2013 bwin WPT Merit Cyprus Classic Main Event Final Table Set

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Alexey Rybin is right where he has been for the entirety of the 2013 bwin World Poker Tour (WPT) Merit Cyprus Classic Main Event: on top. With 2.698 million chips, he holds the chip lead going into the six-handed final table by more than 1.1 million over his nearest competitor. Just one more day remains for Rybin to achieve one of the rarest accomplishments in tournament poker, leading wire-to-wire.

Rybin grabbed the lead on Day 1A, the first of two starting flights, and has yet to relinquish it. In today’s game, it is unusual to see the same person at the top of the leader board for two consecutive days, let alone four, as Rybin has done. The fields are just too big, the tournaments are just too long, and enough luck comes into play to the odds of it happening extremely remote. Minefields abound in a multi-day tournament and all it takes is one ill-timed call or one unlucky card to send the chip leader down the ladder. And we’re not even talking about going from the big stack to out of the tournament. Even a couple medium sized pots going the wrong way combined with one big hand from someone else can take a person out of the lead for a day.

But the Muscovite is still there, lording over the field. On Monday, he added almost a million chips to his stack. One of his biggest hands of the day came during Level 22 (play ended during Level 24), when both he and Sergey Rybachenko called a 33,000 chip pre-flop raise by Alexander Lahkov. After the flop of T-9♠-8♠, the action checked to Rybachenko, who bet 47,000. Rybin raised him to 108,000, Lahkov folded, and Rybachenko called. Both players checked the Q♣ on the turn and when the 7 was dealt on the river, Rybin made a substantial 200,000 chip bet. Rybachenko was flummoxed, not sure what to do, even though he said he had a set. Eventually, he made the call and saw Rybin flip over Q♠-J for the flopped straight. Rybachenko mucked, not showing his supposed set, and saw his chip stack fall to about 850,000. Rybin, on the other hand, was up to 2.35 million after the hand.

The six remaining players will return to the Merit Crystal Cove Hotel and Casino on Tuesday to play it down to a champion. As we have said, Rybin has a large lead on the field, so he is the odds-on favorite to win. One hand could put any of the next four right back in contention, though, as they have stacks ranging from about 1.6 million to 900,000. Only one player, Pierre Sayegh, needs major help, as he sits with just 349,000 chips.

2013 bwin WPT Merit Cyprus Classic – Final Table Chip Counts

1.    Alexey Rybin – 2,698,000
2.    Albert Daher – 1,595,000
3.    Andrei Nikonov – 1,280,000
4.    Kayhan Tugrul – 1,025,000
5.    Sergey Rybachenko – 921,000
6.    Pierre Sayegh – 349,000

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