07/12/15 01:17:28 AM PDT
On Sunday, the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event continued with Day 4 action from the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. A grand total of 661 players returned to the felt with the hopes of earning a seat among the prestigious November Nine. By the end of the day the clock read that just 237 remained. Leading the star-studded field heading into Day 5 is Joe McKeehen who bagged up 3.122 million in chips.
Two-time WSOP Circuit ring winner McKeehen jumped ahead of the pack during the second level of play and retained his spot among the leaders as the day pressed on. McKeehen found one final surge of chips late in the day during a confrontation with inaugural November Niner Scott Montgomery. After a series of bets and raises, Montgomery found himself all in and at risk for approximately 550,000 on a jack-high flop with three diamonds. The Canadian held two black queens while McKeehen rolled over ace-jack with the ace of diamonds. An ace on the river would send give McKeehen the knockout.
McKeehen holds the top chip position heading into Day 5, but other players are hot on his heels. Coming in at second in chips is Upeshka De Silva who put 3.067 million in the bag. During the final level of play, De Silva engaged in a massive confrontation with Yuri Dzivielevski to boost himself up over two million in chips. From there, he continued to trend upward throughout the night. Rounding out the top three is Erasmus Morfe who bagged 2.502 million.
Double bracelet winner from 2015 and three-time overall bracelet winner Brian Hastings also returns toward the top of the counts with a stack of 2.464 million in chips.
Other big stacks and notable players returning to the felt include Chad Power (1,961,000), Mark Kroon (1,901,000), Danny Fuhs (1,517,000), Toby Lewis (1,436,000), Matt Jarvis (1,406,000), Justin Bonomo (1,350,000), Daniel Negreanu (1,335,000) Max Steinberg (1,234,000), Christian Harder (648,000), and Antonio Esfandiari (190,000).
The only returning WSOP Main Event champion is 1993 winner Jim Bechtel. Bechtel put 1.125 million in the bag and is returning with the hopes of winning his second gold championship bracelet.
While the eliminations were occurring at a lightning-fast rate early on the in the day, they slowed noticeably as the day progressed. Here's a look at the number of eliminations from the first four levels of the day:
Level 16: 130 eliminations
Level 17: 90 eliminations
Level 18: 92 eliminations
Level 19: 63 eliminations
As the field was whittled down throughout the day, several former Main Event champions fell victim to their opponents. Most notably, fourteen-time WSOP gold bracelet Phil Hellmuth was eliminated by none other than six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu. Hellmuth found himself all in and at risk with pocket queens against Negreanu's ace-king before the flop. A king on the flop spelled disaster for the PokerBrat and he was forced to settle for a 417th-place finish. Hellmuth's exit was met with a wave of applause from spectators and players in the Amazon room.
Also falling during the same level was 2013 Main Event champion Ryan Riess. Riess ran his pocket sevens into pocket queens to bust in 426th place. One level later, 2005 Main Event champion Joe Hachem's hopes at a repeat title came to an end. Hachem was at risk before the flop with pocket jacks, but found himself drawing thin against Jonathan Faltz's pocket aces. Hachem failed to improve and he was eliminated from play in 298th place.
WSOP bracelet winner Phil Laak was also among those to fall on Day 4. Laak was eliminated at the hands of Christian Harder after running his ace-king into Harder's pocket aces. William Watcher, a 94-year-old World War II veteran and the oldest player to ever cash in the Main Event, also saw his run come to an end during Day 4. Watcher hit the rail in 524th place which was good for a payday of $19,500.
Other notable names eliminated throughout the day include David "Doc" Sands (468th), November Niner JC Tran (434th), Blair Rodman (348th), Andre Akkari (310th), Marco Johnson (294th), Scott Baumstein (282nd), 2014 WSOP Player of the Year George Danzer (280th), Kory Kilpatrick (253rd), and Kyle Cartwright (249th).
Play will resume on Sunday at 12 p.m. local time where the final 237 runners will return to vie for poker immortality. As always, be sure to keep your browsers locked to WSOP.com for all of the latest as this illustrious event inches closer to its exciting conclusion.
07/12/15 12:59:32 AM PDT
The flop is and it's heads up between Zvi Stern in the big blind and Carlos Difini in the small blind. Both players check.
The turn is the . They check.
The river is the . Again, they check.
Difini turns over and Stern mucks his cards. Difini takes the pot with his pocket pair.
