2013 Main Event: Brunson Cashes; Lane Leads the Way

Jonathan Lane leads the Main Event after Day 4
Jonathan Lane leads the Main Event after Day 4

Day 4 is always one of the more exciting days during the World Series of Poker. It is traditionally the day when dreams are made and crushed.

It was only a short time into play when the starting 666 player field was on the verge of guaranteeing themselves a payday when done.

The money bubble took a long time to complete in relation to time rather than the number of hands.

Marvin Rettenmaier was involved in a big hand with Yuri Dzivielevski before they could even begin the arduous process of hand-for-hand play.

The lasted several minutes with the ESPN crew all around and the rest of the field became restless with no information.

The hand finally complete and they began bubble play. It took just two hands to go from 650 players down to the money 648.

Farzad Bonyadi, 3-time bracelet winner, was the unfortunate bubble player to just miss the money although he did pick up a freeroll into next year’s Main Event.

Once the field was in the money, the field began playing quicker and getting their chips in the middle to build a stack or hit the cage.

Doyle Brunson broke his ten year drought in the Main Event, getting his first cash in the tournament since 2004.

His day did not go as well as the previous three and he was eliminated from the ESPN Main Stage by Sergei Stazhkov.

Max Steinberg was among the chipleaders for most of the tournament but slid back to the pack throughout the day. Jonathan Lane and Grayson Ramage won huge pots in the last levels of play to move near the top of the leaderboard.

Some of the major names to make it into the money, but not Day 5, include Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Erik Seidel, Marcel Luske, Matt Stout, and Allen Cunningham.

Two November Niners remain in the field; Steven Gee and Greg Merson, who of course is better known as the reigning WSOP champion.

Annette Obrestad and Jackie Glazier are also in comfortable position with their chip count and have enough ammunition to make noise late like Gaëlle Baumann and Elisabeth Hille last year.

The remaining 239 players will return tomorrow at 12pm to play another five levels and move one day closer to setting the 2013 November Nine.

Top 10 chips stacks according to WSOP.com:

1. Jon Lane - 2,839,000
2. Sami Rustom - 2,485,000
3. Grayson Ramage - 2,438,000
4. Victor Cianelli - 2,197,000
5. Seaver Kyaw - 2,060,000
6. Yann Dion - 2,025,000
7. Kevin Williams - 2,007,000
8. Vincent Roberts - 1,976,000
9. Robert Sichelstiel - 1,910,000
10. Ami Alibay - 1,890,000

PokerListings GigaPan photo from the Amazon Room today. Zoom in and tag yourself!

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2013 Main Event: Luske Downed in Last Level

Luske grounded.
Luske grounded.

Luske’s Tournament Ends

Team PokerStars Pro Marcel Luske cashed the WSOP Main Event for the second consecutive time, but he will not return for more on Day 5. 

Luske raised to 28,000 with ace-queen and one player called behind him. Jason Mann three-bet to 82,000 and Luske called once more. The other player, who Luske described as very tight, made the call.

The flop brought ace-queen-ten with two diamonds and Luske moved all in for 400,000. The tight player called with king-jack and Luske was in bad shape.

The turn brought a third club giving Luske a flush draw, but the river brought him no help. Luske was knocked out and we will see him again on the European Poker Tour this fall.

Sterling Effort from Foe

There have been a few occasions today where pocket kings have cracked pocket aces. That balance had to be addressed, and it was, by Clyde Tjauw Foe.

The Dutchman opened to 27,000 from under the gun before Sterling Savill three-bet to 75,000. Foe made it 127,000 only to face a four-bet to the value of 250. He jammed for 792,000 and Savill called after saying he couldn’t lay down kings.

Savill: K K

Foe: A A

The board ran a blank J 3 T 2 3 and Savill was forced to leave.

Jonathan Lane Grabs The Lead 

Jonathan Lane just grabbed a ton of chips as he knocked out Nicholas Immekus. Apparently there was a raise and Lane three-bet to 80,000, Immekus decided to shove all in for 551,000. The initial raiser folded and Lane made the call. 

Jonathan Lane
In the fast Lane.

Lane turned over A K and Immekus was far behind with A 4.

The board ran out 2 7 3 K 6 and Lane raked in a huge pot. Lane is now up to 2.7 million and that is the chip lead as of right now!

Hendren Flips Good

After a raise to 24,000 and a call it was Roger Hendren who made it 80,000. Patrick Renkers was seated in the small blind and tanked for about three minutes before four-betting to 160,000.

The initial raiser and the caller folded after which the action was back on Hendren.

Hendren did some tanking of his own, but after about two minutes he moved all in for 299,000.

The board ran out 5 6 2 K A and Hendren doubled up.

After a few air punches Hendren sat back down and stacked his stack worth 630,000. Renkers was knocked down to 460,000 in the process.

Marc Emond Shows Down Kings

The hand started when Shawn Sheikhan raised to 30,000 and Ara Melikian made the call in position. The action was folded to Marc Emond who was in the small blind.

Shawn Sheikhan
Sheikhan still in but not happy.

Emond three-bet to 85,000 and Sheikhan angrily folded. Melikian tanked for a bit before eventually decided to four-bet to 210,000. This put Emond back in the tank and he decided to make the call.

The flop showed T 5 T and Emond check-called 215,000 from Melikian.

On the turn the 4 hit and once again both players checked after taking quite some time to figure it out.

Emond showed K K and he’s now up to around 1.8 million chips. Melikian was left behind with 800,000.

Kyaw Has a Reason To Scream

Usually when someone screams of the top of their lungs heads are turned for negative reasons. Nowadays celebrating is almost frowned upon, but nobody will hate Seaver Kyaw for what he just did.

After a huge raising ware Kyaw and Nikolai Sears created a preflop pot worth 1.9 million chips.

