He had the chip lead for just about the entire tournament, and Alexey Rybin did not let it go as he took out the bwin World Poker Tour (WPT) Merit Cyprus Classic.
The Russian held a dominant chip lead going into the final day of the event, and he kept up his stellar play en route to topping the 262 player field and winning the $258,000 cash prize.
Pierre Sayegh was the first of the final six players to be eliminated after he came second best in a showdown against Albert Daher. Sayegh went all in pre flop with Ace Nine of Clubs and was called by the eventual runner-up, who showed Pocket Sevens. The Sevens held of the board and the tournament was down to five.
Daher then claimed his second straight scalp of the final table after eliminating Sergei Rubachenko in fifth spot. Rybachenko shoved with Pocket Tens pre flop and was called by Daher, who was way out in front with Pocket Kings.
Rybin then claimed a final day scalp of his own as he knocked Kayhan Tugrul out of the event. Tugrul moved all in with Ace Ten and was promptly called by the eventual winner, who had Tugrul dominated with Ace King. The Ace King remained dominant on the board to put the event down to its final three players.
Andrei Nikonov was eliminated in third place after losing a showdown to his fellow countryman Rybin. Nikonov went all in with Ace Jack and was met with a call by Rybin, who was able to go one better with Ace Queen, which held on the board to win him the hand.
Nikonov’s elimination put Rybin and Daher in heads up play, with Rybin having the lead when play began. It was the Russian’s game from there as he quickly beat Daher to take out the event.
In the final hand of the Classic, Daher raised to 120,000 pre flop with King Nine off suit. Rybin went all in with Ace Five off suit and was called by Daher, who needed to hit some cards on the board to stay in the event.
It did not happen, however, as Rybin hit an Ace on the flop to put him further in the lead. The Seven of Clubs on the turn and Two of Clubs on the river did not help Daher, and Rybin was declared the winner of the bwin WPT Merit Cyprus Classic.
It is the first major live poker event won by Rybin, but the $258,000 he earned from the Classic is not his biggest cash prize. The Russian won €270,000 (around $366,840) after coming fifth in the €5,000 EPT San Remo Main Event back in 2010.