2014 partypoker World Poker Tour Merit North Cyprus Classic

Main Event
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Main Event
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Antonio Buonanno Leads WPT Cyprus Into Money Day

Webjoker • Nivel 14: 1,200-2,400, 400 ante
Antonio Buonanno
Antonio Buonanno

Day 2 of the 2014 partypoker World Poker Tour Merit North Cyprus Classic Main Event was again about surviving. The money was nowhere to be seen yet, and the day was about grinding and gaining chips. With 82 players from Day 1a and 98 from Day 1b, a total of 180 players started out at 1 p.m. local time — no wait, make that 210 as a bunch of players entered or reentered before the start of Level 2.

After the first 90-minute level, registration closed and the total amount of entries was made public — 404 entries made for a $1,471,320 prize pool. Of that, $310,000 was reserved for the winner, plus a ticket worth $15,400 for the WPT World Championship at Borgata at the end of the season. A total of 45 players will reach the money, but that stage wouldn't be reached just yet.

Things did move rapidly, though, with just 79 players surviving the second day of play. All the time in the world remains, as there are three more days to go before a winner will be crowned.

Starting out as the chip leader was Lebanese high roller Albert Daher. Daher again played his own style, which consists of playing a whole lot of pots, and winning most of them. That last part malfunctioned at first, and Daher fell way back. One of the bigger pots he lost was the one where he called a five-bet in position, called a flop bet, but gave up on the turn. His opponent, Christian Christner, started out as one of the shortest stacks, but gained huge towers of chips without having to show his cards.

Daher lost a fun little pot to Alexander Lakhov as well, where the hand itself wasn't as interesting, but the table talk sure was. Lakhov goated his Lebanese opponent into playing a pot with the big blind sitting out. The two of them were at it throughout the entire hand, and had a big laugh when Lakhov rivered a full house and got paid.

"At the end of the day, I have your stack," laughed Daher. "I promise you."

Daher didn't get his entire stack, though, and the two went on to finish with above average stacks, so they just might find themselves dueling on Day 3 if they have a favorable table draw which lets them meet again.

There were some controversial situations as well. Ilan Boujenah wasn't happy with a ruling that set him aside from the table for two hands. He was accused of angle shooting, while he claimed to do nothing wrong. Walking barefoot, he was furiously lifting his hands in the air out of dispair. He took his straw hat and angrily slammed it on the table.

Even more interesting was a situation just minutes before on Toby Lewis' table. A player opened to 2,300, and another player made the call. Lewis then squeezed from the button to 8,000. The initial raiser folded, but the third involved player shoved all in. Lewis asked for a count, and the dealer started counting the big chips. As soon as it was clear that the player had Lewis covered, the Brit said "OK, that's fine" to indicate the dealer didn't need to count more as it was clear that Lewis had to decide for his tournament life. The Russian-speaking dealer misinterpreted Lewis' words as an indication that Lewis was folding, and announced "Pass." The Russian speaking player who had just pushed his stack forward, thought Lewis had folded, and proudly showed his {9-Diamonds}{9-Hearts}.

And Lewis just sat there, with his cards still face down.

The floor was called over, and several players on the table tried to explain what happened. A Russian-speaking floor came over as well, and eventually the man in charge was clearly informed what exactly had happened. He thought about it, made 100% sure it was a mistake by the dealer and not of one of the players, and then decided that he couldn't penalize any of the two involved players, as it wasn't their fault that the situation existed. He ruled that both Lewis and the all in player had to take their stacks back (the 8,000 squeeze from Lewis, and the 56,500 push from the other player), and that the two would divide the 7,000 in the middle.

Lewis showed his {A-Clubs}{J-Spades} and was at peace with the situation, though he said he would have most likely called. If Lewis had called he would have been in a race. He could have been out, or he could have doubled, but instead he lived to fight another day, and that day is Day 3. He ended Day 2 with an impressive 298,000.