Kyaw showed A A and was up against Sears’ kings.

The flop brought 7 Q K and Kyaw looked liked he was about to pass out. Sears remained calm while the dealer put out the T. And then it was time for the river card…


“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!! YEEEEAHHH!!!!!!” Kyaw shouted off the top of his lungs while he jumped into the arms of his friends.

“OOOH YEAAAH BOOOY!” he continued at max volume while Sears remained calm.

 Kyaw is now up to 1.9 million and Sears has just 555,000 chips remaining.

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2013 Main Event: Benefield and Obrestad Moving Up

David Bennefield moving up the leaderboard
David Bennefield moving up the leaderboard

The field lost another former November Nine member and a WSOP Europe Main Event winner is building a stack.

Ivan Demidov was eliminated shortly after the final break of the night when he couldn't dodge bullets and Annette Obrestad has used her time on the secondary feature table to climb into contention.

The final level of the night is moving along and there is no slowing down even though the stacks are getting deep.

Benefield Closes in on a Million

David Benefield was just involved in a big pot, and a good call pushed him close to a million chips.

Aleksejs Ponakovs raised and Benefield three-bet after which his opponent called.

The flop brought 6 T 9 and both players checked.

On the turn the 7 hit and Ponakovs lead out for 67,000, Benefield called. The river brought the 9 and Ponakovs bet another 135,000.

Benefield went into the tank for quite a while before finally making the call. Ponakovs showed 4 5 in defeat and Benefield raked in the pot with A T.

Benefield is now sitting in 929,000 while Ponakovs is still on 1.1 million.

Benefield Starts The Final Level Off With a Bang

Benefield got close to a million-chip stack before the break. Right after the break he managed to break this magical barrier by a huge margin.

First it was Tim Ulrich who raised to 25,000 and Benefield three-bet to 65,000. Marty Mathis four-bet to 165,000 and Ulrich folded. Benefield moved all in and Mathis made the call.

The pot was worth around 1.4 million and both players turned over ace-king.

The pot was chopped.

A few hands later there was a raise to 24,000 and Benefield once again three-bet to 65,000. The same scenario repeated itself as Mathis cold four-bet to 165,000. Once again the initial raiser folded and Benefield moved all in.

Snap call.

Benefield showed A A this time and was up against Mathis’ Q Q.

The board ran out 5 A 8 9 6 and Mathias was knocked out. Benefield is now sitting on around 1.5 million chips and he’s now eying for a spot in the top 10.

Demvidov Downed

Ivan Demidov will not be returning to the Main Event this year after he did a huge four-bet jam only to run into aces.

The Russian Team PokerStars Pro opened before Christopher Kinane three-bet to 85,000. Demidov shoved all in for 750,000 and was snapped off Kinane.

Demidov’s ace-king was in huge trouble and it only got worse after an ace flopped. Kinane saw his stack rise to 2.25 million.

Chop Chop

It took six bets for Annette Obrestad and Jean-Yves Malherbe to get all their chips in the middle and it was much ado about a chop.

Alex Livingston opened to 22,000 followed by Malherbe who three-bet to 49,000. Yevgeniy Timoshenko then four-bet to 114,000 and Obrestad put in the fifth bet up to 270,000.

Livingston folded and Malherbe's final bet was for 800,000 and Obrestad was the sole caller.

"It felt like a hero call," she said later, "I had a bad feeling he had Aces."

The both rolled over pocket kings and the Q 6 2 5 7 board was painless.

The chopped up the bets put in my Livingston and Timoshenko to move up a little.

Obrestad had 1,200,000 moving into the final level of the day.

Top 10 chips stacks according to WSOP.com:

1. Jonathan Lane - 2,700,000
2. Jason Mann - 2,490,000
3. Grayson Ramage - 2,286,000
4. Christopher Kinane - 2,100,000
5. Sami Rustom - 1,740,000
6. Vladimir Geshkenbein - 1,700,000
7. Jason Cohen - 1,670,000
8. David Benefield - 1,585,000
9. Andrea Dato - 1,555,000
10. Amir Lehavot - 1,530,000

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2013 Main Event: Jason Mann Grabs The Lead as Van Luijk Exits

Ramage on a roll.
Ramage on a roll.

Jason Mann Grabs The Lead as Van Luijk Exits
Everyone in the entire room besides the ESPN cameras just missed an enormous clash between Jason Mann and Dirk van Luijk.
The ESPN crew explained that Van Luijk and Mann were heads up on the flop in a four-bet pot, which was six high.
Van Luijk checked to Mann who bet 185,000, and Van Luijk moved all in for around 800,000. Mann did some serious tanking but eventually he called with pocket aces.
Van Luijk had just king-six and Mann’s aces held up. The Belgian Dutchman was knocked out after having had a big stack for many days and Mann is now our new chip leader with around 2.3 million chips.

Everyone in the entire room besides the ESPN cameras just missed an enormous clash between Jason Mann and Dick van Luijk.

The ESPN crew explained that Van Luijk and Mann were heads up on the flop in a four-bet pot, which was six-nine-four.

Van Luijk checked to Mann who bet 185,000, and Van Luijk moved all in for around 900,000. Mann did some serious tanking but eventually he called with pocket aces.

Van Luijk had just king-six and Mann’s aces held up. The Belgian Dutchman was knocked out after having had a big stack for many days and Mann is now our new chip leader with around 2.3 million chips.

Dirk Van Luijk
Van Luijk's fun ride is over.

Nick Schwarmann Blows Up, Grayson Ramage Near The Top

The flop showed 7 Q 8 when Grayson Ramage had a 39,000-chip bet out in front of him. Nick Schwarmann check-raised to 87,000 from under the gun plus one and Ramage tank-called.