Carlos Difini - 1,250,000
Zvi Stern - 1,650,000
07/12/15 12:52:26 AM PDT
Gjergj Sinishtaj is all in for approximately 335,000 and is at risk against Jim Bechtel.
It's a race and the flop is and Bechtel moves in front with a pair of kings. The turn is the and Sinishtaj needs a jack or ten to stay alive. The river is the and Sinishtaj tells Bechtel "nice hand" and adds "nice playing with you guys" as he heads to collect his winnings.
Jim Bechtel - 1,100,000
Gjergj Sinishtaj - Eliminated
07/12/15 12:49:52 AM PDT
The action folds to Jan Eric Schwippert in the cutoff and he shoves for 173,000. The button folds and Fedor Holz raises to 400,000 from the small blind. Matthew Shepsky in the big blind, with around 200,000 chips, goes into the tank for a full minute but eventually folds. "I was going to flop a set this hand, I can feel it," Shepsky says after he's folded.
Schwippert turns over and is up against Holz's . The flop comes giving Schwippert top set and all but closing the door on Holz's big slick. For any sweat at all, the turn must be a queen or ten. The turn is the , and the players let out a collective, "woah," now that Holz has four outs. It's not meant to be, though, as the river is the and Schwippert doubles up.
Jan Eric Schwippert - 282,000
07/12/15 12:48:31 AM PDT
Thomas Paul raises to 25,000 from the hijack and is called by Darius Studdard in the cutoff as well as Jonathan Faltz and Daniel Bak in the blinds.
The flop comes down and Faltz leads out for 37,000. Bak calls and Paul follows suit after thinking about his decision. Studdard mucks before the three players watch the drop on the turn.
Faltz instantly bets out 85,000 and is only called by Bak, as Paul lets his hand go. The completes the board and Faltz reaches for his chips before cutting out a bet totaling 210,000.
Bak goes into the tank for several minutes before finally releasing his hand as Faltz scoops in the big pot.
Jonathan Faltz - 1,206,000
Daniel Bak - 680,000
07/12/15 12:46:05 AM PDT
Carlos Gonzalez is under-the-gun and gets into a preflop battle with Dave Stefanski in middle position. Stefanski gets his last 484,000 into the middle and the cards are tabled. Stefanski shows and is flipping with Gonzalez's .
The board runs out and Stefanski wins a flip to double up near the end of the day.
Dave Stefanski - 1,004,000
Carlos Gonzalez - 530,000
07/12/15 12:43:07 AM PDT
The Tournament Director has announced that there will be three more hands for the evening.
07/12/15 12:42:00 AM PDT
Anton Makiievskyi raises to 25,000 from under the gun and gets three callers in Norbert Szecsi, Joshua Hertz and Matt Glantz. The flop is and Glantz bets 60,000. Makiievskyi calls and Szecsi moves all in for his last 340,000. Glantz folds and Makiievsyi follows behind and Szecsi takes the pot.
Norbert Szecsi - 520,000
Matt Glantz - 570,000
Anton Makiievskyi - 543,000
07/12/15 12:41:48 AM PDT
Justin Bonomo opens for 26,000 and Jim Rumptz calls in the cutoff before Manuel Mutke three-bet shoves all in for his last 325,000 from the small blind.
Bonomo moves all-in for roughly 1,000,000 and Rumptz folds.
The board runs out and Mutke hits the rail as Bonomo creeps to over 1.4 million in chips.
Justin Bonomo - 1,415,000
Manuel Mutke - Eliminated
07/12/15 12:41:15 AM PDT
Eric Blair raises from the button to 25,000 and Brian Hastings calls in the big blind, sending the two heads up to the flop.
Both players check the flop. The falls on the turn and Hastings bets 55,000. Blair calls and the river is the . Hastings bets 110,000 and although he thinks for a moment, Blair folds.
Brian Hastings - 2,426,000
Eric Blair - 707,000
07/12/15 12:39:56 AM PDT
Jeffrey Platt is all-in and has been called by Michael Wasserman.
The board runs out to give Platt the full double.
Jeffrey Platt - 1,100,000
Michael Wasserman - 500,000
07/12/15 12:39:31 AM PDT
Once again, Antonio Esfandiari is all in. This time, he is in the small blind and up against Vivek Rajkumar, his neighbor in the big blind.
The flop comes . Esfandiari hits a flush draw. His rail goes wild, including his dad, who is his biggest fan and always here to support his son when he makes the money.
The turn comes . No help for Esfandiari. Rajkumar says "Black!" Esfandiari looks at him funny and he says "I like to sweat." The river card completes the board with the . Rajkumar gets what he called for and Esfandiari hits his flush.
