Tabatabai on top in WPT Cyprus

Tabatabai on top in WPT Cyprus

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

The diminishing fields of the World Poker Tour haven’t stopped the pros from entering – particularly not in the Full Tilt Poker sponsored WPT Cyprus event, which saw plenty of red names turn out: Patrik Antonius, Andy Bloch, Allen Cunningham, Howard Lederer, Mike Matusow and Chris Ferguson are all still in the running to take down the near-$600,000 first-place prize.

Day 1A attracted some of the top names in the game including Dan Harrington, Huck Seed and 2009 WSOP triple bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro but it was Britain’s John Tabatabai who headed the field at the close of play. He finished the day with a stack of 178,725, a handy lead over a chasing pack that includes Ludovic Lacey, Antonio Esfandiari and Tommy Vedes.

Tabatabai caught a big break midway through the day getting all his chips in with a set of 10s against Fatih Ozpolat’s made queen high straight. The river paired the board giving the young Briton a full house and a bumper chip stack.

Close behind is Full Tilt Pro Phil Gordon, boasting a stack of 157,000. He gained the Day 1b overnight chip lead after eliminating fellow Full Tilt team member John Juanda – he held 88 to Juanda’s 55 when the short-stacked WSOPE 2008 champion moved all-in.

Antonio Esfandiari also made it into the top ten chip counts at the day’s conclusion. Still in the hunt outside is WSOP Main Event winner and legendary author Dan Harrington as well as November Niner and Hit Squad member James Akenhead.

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