The turn brought the Q and Schwarmann bet 123,000.

Ramage went into the tank for a long time, but eventually he called.

The river brought the T and Schwarmann decided to move all in. Effectively this move was for 724,000 as that was the amount Ramage had out in front of him still.

Three minutes went by.

“Call,” Ramage said.

Schwarmann quickly flashed 2 2 in defeat and Ramage showed his A Q in order to drag in this massive pot. Ramage is now up to 1.9 million chips. 

Lacchenelli Triples to Delight of His Rail

Noise like that hasn’t been heard in the Amazon room since Italy won the world cup back in 2006. That’s how much it meant to Riccardo Lacchinelli’s supporters on the rail when he tripled up.

There was an under-the-gun raise to 22,000 before Lacchenelli moved all in from the cutoff. Josh Prager was in the small blind and said he was too drunk to fold a hand like that. The original raiser called also.

On the 9 T 9 flop Prager bet 145,000 into the dry side pot and that was enough to force out the third player.

Prager: A Q

Lacchenelli: J J

The board ran out 8 Q to make the Italian a straight.

He went over to the rail where four very emotional supporters mobbed him. The noise was so loud that security had to throw buckets of water over them to calm them down. (Edit: The security men just talked them down.)

Prager still has 1.3 million chips.

Top 10 chips stacks according to WSOP.com:

1. Jason Mann - 2,350,000
2. Grayson Ramage - 2,090,000
3. Keanu Tabali - 1,800,000
4. Garrett Gruener - 1,780,000
5. Jonathan Lane - 1,715,000
6. Ami Alibay - 1,625,000
7. Max Steinberg - 1,600,000
8. Andrea Dato - 1,555,000
9. Kevin Williams - 1,520,000
10. Darryl Ronconi - 1,500,000

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2013 Main Event: Cunningham Eliminated; Glazier Moves North

Jackie Glazier moved up to 1.3million after dinner
Jackie Glazier moved up to 1.3million after dinner

There's no slowing them down and the field is getting close to ducking under 300.

Allen Cunningham was one of the first to be eliminated after the break and Jackie Glazier made a big move up the leaderboard.

Hero Calls and Easy Calls

Rafi Elarrar and Jackie Glazier were both involved in hands and both had to make either a call all in or call an opponent’s all in. Both were technically the same move but the decision process involved couldn’t be more polarized.

Elarrar was up against Kevin Allen and they had made it to the river of a K 7 6 K Q board.

Allen was in the big blind and set his opponent all in. It looked as if the pot was roughly the size of his remaining 138,000. He tanked for two minutes and made a great call with J J.

“Wow,” said Allen as he tabled A T. “Great call!”

Allen is still going strong on around 800,000.

Moments later, Glazier was battling heads-up with Rafael Porzecanski.

She had opened to 20,000 from early position and called after Porzecanski three-bet to 50,000 from the big blind.

The flop fanned T 3 J and Porzecanski checked to Glazier who bet 80,000. He quickly check-raised all in for 230,000 and Glazier beat him into the pot.

Porzecanski: A K for ace high.

Glazier: A 5 for the nut flush.

Porzecanski was drawing dead and the T 9 were no help to him.

The popular Australian is up to around 700,000 as a result.

Matt Marafioti
No "chip and a chair" comeback for Marafioti

Cunningham and Marafioti Gone

Two top pros have been knocked out shortly after the dinner break, Matt Marafioti and Allen Cunningham.

Cunningham has had a lot of previous World Series of Poker success, his best coming in fourth in the 2006 Main Event for $3.6 million. Cunningham has five bracelets, but today was not his day.

Cunningham was all in with pocket eights against kings and the board didn’t bring him any luck.

Marafioti was exceptionally short with just a single 1,000 chip left behind when he got knocked out. The Canadian pro had a mere three-deuce off suit and failed to improve against pocket tens.

Bryan Pellegrino Over 1.4 Million

Pakinai Lisawad just busted to Bryan Pellegrino who moved up to over 1.4 million chips. After a raise it was Lisawad who moved all in for 174,000 and Pellegrino made the call.

Lisawad showed A 6 and was up against J J.

The board ran out J T 2 3 Q and Pellegrino raked in another pot.

Vivek’s Dark Check

The board showed 2 6 9 5 when Vivek Rajkumar had a 61,000-chip out in front of him.

Rajkumar’s opponent, Seaver Kyaw, raised it up to 130,000.

Rajkumar tanked for a while before he eventually made the call.

Before the dealer showed everyone the river card it was Rajkumar who decided to check in the dark.


Kyaw seemed a bit thrown off and he checked behind. Rajkumar showed 5 6 and took down the pot with two pair. Rajkumar is up to 770,000 and still going strong during another one of his Main Event runs. Kyaw is in much better shape still with 1.3 million.

Glazier Moves in on Geshkenbein

Vladimiar Geshkenbein is known for his entertaining table antics and he was just moved to Glazier’s table. Glazier opened up the seat which was filled by Geshkenbein herself as you can read in the previous update.

On a K 5 8 flop it was Geshkenbein who had a 109,000-chip bet out in front of him and Glazier proceeded to raise it up to 245,000.

Geshkenbein did not hesitate too long before making the call and creating a huge pot.

On the turn the 4 hit and Geshkenbein checked immediately.

“All in,” Glazier said and her opponent wanted a count of her chips. Glazier shoved 493,000 into the pot and Geshkenbein tanked for a bit before folding his cards.

“Nice pot baby!” Glazier’s friend shouted from the rail and Geshkenbein responded right away.

“Nice pot baby!” the Russian Swiss yelled and everyone at the table started laughing. Glazier is now up to 1.3 million while Geshkenbein has 1.15 million left.