Esfandiari jumps out of his chair and runs to the rail as the crowd screams and claps.
Antonio Esfandiari - 200,000
Vivek Rajkumar - 380,000
07/12/15 12:38:25 AM PDT
With approximately 175,000 already in the pot, and a board of , Scott Montgomery and Joe McKeehen exchange bets until Montgomery is all in and at risk for approximately 550,000.
Montgomery is ahead with his pair of queens but McKeehen has the nut flush draw to go along with his ace. The turn is the and Montgomery only needs to fade a diamond or an ace to double up to over a million in chips.
The river is the to give McKeehen a pair of aces and a disappointed Montgomery is eliminated. McKeehen tops the three million chip mark.
Joe McKeehen - 3,025,000
Scott Montgomery - Eliminated
07/12/15 12:30:08 AM PDT
Thomas Cannuli raises to 25,000 from middle position. Ramon Vas Sorgatto calls from the cutoff.
The flop falls . Cannuli bets 26,000 and Vas Sorgatto calls.
The turn is the . Cannuli bets 28,000 and Vas Sorgatto folds.
Thomas Cannuli - 1,546,000
Ramon Vas Sorgatto - 860,000
07/12/15 12:28:46 AM PDT
Tommy Hang is all in for 159,000 preflop, heads-up with Ness Reilly. Hang shows , and he's in bad shape against Reilly's .
The flop is a miss for Hang, but the turn brings the and a set of nines. The river is the , and Hang doubles up.
Tommy Hang - 354,000
Ness Reilly - 330,000
07/12/15 12:28:41 AM PDT
Jonathan Faltz opens to 28,000 from middle position, and the action folds to Garry Gates in the small blind and he moves all in for roughly 150,000.
Faltz announces call, although the big blind is yet to act. The big blind folds and Faltz's call is binding and the cards are tabled.
With Gates flipping for his tournament life, but currently in the lead, the flop of kept things that way and furthered his advantage.
The on the turn put Gates one step closer to a double up until the dealer delivers the on the river to end his tournament.
Jonathan Faltz - 980,000
Garry Gates - Eliminated
07/12/15 12:28:10 AM PDT
According to Kenny Hallaert, Anton Morgenstern raises to 27,000 from middle position. Kenny Hallaert calls from the cutoff, and Jonathan Hilton calls on the button. Morgenstern bets 44,000 on the flop, and only Hallaert calls.
The turn completes the flush draw, and Morgenstern bets 140,000. Hallaert calls and the river brings a blank. Both players check. Morgenstern shows , Hallaert wins the hand with .
Kenny Hallaert - 1,580,000
Anton Morgenstern - 960,000
07/12/15 12:27:34 AM PDT
From under the gun, Garry Gates opens to 28,000 and Jonathan Faltz calls in the hijack, as does Asher Assis on the button.
The flop falls and Gates checks to Faltz, who bets out 105,000. Assis folds, as does Gates tabling his face-up.
"What's it like?" asks Gates to Faltz.
"I don't know," responds Faltz.
Jonathan Faltz - 790,000
Garry Gates - 175,000
07/12/15 12:23:23 AM PDT
Over the last few days, thousands of players have entered and then been eliminated from the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event and with just under 250 players remaining, it's starting to be that time where everyone still in this field begins to believe that one of the nine final table spots could be theirs...
From the beginning of Day 1, Antonio Payne began tweeting his road to what he hoped to be his first ever WSOP final table, continually updating his fans on his "odds of being a November Nine.".
He started when he made the money and he was a 111-1 shot of making poker's biggest stage and he's continued to do so over the last few levels and hours, recently updating that he's a 27-1 shot and trending upwards.
Payne, who had two cashes earlier this summer at the WSOP, is a WSOP Circuit ring winner and has already locked up one of the biggest tournament scores of his career here with his first Main Event cash.
But, he's not satisfied yet, looking to potentially fulfill those November Nine odds and make his first-ever Day 5, as he's playing just over 850,000 with just over a half hour remaining in Day 4.
07/12/15 12:21:08 AM PDT
Erasmus Morfe raises to 30,000 before Kyle Cartwright moves all in for 256,000. Arman Soltani then shoves over the top and is all in for 700,000 in chips. Morfe mucks his hand before both players table theirs.
The board runs out to see Soltani hold with his over pair as Cartwright is sent to the rail.
Arman Soltani - 980,000
Kyle Cartwright - Eliminated