for 17,000, and instantly called Trickett's button shove.

Trickett: {K-Diamonds}{Q-Spades}
Lakhov: {A-Diamonds}{J-Diamonds}

The {10-Diamonds}{A-Spades}{7-Clubs} on the flop gave Trickett a gutshot, but no queen was delivered with the {3-Spades} on the turn and {5-Spades} on the river.

Sam Trickett gb
Sam Trickett
gb Busted

Tags: Sam Trickett

Evgeniy Nam Eliminated in 33rd Place ($9,500)

Webjoker • Level 19: 4,000-8,000, 1,000 ante

Evgeniy Nam was ready for his miraculous comeback from one ante, but it wasn't meant to be.

Nam committed his remaining chips before the flop, and Trickett and Dmitry Mezhirov were in the pot as well.

We missed the flop action, but Trickett bet out 45,000 on the turn of a {4-Diamonds}{2-Clubs}{K-Diamonds}{A-Hearts} board, and Mezhirov open folded his pocket sevens.

Nam showed {6-Hearts}{4-Hearts}, and was live against Trickett's {9-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}.

The {10-Hearts} on the river paired Trickett, and Nam made his way to the exit.

Sam Trickett gb
Sam Trickett
gb 352,000 -168,000
Evgeniy Nam RU
Evgeniy Nam
RU Busted

Tags: Evgeniy NamSam Trickett

Nam Had One Ante (No He Has Eight)

Webjoker • Level 19: 4,000-8,000, 1,000 ante

Andrii Nadieliaiev opened for 16,000 from the button, and Dmitry Mezhirov in the small blind pushed all in for 70,000. Evgeniy Nam in the big blind pushed from the big blind for 71,000, and Nadieliaiev thought long and hard, before folding.

Dmitry Mezhirov: {A-Hearts}{10-Spades}
Evgeniy Nam: {A-Diamonds}{K-Clubs}

The {A-Clubs}{6-Hearts}{4-Hearts} paired both, but made no real difference. The {8-Hearts} fell on the turn, which brought a flush draw for Mezhirov. The {K-Hearts} paired Nam, but brought the flush, and Nam was left with just 1,000.

He was all in blind as an ante the next hand, and won the hand when he made a full house with {J-Clubs}{3-Spades}. Comeback time?

Dmitry Mezhirov RU
Dmitry Mezhirov
RU 164,000 79,000
Evgeniy Nam RU
Evgeniy Nam
RU 8,000 8,000

Tags: Dmitry MezhirovEvgeniy Nam

Maksoud Doubles Gromov

Webjoker • Level 19: 4,000-8,000, 1,000 ante

[Removed:2] open shoved the button, effectively putting the short stacks in the small and big blind to the test. The small blind quickly folded, but Dmitry Gromov in the big blind made the call.

Dmitry Gromov: {A-Clubs}{K-Spades}
[Removed:2]: {Q-Diamonds}{K-Clubs}

The {4-Hearts}{4-Spades}{3-Spades}{8-Hearts}{J-Diamonds} board was good for Gromov, and Maksoud handed in 116,000 of his chips to double his Russian opponent.

[Removed:2] LB
[Removed:2]
LB 700,000 -116,000
Dmitry Gromov ru
Dmitry Gromov
ru 244,000 128,000

Tags: Dmitry Gromov