Top 10 chips stacks according to WSOP.com:

1. Max Steinberg - 1,795,000
2. Garrett Gruener - 1,780,000
3. Jonathan Lane - 1,732,000
4. Keanu Tabali - 1,600,000
5. Jason Cohen - 1,571,000
6. Kevin Williams - 1,520,000
7. Darryl Ronconi - 1,500,000
8. Sami Ruston - 1,500,000
9. Aleksejs Ponakovs - 1,455,000
10. Bradly Myers - 1,450,000

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2013 Main Event: Level 19 is Underway

Max Steinberg leads late on Day 4
Max Steinberg leads late on Day 4

The players have returned from their 90-minute dinner break and cards are in the air.

Max Steinberg comes back with the chiplead and will try to push it further over the final to levels.

Matt Marafioti and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier are just two of the players with small chipstacks that will need to improve if they want to finish deep.

Two more levels in the night before the bag and tag their chips.

Top 10 chips stacks according to WSOP.com:

1. Max Steinberg - 1,795,000
2. Jason Cohen - 1,785,000
3. Jonathan Lane - 1,732,000
4. Keanu Tabali - 1,600,000
5. Kevin Williams - 1,520,000
6. Sami Rustom - 1,500,000
7. Seaver Kyaw - 1,481,000
8. Vladimir Geshkenbein - 1,430,000
9. Jay Farber - 1,417,000
10. Dick van Luijk - 1,407,000

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2013 Main Event: Break for Dinner

The 340 remaining players headed off to dinner
The 340 remaining players headed off to dinner

The day began with 666 players but only 331 of them survived the first three levels of the day. Those players are now off on their 90-minute dinner break.

Most notable elimination of the day was Doyle Brunson and he received two big ovations on his way to the cage.

It's a lock that the field will get under last year's Day 4 ending number of 282 and it will be tough to closely predict how the night will end.

They will come back and play two more levels before bagging up their chips.

Tjauw Foe Very Unlucky

Frank Cerminara just moved all in for 115,000 over the top of Clyde Tjauw Foe’s raise and the Dutchman quickly called.

Tjauw Foe was in great shape to add more chips to his stack as he was ahead with J J versus 4 4.

The board ran out Q 5 6 3 2.

“Standard,” Tjauw Foe sighed as he was knocked down to 426,000 chips. Cerminara is back up to 245,000.

Rob Salaburu
Rob Salaburu

November Niner Gone

Four previous members of the November Nine club made it into the money but now just three remain.

Rob Salaburu opened for 17,000 and Alexander Roumeliotis call in late position to the 7 3 2.

Roumeliotis bet 23,000 and Salaburu moved all-in for his final 283,000. He was instantly called by Roumeliotis with a set holding 7 7 and needed help with T T.

No help on the river and he was eliminated.

Steven Watts Celebrates as he Cracks Verenko’s Aces

Steven Watts played a big pot for his tournaments life against Ukrainian pro Roman Verenko. The Englishman was all in for 385,000 and showed J J. Verenko turned over A A and he was in great shape to move up to over a million.

The board ran out 7 4 J Q 2 and Watts doubled up as his rail went nuts. Watts is now looking very strong with around 780,000 chips. Verenko was knocked down to 320,000 and he’s going to have to fight back from below the average stack.

Top 10 chips stacks according to WSOP.com:

1. Max Steinberg - 1,795,000
2. Jason Cohen - 1,785,000
3. Jonathan Lane - 1,732,000
4. Keanu Tabali - 1,600,000
5. Kevin Williams - 1,520,000
6. Sami Rustom - 1,500,000
7. Seaver Kyaw - 1,481,000
8. Vladimir Geshkenbein - 1,430,000
9. Jay Farber - 1,417,000
10. Dick van Luijk - 1,407,000

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2013 Main Event: Cody Busts

Cody taken out.
Cody taken out.

Cody Canned

Jake Cody knew he had work to do but no one was letting him do it.

He had a stack that had no three-bet fold equity and his tablemates, (selfishly) kept opening in front of him.

What’s a man to do in that situation?

Smile of course, and that’s exactly what he did.

Cody was getting a massage and his masseuse been wondering if, and when, she would be cut off.

It wouldn’t be long.

Vladimir Geshkenbein opened the pot and Cody squeezed his cards. He folded, smiled once more, and closed his eyes and rested his on the back of his turned around chair.

Finally the action folded to his and he was able to open. He min raised to 16,000 and then called all in when Geshkenbein set him all in.

Cody: A 3

Geshkenbein: A K

The board ran 5 Q T 2 5 and Cody was done.

The masseuse was too. “We’re done,” said Cody.

“We are?” said the masseuse.

“Err, yeah!” said Cosy gesturing towards the empty space where his chips once live. Some of his tablemates chuckled

Another One Bites The Dust

Pocket aces are a much-welcomed commodity on Day 4 of the WSOP Main Event, and David Stephens was just of the receiving end of it.

Paul Lackey was all in preflop for around 130,000 chips and he turned over T T. Stephens showed A A and the board ran out 5 7 8 Q 7.

Lackey was knocked out and Stephens is up to around 950,000 chips.

Pros Walking Away

The third level was not kind to many pros who were left in the field.

Lauren Kling
Lauren couldn't Kling on.

Lauren Kling was one of the notable women players making noise over the last two days but ran out of steam after making the money.

She doubled shortly after the bubble but was eliminated in 387 th spot after getting all her chips in with tens versus kings.

Dutch Boyd has two bracelets on his resume but his Main Event run also came to an end.

He only had 40,000 and put those in the middle with 8 7 against Paul Taylor’s A J and received no miracle.

Neil Walker was eliminated in a mean fashion when his Q Q flopped a set against Blake Yu’s A K only to lose to running straight cards.

