Merit Poker Classic Draws Sizable Field; Baburin Leads After Day 2

Merit Poker Classic Draws Sizable Field; Baburin Leads After Day 2

Sergey Baburin

After a tumultuous six levels of 75 minutes, Day 2 of the Merit Poker Classic $5,300 Main Event has come to an end with 149 out of 649 players bagging their chips for Day 3, Friday, May 10. Claiming the Day 2 chip lead is Sergey Baburin with 1,573,000 in chips.

But he’s not the only player to have put more than a million chips in their bag, an anonymous player called “John Two” takes second place in the chip counts with 1,299,000, followed by Andreas Christoforou (1,175,000), Shahar Levi (1,134,000), Pavel Plesuv (1,065,000), and the Day 1d chip leader Shaul Meir with 1,006,000.

The day started with 249 players out of 508 entries taking their seats. Over the first four levels, another 141 extra entries were accumulated to take the total number of entries up to 649, creating a prize pool of $2,990,627. This means 71 players will be in the money for at least $9,720 with the winner walking away with the first-place prize of $565,157 and bragging rights.

Other notable players making it through to Day 3 with an above average stack include Vlad Darie, Florian Duta, Dragos Trofimov, Pavel Kovalenko, Ben Farrell, Boris Kolev, Demosthenes Kiriopoulos, Fahredin Mustafov, Manig Loeser, and the Day 1b and 1e chip leaders Alexandru Papazian and Kacper Pyzara.

The partypoker representatives probably have mixed feelings about today. Ludovic Geilich busted earlier in the day when he shoved his pair of sixes on the eight-nine-trey flop and was called by Christoforou who held ace-queen. The queen on the turn meant Geilich had to reenter but he managed to end the day with 399,000. Kristen Bicknell went up and down the chip counts throughout the day but finished with 317,000.

Joni Jouhkimainen bagged 192,000 which is still worth 24 big blinds by the start of the day. Anatoly Filatov tossed 90,000 in his bag at the end of the day and has got some work to do on Day 3. Dzmitry Urbanovich and Josip Simunic were less lucky and failed to win their final all-ins.

Other familiar faces who failed to find a bag at the end of the day include Eyal Eshkar, Matthias De Meulder, Daria Feshchenko, Ali Reza Fatehi, Duff Charette, Aleksandr Gofman, Igor Yaroshevskyy, Rainer Kempe, Mario Mosböck[/b], and Bart Lybaert.

Day 3 will start at noon local time, Friday, May 10 with Level 15 which features a small blind of 4,000, big blind of 8,000, and a big blind ante of 8,000. Six levels of 75 minutes each are scheduled again with a 10-minute break after every two levels. The full chip counts and a seat draw for Day 3 will be posted by the PokerNews live reporting team once they have been received from the organization. Make sure to check back for all the updates from the Merit Crystal Cove Hotel and Casino.

2019 Merit Poker Classic $5,300 Main Event Schedule

Day Date Starting Time Late Reg Entries Survivors Further Information
1a Monday May 6th 12:00 Thursday May 9, ~19:00 93 43 Play 8 Levels of 60 minutes
1b Tuesday May 7th 12:00 Thursday May 9, ~19:00 161 80 Play 8 Levels of 60 minutes
1c Wednesday May 8th 12:00 Thursday May 9, ~19:00 202 96 Play 8 Levels of 60 minutes
1d Wednesday May 8th 21:30 Thursday May 9, ~19:00 35 19 Play 8 Levels of 30 minutes
1e Thursday May 9th 10:00 Thursday May 9, ~19:00 17 11 Play 8 Levels of 20 minutes
2 Thursday May 9th 13:30 Thursday May 9, ~19:00 508 249 Play 6 Levels of 75 minutes
3 Friday May 10th 12:00 Closed 649 149 Play 6 Levels of 75 minutes
4 Saturday May 11th 12:00 Closed TBD
5 Sunday May 12th 12:00 Closed Play down to a winner


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The PokerNews live reporting team will be on the floor start to finish in the Merit Crystal Cove Hotel and Casino. Check out all the Merit Poker Classic Live Updates in the PokerNews Live Reporting section.

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  • Nearly 3 million USD to be divided at partypoker Merit Poker Classic; winner receives $565,157.

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