For the last few days the story has been Phil Ivey‘s run at another November Nine appearance. On Friday, Day 4 at the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event, that storyline disappeared along with a number of other big names. Ivey’s elimination not long after the bubble burst was most likely the biggest story of the day as Matthew Haugen finished the day with the chip lead and the attention of the poker world.
Haugen finished play with 2,808,000 which puts him just ahead of Zach Jiganti (2,364,000), Griffin Benger (2,329,000), Michael Finstein (2,316,000) and Bruno Politano (2,280,000). Haugen bagged up the chip lead largely thanks to one of the final hands of the night where he put in a sixth bet preflop and forced his opponent to fold after committing over 500,000 to the pot.
“Feeling great, being chipleader going into Day 5 of the Main Event, can’t complain about that,” said Haugen, who has $490,000 in career earnings including a final table appearance at the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. “It was pretty gradual all day, a lot of medium and small pots and then I won a million chip pot towards the end.”
Even with the chiplead, Haugen doesn’t see himself taking any unnecessary risks on Day 5.
“I’m just going to keep playing my game and see what opportunities present themselves and hopefully I can keep adding to my stack,” said Haugen.
The most exciting part of Day 4 was the bubble. Just a few hands into hand-for-hand play WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel stopped play with five tables having a situation where a player’s tournament life was at risk. Two of the all-in players survived with three other players all being eliminated on the bubble. The trio – John Dwyer, Zhen Cai and Harry Kaczka – all split $18,406 (the prize for the 693rd place finisher) and then drew a high card for the free seat to the 2015 WSOP Main Event, the traditional consolation prize given to the stone bubble.
Ivey, who finished 430th for $25,756, was the biggest name eliminated on Friday but certainly not only the familiar face sent packing once the bubble burst. Brett Richey, Faraz Jaka, Abe Mosseri, Kenny Tran, Joe Kuether, Olivier Busquet and Daniel Alaei all cashed but failed to make it through the day. John Juanda busted on one of the final hands of the night.
One player who survived the bubble set a WSOP record in the process. Ronnie Bardah finished 475th for $25,756 marking the fifth consecutive year he made it into the money in the Main Event breaking a record previously held by a total of seven players.
There are some notable players still in contention. The sixth biggest end-of-day stack belongs to Dan Smith, runner-up for BLUFF Player of the Year in 2012. Leif Force, who finished 12th in the Main Event in 2006, currently sits 13th. Mark Newhouse, who finished 9th last year, finished the day with 1,301,000. John Kabbaj, Craig McCorkell, Rep Porter, Tony Ma, Vitaly Lunkin and Jonathan Aguilar are just a handful of the former bracelet winners still in contention.
Action resumes at Noon PT with the plan to play a full five levels.
WSOP Main Event Top Ten Day 4 Chip Counts
- Matthew Haugen – 2,808,000
- Zach Jiganti – 2,364,000
- Griffin Benger – 2,329,000
- Michael Finstein – 2,316,000
- Bruno Politano – 2,280,000
- Dan Smith – 2,229,000
- Andoni Larrabe – 2,195,000
- Kyle Keranen – 2,157,000
- Farid Jattin – 2,135,000
- Pakinai Lisawad – 2,088,000
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