Matt Affleck, Eddy Sabat, and Bryan Micon were some other big names among the recently departed.

Brandon Steven Doesn’t Show

The board read 9 7 Q 8 when Brandon Steven had 97,000 out in front of him. Kyle Julius was in the tank from the small blind, but eventually he decided to fold.

The river was the 3 and Steven’s opponent checked to him again. Steven fired 122,000 this time and his opponent folded.

Apparently there was some sort of agreement among the players at this table to show cards, but Steven did not want to comply to those rules anymore.

“If you don’t know what I had you guys are idiots,” Steven said as he decided to just show the T. Meanwhile Steven is up to 805,000 chips.

Top 10 Chip Counts (according to WSOP.com)

1. Kevin Williams - 1,665,000

2. Max Steinberg - 1,600,000

3. Aleksejs Ponakovs -1,560,000

4. Matthew Huey -1,433,000

5. Dick van Luijk - 1,407,000

6. Jay Farber - 1,385,000

7. Vimy Ha - 1,373,000

8. Vincent Robert - 1,370,000

9. Mark Newhouse - 1,330,000

10. Maxx Coleman -1,310,000

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2013 Main Event: Doyle Brunson Eliminated

Doyle Brunson makes the money but run ends in the Main Event
Doyle Brunson makes the money but run ends in the Main Event

Doyle Brunson's memorable 2013 Main Event has come to an end. The legend played some great poker over the last four days and everyone in the Amazon Room was ready to a big run.

His Day 4 did not play out like the previous days, he wasn't picking up too many hands at the feature table and found himself eliminated in the third level of the day.

Brunson has again proven his skills in the biggest games.

Doyle Brunson’s Historic Main Event Run Ends in 409th Place

A huge round of applause erupted when Doyle Brunson was eliminated from the feature table. Brunson made his way to the exit and as the sounds of respect faded it was Jack Effel who grabbed the microphone.

“Let’s give another warm round of applause for the man, the myth, the legend,” Effel announced as Brunson made his way to the payout desk.

Doyle Brunson cashed in his first tournament since EPT London in 2011, but here on Day 4 he could not get anything going. The final hand on the feature table just played out like this.

Tim Ulrich from Germany raised to 16,000 and Sergei Stazhkov made the call after which Brunson three-bet to 86,000. Ulrich folded and Stazhkov decided to move all in.

Brunson started the hand with 204,000 chips and he called of his remaining chips.

Stazhkov showed T T and Brunson was in real bad shape as he showed a mere K T.

The board ran out 7 2 3 9 A and Brunson was knocked out. Stazhkov is up to 676,000 chips while Ulrich holds the feature table chip lead with 1,284,000 chips.

Brunson now cashed in the WSOP Main Event in five different decades, this being his first since 2004 when he finished 53rd.

Jensen’s Comeback Ends Abruptly

Frederik Jensen was on his way to a very impressive comeback after starting the day with just 50,000 chips.

“I started with 50,000 and was back up to 180,000 without an all-in showdown,” Jensen sighed after he had just lost the pot that could’ve launched him back into contention.

Jensen ended up all in preflop with K K and was up against Roland Israelashvili’s A K.

The board ran out 8 J A 3 3 and Jensen was devastated as he received his payout slip. Israelashvili is now up to 1,050,000 and he’s on his way to another deep run.

Last year Israelashvili finished 5th in the $50,000 Players Championship and 25th in the Main Event, this year he finished third in the Little One Drop for almost $300k.

Owen Chisels at Mason’s Stack Before He Comes Roaring Back

Ash Mason dropped down to 80,000 chips after he lost a pot to Dan Owen who held queen high.

Mason opened to 12,000 from the hijack and was called by Owen in the next seat and the big blind.

Mason continued for 18,000 on the A 2 J flop and both opponents called. The action was checked to Owen on the 9 turn and he bet 39,000, only to be called by Mason.

The river fell as the 9 and both players checked. Owen opened Q T for a missed royal flush draw. It was good though as Mason showed a lower busted flush dram and mucked.

Then this happened to Mason:

The steady post-money bubble parade continued without end. Less than 440 remained when the players left on their second break of the day and some players are starting to make moves.

Annette Obrestad is trying to make history by going to the WSOP November Nine to add to your WSOPE 2007 Main Event win. She will get plenty of TV time as she's been on the ESPN secondary table throughout the day.

Allen Cunningham was among the short stacks on Day 3, down as low as 88k at one point, but has come back strong today moving up to 625,000.

Top 10 chips stacks according to WSOP.com:

1. Max Steinberg - 1,600,000
2. Jay Farber - 1,544,000
3. Kevin Williams - 1,510,000
4. Matthew Huey - 1,500,000
5. Dick van Luijk - 1,407,000
6. Jorn Walthaus - 1,360,000
7. Maxx Coleman - 1,310,000
8. Somar Al-Darwich - 1,300,000
9. Bryan Pellegrino - 1,300,000
10. Aleksejs Ponakovs - 1,240,000

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2013 Main Event: Many Notables Depart and Chidwick Cashes for a 9th Time

Chidwick - 9 cashes this WSOP.
Chidwick - 9 cashes this WSOP.

Luske Can’t Find a Club

Marcel Luske has dropped down to 230,000 after he missed a flush draw in a 300k pot.

He and a Brazilian opponent got all their chips in on a 6 4 2 flop. Luske opened up K J and faced up to a set with 4 4.

The board ran out Q 7 and the Brazilian and his friends yelled with joy. 

Chidwick Bows Out with Ninth Cash

We bumped into Stephen Chidwick as he was leaving the Amazon room for the last time this summer after busting the Main Event in 479th place.

He said he was very proud of how much he’s achieved this summer and so he should be.

