On Tuesday, July 9, Day 4 of the 2019 WSOP $10,000 Main Event kicked off at 12 noon local time.
2019 WSOP: Event #73: $10,000 NLHE MAIN EVENT
- Schedule: July 3 to July 16, 2019
- Venue: Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
- Buy-in: $10,000
- Prizepool: $80,548,600
- Total Entries: 8,569
- Remaining: 354
Before Day 3 ended, Ryan Pochedly became the bubble boy of the Main Event, which caused excitement to well up among the remaining 1,286 players, because it meant they have now secured themselves a $15,000 payday from then on.
They returned on Day 4, but gone was the camaraderie that went on last night. Instead, there was some degree of tension and inimical ambience being felt at the tables as players hold on to their dear chips in the struggle to make it to Day 5 and survive enough to see Day 10, all in the hopes of making their ultimate poker dream come true - to become the champion of the WSOP Main Event and take home that sparkling, life-changing $10 million cash prize.
A Canadian Leads the Pack, Got into the Main Event for just $100 thanks to 888poker
Dean Morrone from Canada is the current chip leader who began Day 4 with only 365,000 chips but secured 4,980,000 chips at the day's end, which shall be good enough for 208 big blinds when play resumes. With only just over $10,000 in lifetime earnings, the Canadian has more than tripled this already, with every player remaining in the Main Event guaranteed at least $34,845.
What makes it all the more interesting is that Morrone got into the $10,000 Main Event as an 888poker qualifier and he only shelled out a humble $100!
After he found out that he was the chip leader, Morrone said, "It feels like an absolute simulation, I can't believe this is real life. I've watched this tournament on TV over the years, always just manifested me playing it, it's all coming into effect. I've got the most unreal support group of family at home. They have been sending me all the energy in the world. To be able to play with the big boys, it's really exciting. I qualified through 888poker in for $100 online, so even a min-cash is really huge to me. Anything past that is going to be extra, so I can't wait for tomorrow!"
He had encountered many key hands that allowed him to build his super-huge stack, with one of them he recalled, "Later on the day, an older gentleman gifted me about 120 big blinds, drawing dead on the flop. That was an absolutely huge pot for me; it catapulted me over three million and I haven't looked back since.
When asked what his plan would be now he's the chip lead, he answered, "Try to go to bed and store as much energy as possible, it's going to be a long day."
Those who Made It
Trailing behind Morrone are also big stack winners, such as Day 3 chip leader Preben Stokkan (2,900,000), former American footballer and 3-time Superbowl winner Richard Seymour (2,750,000), former WSOP bracelet winners Antonio Esfandiari (2,583,000) and Craig McCorkell (2,580,000), Romain Lewis (2,368,000), Dario Sammartino (2,302,000), Todd Brunson (1,151,000), Alex Foxen (933,000), Mike Matusow (726,000) and 2013 WSOP Main Event runner-up Jay Farber (436,000).
Fellow 888poker qualifier Mihai Manole, who won his seat online in February this year, also managed to bag a healthy stack of 3,781,000 chips. He said, "I went from the $100 step to the $1,000 Sunday step. The second time I played it this year I made it. It felt good to have it locked up."
His poker journey on reaching this year's WSOP Main Event is quite different from chip leader Morrone. Manole said, "Last year I didn't qualify, but two years ago I invested like $12,000 in satellites and I won the seat in the final satellite for a $12,500 package. So, it was nice to have it right away this year."
Manole admitted he played the Main Event 11 times and only cashed once, "I finished in 122nd place for $52,718 in 2012. I never had chips in 11 times. This is the first time I've had chips so it's becoming interesting."
Former Main Event champ's Son still in the Game
Even if there were no former Main Event champions who managed to survive and see Day 5, at least one of their offspring is still in the game. Daniel Hachem, son of 2005 Main Event champ Joe Hachem, bagged 2,450,000 chips at the end of the day.
Those Who Didn't Make It
When play resumed at 12 noon, eliminations happened here and there as short stacks shoved all their chips in, hoping that they can score a double early on to be able to continue on their Main Event journeys.
Notable players who didn't make it past Day 4 but will be receiving a $15,000 min-cash payday for their efforts include the likes of:
- 2015 Main Event fourth-place finisher Max Steinberg (1,116th)
- Ben Zamani (1,135th)
- John 'The Razor' Phan (1,139th)
- 2014 WSOP APAC Main Event champion Scott Davies (1,191st)
- 3-time bracelet winner Michael Gathy (1,248th)
- 8-time bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro (1,271st)
Other players who cashed in on Day 4:
- 2016 Main Event 3rd-place finisher Cliff Josephy (759th - $20,200)
- 2019 bracelet winner David "ODB" Baker (873rd - $17,135)
- Big 50 champion Femi Fashakin (917th - $17,135)
- 2015 Main Event third-place finisher Neil Blumenfield (953rd - $17,135)
Jean-Robert Bellande (415th - $30,780), partypoker ambassador Bertrand Grospellier (425th - $30,780) and Barny Boatman (466th - $30,780) were not as lucky as they also got eliminated late into the day.
888poker Qualifiers also Cash in the Main Event
Lucky 888poker qualifiers who were able to secure a min-cash for their efforts in this year's WSOP Main Event include: David Hu, Florin Pandilica, Kyriakos Papadopouluos, Timothy Cavallin, and William White.
Other 888poker qualifiers to have successfully secure cashes on Day 4 were Andres Korn (577th - $24,560), Mikhail Sokolovskiy (600th - $24,560), Diego Ventura (740th - $20,200), Jason James (755th - $20,200), and Thomas Muehloecker (771st - $18,535).
Three Former Main Event Champs Eliminated
There were three former Main Event champions remaining when Day 4 began, but unfortunately Lady Luck isn't on their side this time as they all went bust before the day ended.
Chris Moneymaker shoved all his 20 big blinds in with an open-ended straight draw versus Ron West's set that held up, sending the 2003 champ to the rail in the 687th spot for $20,200.
Next on the chopping block was two-time Main Event champ Johnny Chan. He got an 8 pair on a 6-3-2 board and went all in. Eric Froehlich held a flush draw and a fifth heart he needed appeared on the turn, sending the 10-time WSOP bracelet winner to the rail.
The last hope for the former WSOP Main Event champs rested on the shoulders of Qui Nguyen, but he too failed to push through. He seemed to be doing fairly well until he clashed with Sean Mills. He doubled up afterwards but eventually fell at the hands of start-of-day chip leader Preben Stokkan. Nguyen's downfall now confirms that there's going to be a first-time winner of the Main Event this year.
Here's the list of End-of-Day Chip Counts, showing the top 20 spots for Day 4:
The 354 remaining players shall return once again on July 10, Wednesday at noon local time.