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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2007

Chipleaders Leave the Building as David Tran Leads the Last 36

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The chipleaders from Days 1, 2, 3, and 4 are now all gone from the WSOP Main Event. Longtime LA pro David Tran and Philip Hilm lead with 10.0m in chips.

Chipleaders have been an endangered species, with several becoming extinct the last two days. Day 1 chip leader Jeff Norman didn't make it through yesterday, but Gus Hansen (Day 2), Dario Minieri (Day 3), and Dag Martin Mikkelsen (Day 4) were each ready to make a long run on Day 4. They were all gone by the end of the day. Minieri was first to go. He overbet the flop by a million on a flop of {10-Spades}{5-Diamonds}{3-Spades}, and Reagan Silber made the call with pocket threes. Minieri showed {Q-Spades}{8-Spades} but didn't improve, and he was out in 96th ($67,535).

Hansen left before the dinner break. He played much of Saturday on a short stack after losing a big pot to Jason Koshi, then he start open-shoved six times out of ten once to pick up valuable blinds and antes. He grew his stack back up above a million in chips then lost half of them to Allan King's pocket aces. He lost a big race with {A-Spades}{K-Diamonds} vs. Ryan Elson's {J-Spades}{J-Hearts} then finally busted out with {K-Clubs}{5-Spades} vs. Jason Koshi's {Q-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}. Gus Hansen finished 61st ($154,194).

The Day 4 chip leader Dag Martin Mikkelsen had a strong run on the ESPN Feature Table. He took his first big hit when his {A-Diamonds}{K-Diamonds} couldn't connect vs. David Tran's {J-Spades}{J-Hearts}. That dropped him from 5.7m to 4.1m. That got whittled down to 2.6m when he moved all-in with {A-Spades}{K-Diamonds}. David Tran showed {A-Diamonds}{A-Clubs}, and Dag Martin Mikkelsen was out in 42nd ($237,865).

There are no women left in the field as Kelly Jo McGlothlin held {2-Hearts}{9-Hearts} and moved all-in on a flop of {Q-Spades}{Q-Hearts}{7-Hearts} vs. Senovio Ramirez's {10-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}. No help came, and she finished 95th ($67,535). Maria Ho left late when her {A-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds} couldn't improve against Kevin Ferry's {10-Hearts}{10-Clubs}. She finished 38th ($237,865), the best Main Event finish since Tiffany Williamson's 15th place finish in 2005.

Top pros who made their exit included Chad Brown (97th $65,535), Jared Hamby (88th $82,476), Humberto Brenes (83rd $82,476), Huck Seed (73rd $106,382), Julian Gardner (64th $130,288), John Spadavecchia (60th $154,194), and Kirk Morrison (56th $154,194). Hevan "RaiNKhaN" Khan knocked out Humberto Brenes at the ESPN Feature Table and began ran into the bleachers, screaming and high-fiving to his friends. His victory celebrations became more and more bizarre as he danced, jumped onto a chair in a faux-Lambeau Leap, did a jig for thirty seconds, and placed a chair on his head. He'll get airtime certainly, but his terrific play may not make it through all the orchestrations.

David Tran made the greatest movement in chips, from 1.9m at the beginning of the day to 10.0m at the end of the evening. Tran has earned his poker stripes the hard way, playing dozens of $100-500 buy-in events in and around Los Angeles. His big hand agains Day 4 chip leader Dag Martin Mikkelsen got him up to 8.4m, and he chipped up from there.

Other players simply survived the day. John Armbrust got down to 200k, using his lone chips to form AA in hopes to catch pocket aces. He got them ninety minutes later, and it helped him move up to 2.6m by the end of the evening. Jason Welch sat in the bottom few players for most of the day until he doubled through Philip Hilm late. "This is like a freeroll for me," said Welch. "I could have been out a long time ago."

Players will return to Level 25, a big jump up from 25k/50k blinds with a 5k ante to 30k/60k blinds with a 10k ante. That's 120k in every pot to start with, but a quick glance shows that only five players have an M<10 to start with. There are still several players more comfortable with shoving than post-flop play, so it will be interesting to see how the day progresses. No one thinks it will be a short day, and play could extend well into the early Monday hours as they play down to a Final Table. There are no guarantees who will make it, and the dynamics of the Final Table will be determined by its makeup. Online pros, veteran tournament players, high-stakes cash game players, online qualifiers, and even one former champion still remain. That would be Scotty Nguyen, baby, for those who don't know.

Unofficial Chip Counts

David Tran

10,030,000
Philip Hilm 10,000,000
Ray Henson 8,500,000
Hevad "Rain" Khan 6,900,000
Lee Childs 6,675,000
Scott Freeman 6,300,000
Bill Edler 6,000,000
Jerry Yang 5,800,000
Kenny Tran 5,045,000
William Spadea 4,575,000
Kevin Farry 3,800,000
Lee Watkinson 3,550,000
Tuan Lam 3,460,000
Stefan Mattsson 3,400,000
Jon Kalmar 3,000,000
Raymond Rahme 2,750,000
John Armbrust 2,700,000
Ronald Kluber 2,675,000
Hoa Nguyen 2,430,000
Peter Darvill 2,330,000
Bob Slezak 2,300,000
Steven Garfinkle 2,280,000
Jason Welch 2,215,000
Jeff Bryan 2,190,000
Daniel Alaei 2,000,000
Ryan Elson 1,900,000
Scotty Nguyen 1,750,000
Alex Kravchenko 1,705,000
Christian Togsverd 1,640,000
Paulo Loureiro 1,355,000
Mikkel Madsen 1,300,000
Roy Winston 1,175,000
Allan W. King 1,080,000
Jason Koshi 860,000
Kevin Kim 700,000
Robin Bergren 450,000

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