Day 1B of the bwin sponsored WPT Merit Cyprus Classic is a thing of the past and instead we now look forward to the passion, poise and poker of Day 2.
125-players each pulled €4,400 out of their tight leather wallets and took their seat in a Day 2 that consisted of 10-levels of some of the best poker this Mediterranean island is going to see all year. That brings the total attendance to 262-players; down 67 players on last year’s figures in a trend that seems to be following the European poker circuit at present.
One thing that we know for certain is there will be a new WPT Cyprus champion no matter what happens from now on in. Last year, Marvin Rettenmaier made history as he became the first player to win back-to-back main event titles after securing victory here at the Merit Crystal Cove just a few months after securing his first-ever seven-figure score at the WPT Championships in Vegas.
Rettenmaier tried unsuccessfully to gamble with his buy-in on Day 1A and faired little better when he bought in for another bullet on Day 1B. The German superstar lasted just a few hands after the dinner break when ace queen cracked his pocket jacks after his opponent hit a flush on the turn.
Rettenmaier wasn’t the only WPT Champions Club member to make an exit on Day 1B. Vladimir Bozinovic defeated a final table that included Rettenmaier at last years WPT event in Baden, to win his WPT title, and he was eliminated after getting short half way through the day. Bozinovic drew swords with another WPT Champion throughout the day. Dmitry Gromov, the former WPT Vienna champion, sharing a table with Bozinovic but faring little better. The Russian also exited via stage left midway through the day.
The top of the table was littered with names that are not so familiar to readers of poker news and stories. Bernard Samaha, is a Merit Crystal Cove tournament regular, and he took the scalp of World Series Of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, Simeon Naydenov, on his way to a chip lead consisting of 293,700 chips. That impressive haul means Samaha will start at the summit when Day 2 begins, as he accrued more chips than the Day 1A chip leader Alexey Rubin.
Day 2 promises to be a cracker. There is $250,000 for first prize and the likes of Sam Trickett, Marko Neumann, Kara Scott and former WPT Champions Giacomo Fundaro and Rinat Bogdanov are still in with a shout of taking that home.
The action starts at the slightly later time of 14:00 (local time) Sun 18 Aug and you can catch live updates at WPT.com.