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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2009 | The Works

Main Event, Day 4 – Highlights Of The First Four Days Of The Main Event

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We're through Day 4 of the Main Event at the 2009 World Series of Poker and only 407 of the original 6,494 players are remaining. For those of you who have missed out on the action, here are a few highlights thus far:

On Day 1A, Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame, was one of the early chip leaders when he finished with 89,575 in chips. The end of day chip leader initially was reported as Eric Cloutier with 150,750 in chips but it turns out Cloutier only had 15,075 in chips and Redmond Lee was the actual Day 1A chip leader with 134,275. Andy Bloch, Allen Cunningham, and Isaac Haxton would be among the players who didn't survive to day 2.

On Day 1B, only 873 players took part in the action and the end of day chip leader was Brandon Demes with 137,075. Former Main Event winners Doyle Brunson and Chris Moneymaker hit the rail before the clock struck midnight but players like Mike Matusow and Barry Greenstein survived... barely.

On Day 1C, five levels were played as opposed to the four played on the first two days and 1,696 players took to the poker tables in their effort at attaining poker glory and fame. Joe Cada ended the day as the chip leader with 187K with three time 2009 WSOP bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro lurking not too far behind with 147K. Phil Hellmuth survived the day, albeit as a short stack after making another grand (if you want to call it that) entrance as Caesar. Daniel Negreanu was not so fortunate as his day was short lived.

Day 1D was embroiled in drama and controversy as for the first time in Main Event history players were shut out of playing in the event. The Rio reached their capacity of just over 2,800 players early in the morning leaving hundreds of players without a seat. WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack held an impromptu meeting with the disgruntled players where he repeatedly apologized for the events of the day and later told me that it was the worst day of his entire career. Despite the drama, there was some poker played and Troy Weber surged to a commanding chip lead with 353K in chips. Michael Binger, David Williams, Jeff Madsen, and Ivan Demidov ended the day with 0 in chips and are resigned to having to try again next year.

1,476 players returned to battle it out on day 2A and ironically the player who misreported his chips on day 1A ended up as the chip leader with 384K. Players also near the top of the leader board included Greg Mueller, who was fresh off winning two bracelets this summer. Mike Matusow, Gavin Smith, and Tony G. were not as fortunate as they met their demise sometime during the day. Only 648 players remained after the five levels of play had completed.

Day 2B was a massive undertaking as a WSOP Main Event record 2,924 players started the day. More than half of that record setting field was gone by the end of the day including the likes of Erick Lindgren, Scotty Nguyen, and Howard Lederer. The chip leader at the end of the day was Amir Levahot with 610K. Phil Ivey started to make his presence known finishing the day 10th in chips with 346K.

The players were finally all under one roof on Day 3 as 2,044 players converged upon the Amazon and Brasilia Rooms at the Rio. After four levels of play a mere 789 players remained as the tournament dangerously approached the money bubble. Jason Alexander's excellent run ended as did the tournaments of Greg Raymer and Dutch Boyd. It was international poker super star Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier who vaulted to the top of the leader board with an amazing 1.385 million in chips.

Only needing to lose 141 players to make the money on Day 4, it took only two hours and ten minutes until the tournament was being played hand for hand. The bubble was excruciatingly long for some, lasting nearly a full two hours, but it was finally reached near the end of the 2nd level of the day when a short stacked player was forced all in for a 500 ante and did not win. The room erupted in cheers as they were all now guaranteed a $20,000+ payday. The tournament staff decided to shorten the day due to the number of players that busted out and only three levels were completed. It didn't matter much, however, as there were only 407 players left by the time the dust had settled. Matt Affleck ended the day as the chip leader but hot on his heels are some of the best in the business in players like Elky, Phil Ivey, Theo Tran, Dan Harrington, and Tom Schneider. Among the unfortunate whose bracelet dreams were dashed were Phil Hellmuth, Paul Wasicka, Chris Ferguson, and Greg Mueller.

There are four days left of play at the 2009 Main Event and by the time we wrap things up late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning we'll be down to the November Nine. I'll be here for the last four exciting days of action. Until then...

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