Perica Bukara Wins FTP Merit Cyprus Classic High Roller

Three tough days of poker have drawn to a close over in Cyprus, as the Full Tilt Poker Merit Cyprus Classic High Roller event reached its completion.

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The $25,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament attracted 36 players, making the first prize payout a healthy $373,207 and the final day kicked off with just nine players in the hunt, the chip lead belonging to Perica Bukara.

Carter Phillips was eliminated early on, the bulk of the damage being inflicted on the very first hand of Day 3, when his pocket nines found a flop of K-K-9. Andrew Feldman’s A-K looked in trouble, but the case king appeared on the turn, leaving Phillips with no outs and a few hands later, he was gone.

The first day’s play had ended with Frenchman David Benyamine in possession of the big stack and he remained near the top throughout, but was only able to muster a fourth place finish, after running pocket jacks into Bukara’s pocket queens. It would be another four hours before the High Roller tournament saw another elimination, which came when Andrew Feldman shoved his A-Q into Ori Miller’s A-K, with the board offering no help.

Heads up play began with Bukara in the chip lead, but Feldman fought back well and had the upper hand for some time. Bukara found big hands when it mattered and enjoyed a touch of good fortune, no more so than in the final hand. Bukara re-raised all in pre-flop with a suited K-5 and Feldman found the call with A-J. The flop affected nothing, but a five on the turn put Bukara into the lead, before the river blanked out. Feldman took home $207,337 for his efforts.

The Main Event of the Full Tilt Poker Merit Cyprus Classic is also underway, with 181 entrants stumping up the initial $5,000 + $400 buy in. Players involved on Day 1A included Eric and Michael Mizrachi, Dave Colclough and “November Niner” John Racener, while Day 1B drew the likes of Nicolas Chouity, Antonio Esfandiari, Jennifer Leigh and Carter Phillips.

80 players survived the first day’s poker and 61 the second, meaning a total of 141 players will begin Day 2. Nicolas Chouity is chip leader and he will be looking to follow up his European Poker Tour win in Monte Carlo, back at the end of April, which landed him $2.26 million, as well as his first EPT title.

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