Leading the 79 remaining players was none other than Antonio Buonanno with 428,000 in chips. The European Poker Tour Monte Carlo winner had a huge stack all of the sudden, but when we asked him how he got all of those chips, he said he just grinded no showdown pots the entire day. Yesterday, he wore a shirt (and matching jacket) with the text "Antonio Buonanno Grand Final Winner Monte Carlo 2014," so we wouldn't forget. If he ends up winning this World Poker Tour here in North Cyprus, he can go to the printer and add a little more text to it. Maybe that's not even needed, though, as who would forget about an Italian winning two huge tournaments like this?

The players will return Monday at 1 p.m. local time. The first hurdle that they'll have to take is reaching the money stage. With the WPT paying 45 spots, that shouldn't take all that long. PokerNews will again be right there in the belly of the beast, bringing you all the updates you can ask for, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, enjoy this video of the famous WPT party at the beach last night. This wasn't just any other party; with fire dancers, a capoeria performance, live music, and headline act from world renowned DJ Subzero, it was a party most will not easily forget:

Chip Counts from Big Stack and Notables

Webjoker • Nivel 14: 1,200-2,400, 400 ante

A recap of todays action will follow later tonight.

Antonio Buonanno it 428,000 8,000
Dimitri Kataev 377,000
Şeref Dursun Anar TR 335,000 85,000
Oliver Price gb 318,000
Nicolas Chouity lb 316,500 132,200
Christian Christner de 312,000 18,000
Alexander Lakhov ru 309,500 49,500
Andrıı Nadıelıaıev UA 306,500 237,800
Ori Miller il 299,500
Toby Lewis gb 298,000 243,000
Raul Olarescu ro 271,000 61,000
Albert Daher lb 261,500 11,500
Alexander Nudin RU 255,500 -54,500
Sam Trickett gb 241,000 31,000
Nikolay Vershinin RU 221,000 168,600
Nicolay Langfeldt no 164,000 128,700
[Removed:2] LB 158,000 3,000
Sofia Lövgren SE 126,000 -29,000
Maxim Panyak ru 125,000 -25,000
Toni Judet ro 99,800 9,800
Antoine Abou Khalil LB 75,500 -43,500
Andrey Pateychuk ru 69,500 41,200
Dmitry Gromov ru 59,000 -123,700
Yury Gulyy ru 55,500 55,500

Sakis Nicolaou Eliminated

Webjoker • Nivel 14: 1,200-2,400, 400 ante

We missed all the details, but Sakis Nicolaou got his last 34,700 in before the flop with {A-Diamonds}{K-Clubs}. Nicolay Langfeldt made the call, but folded after Albert Daher squeezed behind him. Daher had {K-Diamonds}{K-Spades}, and that hand was the best one after the river as well: {K-Hearts}{J-Hearts}{9-Hearts}{Q-Clubs}{7-Clubs}. We'll soon find out how much Daher now plays, as it's almost time for bagging and tagging.

Sakis Nicolaou CY Eliminat

Kings Versus Tens

Webjoker • Nivel 14: 1,200-2,400, 400 ante

Ali Hassan opened to 5,500, and Şeref Dursun Anar made the call. [Removed:2] squeezed to 19,000 from the hijack, and Alexander Lakhov in the cutoff cold called. The button and both blinds folded, and Hassan four bet to 45,900. Dursun Anar quickly folded, but Maksoud had bigger plans. He five bet to 90,000, and Lakhov quickly released. Hassan shoved all in for 135,600, Maksoud made the call.

Ali Hassan: {K-Diamonds}{K-Hearts}
[Removed:2]: {10-Spades}{10-Hearts}

"Come on baby, one time!" said Hassan.

He asked for his one time, and if he meant doubling up by that, he got it: {J-Hearts}{2-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds}{5-Spades}{K-Spades}. Full house for Hassan, Maksoud has to continue a lot shorter.

Ali Hassan TR 302,500 221,600
[Removed:2] LB 155,000 -85,000

Taguri: Alexander LakhovAli Hassan

Down to 81

Webjoker • Nivel 14: 1,200-2,400, 400 ante

With 81 players remaining of 404 entries, the average stack is just under 150,000. There are three days remaining to get a winner here in North Cyprus, that should be enough right?

