By Lisa Yiasemides
It was all change at the last after a monster pot saw two players hit the rail, bringing about the bubble and creating a new chip leader in the process.
Vladimir Lappo (pictured) starts the day in front of the rest with a huge 1,081,000 stack. No one else broke the seven-figure mark here at Casino Sochi, but Vlada Stojanovic came closest, accumulating 816,000. Viktor Ustimov (750,000), Vahe Martirosyan (735,000) and Dmitriy Ponomarev (662,000) round out the top five positions.
Late registration was open for the first four levels of the day and by the end of it, 489 entries had been logged. Once registration closed, the field began to dwindle quickly, that was until there were around ten left at which point play typically slowed down.
The chip lead changed hands numerous times in the last hour or so but there was little difference between those at the top. That was until the hand that catapulted Lappo into the lead. With two to go until the money stages were reached, Lappo opened under the gun and Anton Agafonov three-bet all in for 12 big blinds. Andrey Osipov was in the big blind and he flat called, before Lappo called too. Osipov led all in on the flop with ace-high and was dominated by Lappo, who couldn’t call quick enough with pocket-aces. Agafonov was in slightly better shape with a gutshot, but the turn and rivers bricked, leaving Lappo to collect the biggest pot of the tournament so far.
There are still some big names in contention. Ernest Shakaryan (646,000) – pictured left – Nikita Bochkin (457,000), Andrey Zaichenko (329,000), Alexander Denisov (315,000), Maxim Lykov (229,000), Natalia Nikitina (219,000), Dmitry Yurasov (150,000) and Vitaly Lunkin (125,000) – pictured right – are just some of the big names still in the running.
It wasn’t good news for everyone though with many notables exiting throughout the day. There were three Champions Club members in the field at the start but neither Alexander Lakhov, Dmitry Gromov nor Andrey Pateychuk were able to progress.
They were in good company at the rail with Konstantin Puchkov, Petr Bartagov, Maksim Panyak, Kiryl Radzivonau, Nikolay Fal, Andrey Danilyuk, Uri Gilboa, Andrey Kotelnikov, WPT High Roller runner up Aleksey Istomin, Giorgiy Skhulukhiya and Danilo Velasevic all falling before the bell rang.
Tomorrow players will pick up where they left off, with blinds rewinding to Level 16 (3,000-6,000 6,000 big blind ante. For the first time, the online qualifiers will join. Among them are partypoker Ambassador Anatoly Filatov and Matas Cimbolas.
See you back here tomorrow at 1pm local time, where a maximum of 11 levels are on the clock unless the final six are reached, whichever comes first.
WPT UK photos courtesy of Tomas Stacha.