Alexey Rybin could have been the star of the PartyPoker Big Game VII. The Russian stole the show; quickly created a profit of around $20k with his loose playing style before being inexplicably voted off by poo-poo watching public.
The Russian didn’t take his money and run. Instead he invested €4,400 of it in a Day 1A seat. This time he joined the party late. He entered the arena at the end of Level Six and when the 10-levels were all but done, he took the scalp of his Russian compatriot Sergey Rybachenko to take the chip lead with a monstrous stack of 216,500.
Nobody is going to be voting Rybin off this thing. Nope…you are going to have to prize his arse off his seat with a searing hot pitchfork.
The bwin sponsored WPT Merit Cyprus Classic is one of the only European poker events that we can experience in the sun. The 62-tournaments we race through in Sin City take care of that for us. So it’s a great venue, especially if you are a poker player that has a family. The venue has everything that you would expect for a Mediterranean location. The family can play while the poker players play…perfect.
137-players turned up to play poker in this contentious part of the world, 27-players down on last years total, meaning that we are going to have to welcome 193-players on Day 1B if we are going to see a +EV field. Before we get to Day 1B, let’s examine the crux of Day 1A. It was a day that saw most of the big boys arriving late. Sam Trickett, Alexey Rybin and WPT Champions Club Members Marvin Rettenmaier and Michael Mizrachi all arrived at the end of Level Six after taking rest from their previous nights excursions in the PartyPoker Big Game.
Rettenmaier and Mizrachi hadn’t shaken off that cash game feel as both players had that gambling bug written all over them. They were here to spin it up, or crash and burn, and neither of them span up anything. The WPT Champions both exited before any chips were placed in plastic bags, but we do expect them to return on Day 1B.
Steve Billirakis and Kelly Kim were two of the stars on show that did arrive prompt and pristine. The two friends were travel buddies and found themselves seated next to each other for most of the day. We managed to catch up with the two-time WSOP champion Billirakis who shared with us the difficulties of continuing with his involvement in the live tournament circuit now he is a father of two young children. The man from Chicago finished the day with 45,500 chips; but Kelly was not so fortunate busting out just before the dinner.
Roger Hairabedian was the star of the PartyPoker Big Game, and the man who left with most of the dough. For a while it looked like his heater would continue here on Day 1A. His to and fro battle with Rami Shouman proving to be the highlight of the day, but if you get Big Roger involved in a tussle he can run it up as easily as he can let it go, as it proved to be the case. Hairabedian was the chip leader heading to the break and then returned to dust of all of his chips and was out before the level ended. Shouman would benefit from the demise of Hairabedian as he finished in the top five with 144,800 chips.
Marko Neumann looks set for a deep run. We all know that German poker is experiencing something of a renaissance and he did look like a quality act throughout the day. Neumann finished with 116,900. Artem Vezhnekov looked for all the world that he would be our chip leader as Day 1A came to a close. The Russian picked up the chip lead right at the beginning of the tournament, and although he passed it to Shouman, Hairabedian and Ercan Olgun throughout the day, he had reclaimed it with just one hand to play; when along came that man Rybin to rip it from his grasp – and you just try and take it away from him.
Day 1B will commence on Sat 17 Aug at 13:00 (local time) and live updates are available at WPT.com.