Price Doubles Through Boika in Big Cooler

Webjoker • Nivel 14: 1,200-2,400, 400 ante

Aliaksei Boika opened to 5,100 from middle position, and Oliver Price on the button three bet to 12,800. Both blinds folded, and Boika four bet to 28,000. Price five bet to 43,400, Boika shoved, and Price called all in for 155,600.

Aliaksei Boika: {A-Spades}{K-Spades}
Oliver Price: {A-Clubs}{A-Diamonds}

Boika wouldn't get lucky, as the aces held up: {J-Clubs}{9-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}{3-Clubs}{10-Clubs}. Price made a flush and doubled through the Belarusian.

Oliver Price gb 318,000 257,100
Aliaksei Boika by 122,000 -48,000

Taguri: Aliaksei BoikaOliver Price

Unlucky Number Seven

Webjoker • Nivel 14: 1,200-2,400, 400 ante
Runner runner no problem for Trickett
Runner runner no problem for Trickett

They say it's simply a 50/50, and you shouldn't worry about the way the board develops when it's all in before the flop. But sometimes, just sometimes, it can really hurt. Just ask Harprit "Rana" Gurnam who just suffered a roller coaster of feelings in a board run out against his mate Sam Trickett.

Gurnam shoved all in for the 20,000 he had left, and got a call from Sam Trickett.

Harprit Gurnam: {7-Hearts}{7-Spades}
Sam Trickett: {A-Clubs}{J-Diamonds}

It wasn't a big pot whatsoever, but it was the most important one for Gurnam. This could either be his last hand, or maybe the start of a great comeback.

Things were looking good for the Brit on the flop, as he hit his set: {A-Spades}{K-Spades}{7-Clubs}. Trickett did pair up though, leaving him some runner runner outs to steal the pot and hopes away from Gurnam.

He wanted to see a king, ace, queen, jack, or ten on the turn - just some paint to leave the door open. The {A-Hearts} on the turn was just the card Trickett was looking for.

Gurnam wasn't so convinced anymore that he would win the hand.

And his gut feeling came true. The {A-Diamonds} on the river ended the hand in dramatic fashion, making Trickett quads and just a tiny bit richer in chips. Meanwhile it meant the departure of the (still cheery) Gurnam.

Sam Trickett gb 210,000
Harprit Gurnam GB Eliminat

"I feel a big fight Albert!"

Webjoker • Nivel 14: 1,200-2,400, 400 ante
Alexander Lakhov
Alexander Lakhov

"I feel a big fight Albert!" said Alexander Lakhov on the button before a card was dealt. "Huh?" replied Daher, not seeing what was going on. Lakhov repeated "I feel a big fight" pointing to the big blind who wasn't at the table. With a big blind unprotected, Daher in the cutoff, and Lakhov on the button, it was very likely something was going to happen.

And so it did.

"I hope I have kings!" laughed Lakhov, seemingly ready for a battle. "Why do you ask for kings? You probably go all in with fours!" laughed Daher as action folded to him in the cutoff. "You have to raise!" said Lakhov to Daher.

Daher checked his cards - "Why you look?" Lakhov asked, "Because I want to make it look like I have a hand" said Daher, raising to 4.000 in the process. "I have to call of course" said Lakhov, doing exactly that. "I'm going to try to bluff you post flop ok?" Lakhov smiled.

The small blind folded, the big blinds chips were already in the middle.

Daher continued for 3,500 on {3-Hearts}{9-Spades}{3-Spades}, and Lakhov made the call. The turn came the {Q-Spades} and both players checked.

With the {5-Spades} on the table as the river, there was now four to a flush out there, and Daher bet 9,500. Lakhov raised to 26,000 within twenty seconds of thinking.

Daher made the call, but just stammered "Wow!" after Lakhov rolled over {5-Clubs}{5-Hearts} for the rivered full house.

"Real hand" laughed Lakhov, "I had a real hand too," replied Daher. "You predicted this hand" he continued. The two of 'em laughed about the hand, with Lakhov kind of teasing Daher about the situation.

"At the end of the day I have your stack, I promise you" laughed Daher, and they were off to the next hand.

Alexander Lakhov ru 292,000 268,800
Albert Daher lb 250,000 -30,000

Taguri: Albert DaherAlexander Lakhov