He’s cashed nine times in the series, which is the most of anyone, and three of those cashes were runs to final tables. All that totaled up to around $450k.

He didn’t win the elusive bracelet but his time will surely come. For now, he plans to sleep for five days.

More Names Depart

Chidwick wasn’t the only top player eliminated over the last hour. Rupert Edler grabbed a big double-up earlier in the day but was knockout before the second break.

Elder ran his top two into his opponent’s bottom set and couldn’t survive the turn or river. He was knocked out in 478 for $24,480.

Brynn Kenney will have to wait until next year to try again for his first bracelet but he did pick up his fourth cash of the summer.

Paul Wasicka, runner-up finisher to Jamie Gold in the 2006 Main Event, was also a recent casualty.

Also gone are Michael Mizrachi and James Bord. 

Less than 470 players remain, well on pace to go past the 320 players who finished Day 4 last year.

Playing With a Dream

A player in the Tan section of the Amazon room was just overheard explaining why he plays in the Main Event.

“My wife love diamond, I need to win!” he shouted as he raised another pot.

Every player comes down to Las Vegas with goals and aspirations, but let’s be honest, it’s all about buying your wife a big diamond at the end of the day!

Another Man Gone

Eric Saunders had just been knocked out after he ran into pocket aces. The ESPN cameras throughout this day closely followed Saunders’ tournament play and we just caught his final hand.

Saunders was all in preflop for right around 100,000 chips as he turned over 9 9. Saunders’ opponent, Sam Abueid, called with A A

The board ran out 3 Q 3 Q 2 and Saunders was gone. Abuied is now up to around 500,000 chips.

Age Spets
Spets made a big lay down.

Age Spets Makes a Big Fold

The flop read 3 A 8 when Age Spets had 80,000 out in front of him. Scott Richey raised it up to 200,000 and that made Dick van Luijk fold his cards.

The action was now back on Spets who was far from happy with being in this tough spot.

“I was not playing against you,” Spets said with a smile as he glanced over at Van Luijk who was comfortably waiting for the next hand.

“The only reason I’m thinking is because you are such a tight player.”

“What are you having there?”

“Can I really lay this down?” Spets continued as he was in the tank for at least a few minutes.

Spets had 300,000 chips left in case he decided to fold while Richey had an additional 80,000 chips behind his big raise. Eventually Spets decided to fold. Richey is now sitting on around 400,000 chips.

“I really want to know what you had,” Spets started again, “I want to know if I made a good fold.”

Spets’ opponent agreed to step aside from the table and discuss the hand in private. Moments later the Norwegian tweeted the following.

Top Ten Chip Counts (according to WSOP.com)

1. Herbert Farber - 1,620,000

2. Max Steinberg - 1,525,000

3. Kevin Williams - 1,385,000

4. Maxx Coleman - 1,310,000

5. Bryan Pellegrino - 1,265,000

6. James Alexander – 1,250,000

7. Guiherme Garcia – 1,250,000

8. Nick Schwarmann - 1,210,000

9. Jonathan Lane - 1,165,000

10. Umang Dattani – 1,180,000

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2013 Main Event: Bustouts and Blowups

Luke Schwartz given an early penalty
Luke Schwartz given an early penalty

There is a steady stream of players to the payout desk after the first break. Not quite a rush to the cage but a nice pace.

Max Steinberg, who famously came one card away from winning his second bracelet this year, moved on top of the leaderboard with over 1,500,000.

Erik Seidel, Humberto Brenes, and Steve Zolotow were a few of the recent eliminations but not the last by a long shot.

Getting Aces Cracked Makes Schwartz an Angry Boy

Luke Schwartz is back in his seat after receiving a one round penalty for bad behavior.

The Brit got his aces cracked by an opponent’s kings for a chip-leading pot and flipped out. He allegedly kicked over a chair and banged his fist on a nearby table before ripping down a ceiling to floor curtain. If you’ve ever been in the Amazon room you’ll know how high the ceilings are, and therefore, how big that curtain was.

The funny part about it was that there was a terrified WSOP employee behind the curtain t the time, who had snuck behind there to make a phone call. He was less terrified when he realized it wasn’t his supervisor.

Schwartz looks like he’s ready to lose it again at any minute. He lost two pots in a row to Andrea Carini and the Italian is not in his good books.

Schwartz opened to 12,000 and was called by Carini and the big blind.

Schwartz continued for 18,000 on a T K 8 flop and called when Carini raised to 53,000. Before Carni could bet on the 9 turn, Schwartz threw his cards into the muck.

On the next hand, Schwartz opened to 12,000 only for Carini to three-bet to 35,000. Schwartz stared at his opponent and then used the side of his hand to angrily swipe the chips to Carini as he folded.

Schwartz is down to 301,000.

Rupert Elder
Rupert Elder

Very Lucky Elder

Rupert Elder just moved all in over the top of a raise to 13,000 for just 125,000 chips. Elder’s opponent tanked for about two minutes before he made the call.

Elder showed 2 2 and was in bad shape against T T.

The board ran out 2 7 K 6 8 and a very lucky Elder was granted another chance in the tournament.

“Oi Oi!” Elder’s girlfriend Melanie Weisner yelled from a few feet away. Elder smiled as he raked in the chips, he’s now back to around 260,000 chips.

More For Matthew Huey

Matthew Huey started the level with 1.1 million chips and he just added a bunch more to that. Huey’s opponent Pierce Mckellar was all in for around 200,000 when the following happened.

Huey tabled Q Q and was trailing McKeller’s A A.

The board ran out K J 2 Q 9 and Huey got very lucky to knock his opponent out.

“Another two-outer,” someone said, and it seemed like Huey had been on the better side of many hands today.

Huey is now up to around 1.3 million and that puts him near the top three.

Fold Properly

The tables are dwindling fast so it’s easy to get catch crazy situations at tables including issues for the floor staff.

One table called for the floor and explained that the 4-seat flipped one of his cards while folding pre-flop.

“You can’t expose your cards with action pending,” the floor person explained, “It’s a one round penalty.”

The rest of the table confirmed it was obviously accidental so the lucky person was let off with just a warning.

“Folding is the easiest thing in the world to do,” he told the player, “You do that more than anything else.”

“You’ve never seen me fold!” joked Rettenmaier.

“That’s true Marvin, you never fold a hand,” the floor person cracked back.

Top 10 chips stacks according to WSOP.com:

1. Max Steinberg - 1,525,000
2. Herbert Farber - 1,480,000
3. Bryan Pellegrino - 1,265,000
4. Nick Schwarmann - 1,210,000
5. Jonathan Lane - 1,165,000
6. Maxx Coleman - 1,155,000
7. Matthew Huey - 1,120,000
8. Kevin Williams - 1,085,000
9. Ying Wong - 1,005,000
10. Joshua Prager - 993,000

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2013 Main Event: Brunson Breaks Through

Five decades, five cashes.
Five decades, five cashes.

Doyle Brunson is as big a player as you will ever find in poker. “Texas Dolly” holds ten bracelets, two Main Event titles, and is tied for most Main Event final tables at five.

He was enshrined in the Poker Hall of Fame a quarter of a century ago and barely slowed down until this year.

Brunson was on a 10-year streak of missing the money in the Main Event but that all came to an end today.

This marks the fifth decade Brunson has cashed in the Main Event with his first one coming in 1976.

Playing on the ESPN main stage, in front of a statue of his head, Brunson took a few hits to his starting 626,000 stack but is in the money with more than the average stack.

Brunson was not very interested in playing the Main Event this year due to the length of play and the numbers of hours he would have to spend away from juicy big money cash games.

He now looks to outlast the remaining players for his eleventh bracelet and third Main Event title.

The Most Important Day of The Year

“This is the most important day of the year, the most stressful and also most fun,” one of the floor supervisors just said.

“Everything can go right, but if you make one mistake today it’s about the worst thing that can happen,” he added.

With players busting left and right, tables being broken, players being moved, hands being played out and important rulings being made it’s obvious that there’s a ton of pressure on the WSOP team.

“You are like a goalkeeper in soccer,” Nicholas Levi said about the importance of the supervisors being on their A-game, “They never talk about you until you let one slip.”

The money bubble has burst, but the fun is far from over today. At the end of this day everyone will have a very good idea of which big pros are ready to make a run for the November Nine.

Erik Seidel
Seidel: tall man, short stack

Seidel Looking for Someone to Call

Erick Seidel was lucky enough to double up just before the money and he’s looking to do so again now that we’re through that threshold.

He has a problem though: no one wants to play.

He moved all in for 37,500 from mid position and everybody folded. He tried the very same move but, yet again, he found no customers.

Normally this would make players happy but Seidel has the look of someone who wants to bust or get back in it. This treading water is not his style.

A Check Up with Prager and Geshkenbein

Yesterday we wrote a “Drinking Pays” feature where we looked at the progress of two players who like to consume a lot of alcohol while playing.

Josh Prager and Vladimir Geshkenbein were the stars of the post and seemed to do better the more they drank. We thought it was time to check in on them today and see how they’re progressing.

The answer to that is pretty damn good.

Prager is back on the beers but is up to a million chips. He tipped the waiter $5 and when the waiter tried to give him change he declined and told him to just keep the beers coming.

Geshkenbein hasn’t started back on the vodka yet and is looking a little worse for wear. His stack is in great shape though and is up to around 980,000.

Top Ten Chip Counts (according to WSOP.com)

1. Max Steinberg - 1,455,000

2. Bryan Pellegrino - 1,265,000

3. Nick Schwarmann - 1,210,000

4. Jonathan Lane - 1,165,000

5. Maxx Coleman - 1,155,000

6. Matthew Huey - 1,120,000

7. Kevin Williams - 1,085,000

8. Herbert Farber - 1,050,000

9. Ying Wong - 1,040,000

10. Joshua Prager - 993,000


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2013 Main Event: Farzad Bonyadi Busts on the Bubble

Farzad Bonyadi out on the Main Event bubble
Farzad Bonyadi out on the Main Event bubble

The money bubble came quickly but it took a long time to get through the process. Marvin Rettenmaier was involved in a big pot before hand-for-hand even began.

Bubble play began two players from the money and it only took the field two hands to get there. Each of the hands took over 11 minutes to complete but it ended with the rest of the field celebrating with cheers and beer.

Rettenmaier Calls for Tournament Life, Dzivielevski Busts Soon After

The first hand of hand for hand play took more than ten minutes to play out as Marvin Rettenmaier kept the whole room waiting.

This is the Main Event bubble though and every decision is crucial, especially when you’re calling for your tournament life.

Marvin Rettenmaier
Marvin Rettenmaier

He and Yuri Dzivielevski had made it to the river of a T 4 4 J 6 board with around 200k already in the middle.

Dzivielevski moved all in for 192,500 and the German player took a long time to make the call with A 4 for trips. It was good as Dzivielevski opened K 5 for king high.

That left Dzivielevski with just 11,000 chips and he called all in on the next hand after Gaetano Preite had raised to 11,000. Rettenmaier also called.

Both players checked the 5 K 4 flop before Rettenmaier called a 10,000 bet from Dzivielevski on the 2 turn. The river came as the 2 and Preite bet 27,000, which was enough to force out Rettenmaier.

Dzivielevski opened K 8 for two pair but it was no good as Preite had hitting running deuces to make quads.

Dzivielevski fell two short of the money but seeing as the next person out will receive a ticket for next year’s Main Event, the Brazilian is the last player to leave without a dime.

Bonyadi Bubble

There were two all-in and calls on the second hand on the bubble but Farzad Bonyadi would be the one left with the courtesy freeroll into next year’s event.

He was one of the shortstacks coming into play and the 3-time bracelet winner did not play it slow to just make the money.

Bonyadi spent the first 30 minutes of play moving his stack up from 27,600 to 241,000.

Nick Schwarmann opened to 12,000 and Bonyadi called to see the J 5 3 flop. Schwarmann then check-raised to 37,000 after Bonyadi opened for 14,000.

Bonyadi called and the dealer laid out T on the turn. Schwarmann bet 54,000 and Bonyadi called again.

Schwarmann moved all-in after the K turn having Bonyadi covered.

Play was halted while another all-in hand was played out before Jack Effel and the ESPN crew showed up for the showdown.

Bonyadi rolled over A J for the flopped pair but Schwarmann knocked him out in the 659 spot with A Q for rivered Broadway.

Bonyadi took it well and was announced to the crowd before receiving a free entry into the 2014 WSOP Main Event for busting on the bubble.

Squeezing Into The Money

A huge roar erupted from the Amazon room when Jack Effel announced that everyone was in the money. Plenty of players made it into the money with every little chips, and among those also some famous pros.

Time to run it up guys!

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2013 Main Event: Bubble Time

Who will miss out on this?
Who will miss out on this?

Limited Access and Nervous Players

The access to the tournament area is very limited due to the money bubble being near. We are about one table away from the dreaded money bubble and ESPN is now in full control of the floor.

There are about four ESPN camera teams on the floor right now trying to catch all the eliminations leading up to the bubble.

There are four tertiary tables with cameras pointed at them, there is one secondary feature table and of course the main feature table with Doyle Brunson, Ludovic Lacay and Frederik Halling.

There is a buzz in the room and the many short stacks are trying to see if they can fold their way to the money.

“I just had to fold eights,” a player yelled who lifted his stack worth around 40,000 chips up in the air.

Don’t worry kid, with that stack you can probably fold your way into the money.

While all eyes will be on the short stacks today it’s very likely that bigger stacks will clash. In an attempt to crush people on the bubble there are always players who just don’t want to fold.

O’Brien’s Last Ever Tournament

The bubble of the Main Event really does throw up some scenarios not seen at any other poker tournament in the world.

“I would appreciate a fold, sir.” Said Ralph O’Brien after he moved all in for 52,500 from the button.

He was talking to Alexander Kuzmi who was in the big blind and pondering a call.

“I’ll show you. Please, I’m not doing this with nothing.”

His face was a picture when he saw Kuzmi slide over the chips for a call.

O’Brien: T T

Kuzmi: A 3

The board ran 9 5 3 Q 6 to double O’Brien up.

“Thank you! Gotta believe, right? The dream’s still alive!” said a jubilant O’Brien.

He continued with, “I just got married and promised my wife I wouldn’t play tournaments anymore, so this is my last tournament ever.”

It’d suck to bubble one’s last ever tournament. I’ll doubt we’ll see O’Brien play another hand before the bubble bursts.

No Crying in Poker

Unless you’re Matt Affleck.

The WSOP Main Event can be an emotional struggle and even more so as the money bubble approaches.

Players already dealt with 30 hours of poker just for the chance to make it into the money and some dreams will be crushed.

One of first eliminations on Day 4 provied a prime example of those emotions coming forward.

We witnessed a player forced to walk through the huge crowd on the rail, openly crying and in obvious discomfort.

But the game waits for no one, unless it’s hand-for-hand on the bubble, and few even realized there was a man among them dealing with the horrible feeling of busting the Main Event just short of the money.

Doyle Brunson
The legendary Brunson.

Doyle Takes a Hit

Doyle Brunson’s day has not been good yet as he just lost a chunk of chips. The action started when Brunson raised to 12,000 under the gun plus one and William Oneal three-bet to 40,000 from the cutoff.

Brunson called.

The flop showed 5 Q A and both players checked.

On the turn the Q hit and Brunson lead out for 55,000, Oneal called.

The river brought the A and Brunson quickly check-folded to a 100,000-chip bet. Oneal showed Q Q for quads and he took this pot down. Oneal is now up to 383,000 chips while Brunson is down to 488,000.

Hand for Hand Play in Progress

That time has arrived. There are 650 players remaining and two of them will leave empty handed. The pace of play promises to slow down dramatically until it bursts. Then expect carnage as all those micro stacks start shoving.

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2013 Main Event: Day 4 Underway; Money Bubble Looms

The Money Bubble will burst early today
The Money Bubble will burst early today

It was a long, tough day for most of the players during Day 3 as only 666 of them survived to see the next milestone.

18 players will walk into the Amazon Room today but leave disappointed as only 648 will make the money in the Main Event.

Play began on Day 3 across all three WSOP rooms but now the entire field is located in the Amazon Room for the first time.

Maxx Coleman came out of nowhere as the surprise chipleader at the end of the day after most attention was given to Doyle Brunson, Max Steinberg, and Dick van Luijk.

Brunson hasn’t cashed in the WSOP since 2004 and is in prime position to do more than just make the money, his 626,000 stack can provide him with a deep run.

Steinberg was briefly atop the leaderboard when he knocked Phil Ivey out on the Main Stage with set over set for the biggest pot in the tournament at the time.

There are a lot of big names at the bottom of the chip counts who will need to work to survive two tables of eliminations including Farzad Bonyadi, Frederik Brink Jensen and 8-time bracelet winner Erik Seidel.

Jack Effel gave his daily instructions, including bonus directions for the money bubble, before getting things underway here in the Amazon Room.

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