World Series of Poker Europe

WPT Championships Day 4: Hellmuth Slips, as The Lead Changes

WPT Championships Day 4: Hellmuth Slips, as The Lead Changes 0001

Last Saturday the first of 639 players sat down at the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas with one thing on their minds… to win the WPT Championship. Four days later, there are 54 players left to chase down that dream. They each sat down in the Fontana Room with hopes of advancing to day 5 en route to winning $4 million and the prestigious WPT Championships.

All eyes in the room were locked on Phil Hellmuth. The Poker Brat showed up on time and ready to defend his chiplead. He started with 1.8M in chips and drew one of the easiest tables in the tournament with several shortstacks sitting to his left. Hellmuth's stack was at least three times larger than the second largest stack at his table.

Hellmuth was aggressive and got involved in too many pots which cost him the chiplead.

"Playing a lot of pots is a tricky thing. Sometimes it could cost you. Sometimes you can reap the benefits," Hellmuth said. "You always have to take a look at the table your at and see what you can and can't do. It's important to make it to the end of the day and not do anything too crazy."

Hellmuth also took two big hits. The first occurred when David Levi doubled up against him and won a pot worth over 2 million. Hellmuth flopped top pair with A-J but he was outkicked by Levi's A-K. Then he lost a pot to one of the best online tournament players in the world, Sorel "imper1um" Mizzi. On a board of {a-Diamonds}{9-Clubs}{4-Spades}{a-Spades}{q-Clubs}, Mizzi moved all in. Hellmuth thought about calling for a few minutes before he finally did. Mizzi flipped {9-Spades}{9-Diamonds} for a full house. Hellmuth flashed the {a-Clubs} and mucked his other card. Hellmuth would eventually finish the day 19th in chips with 738K.

Day 4 went by at lightning speed. Only two and a half levels were played before the final 27 players remained. TD Jack McClelland asked the remaining field if they wanted to play five full levels or stop at 27. A couple of players wanted to end the day, so McClelland suspended play until Thursday at noon.

Day 4 Money Winners:

28 Thomas Schreiber $92,820

29 Lyle Berman $92,820

30 Ian Johns $92,820

31 David Oppenheim $77,350

32 Mark Gregorich $77,350

33 Bill Gazes $77,350

34 Tom Lee $77,350

35 Justin Bonomo $77,350

36 Ted Kearly $77,350

37 Tim McCarthy $77,350

38 Philip Tom $77,350

39 Doron Malinasky $77,350

40 Noah Jefferson $77,350

41 Fred David $61,880

42 Mikael Thuritz $61,880

43 Bill Ferrand $61,880

44 Jared Hamby $61,880

45 Antonio Salorio $61,880

46 Abe Mosseri $61,880

47 Elia Ahmadian $61,880

48 Eric Herschler $61,880

49 Marc Goodwin $61,880

50 Pramesh Bansi $61,880

51 Justin Young $46,410

52 Patrik Antonius $46,410

53 Danny Alaei $46,410

54 Joe Grebanier $46,410

Plenty of noteworthy pros failed to advance to Day 5 such as Patrik Antonius, who finished in 52nd place. His A-J lost to Jim "KrazyKanuck" Worth's pocket Kings.

Justin "ZeeJustin" Bonomo took a hit when Robert Wazelle sucked out on him with Kd-10d versus ZeeJustin's A-10 after they both flopped a 10. He ultimately busted out with Kc-10 against Paul Lee's As-Ks. Lee flopped trip Aces and ZeeJustin's run at the Bellagio was over after he busted out in 35th place.

Paul Lee took the chiplead after he won one of the biggest pots of the tournament off of Loi Phan. Lee raised pre-flop and got two callers. In a three way pot, the flop was {j-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}. Lee checked and Roland de Wolfe bet 80K. Loi Phan called as Lee check-raised to 280K. De Wolfe quickly folded. Phan went into the tank for several minutes and even got the clock called on him. Lee mentioned that no matter what, he was going to push all in on the turn. Phan eventually called. The turn was {5-Spades} and Lee moved all in for 59K. Phan called with {a-Hearts}{j-Clubs} while Lee tabled {j-Hearts}{j-Spades} for top set. The river was the {q-Clubs} and Lee won a pot worth close to 2M.

Paul Lee then cracked David Oppenheim's 9-9 after he flopped a set of 3s. He used his big stack to bully the players at his table. When play was suspended Lee had close to 3.6M.

Carlos Mortensen ended the day as one of the chipleaders after he won a decisive pot from Raymond Davis. Mortensen raised from the cutoff and Davis reraised from his blinds to 150K. Mortensen called. The flop was {10-Clubs}{7-Clubs}{6-Clubs}. Davis fired out 200K but Mortensen pushed all in for over 860K with {7-Diamonds}{7-Spades}. Davis did not have a made hand, but he had plenty of outs and called with {a-Clubs}{8-Hearts}. He had the nut flush draw and a gutshot straight draw. Blanks fell on the turn and river as he doubled up Mortensen. That pot was worth over 2.5M. Mortensen ended the day third in chips with 2.4M.

Although WSOP Main Event champions have won a regular season WPT event in the past (Joe Hachem, Doyle Brunson, Scotty Nguyen, and Carlos Mortensen), not one WSOP champion has won a WPT Championship. With Phil Hellmuth and Carlos Mortensen still alive, one of them has a shot at making history.

"I think they are the two best players who are left. I'd like to see either one of them win," mentioned Doyle Brunson.

As Phil Hellmuth said the other day, "I'm playing for $4 million and to make history."

With 27 players to go, they are by far the best players left in the field but will have to contend with chipleader Paul Lee, Sorel Mizzi (the best online player in the world), Thomas Wahlroos (one of the best young Scandinavian players on the circuit who made one final table on the WPT this year), and Paul Wasicka who's been on a tremendous rush.

End of Day 4 Chipcounts:

Paul Lee 3,601,000

Kirk Morrison 2,980,000

Carlos Mortensen 2,429,000

Sorel Mizzi 2,256,000

Thomas Wahlroos 1,847,000

Jake Minter 1,568,000

Benjamin Johnson 1,280,000

Tim Phan 1,273,000

Scott Fischman 1,268,000

David Levi 1,258,000

Guy Laliberte 1,232,000

Grant Lang 1,201,000

Mike Wattel 1,060,000

Loi Phan 1,007,000

David Baker 983000

Tommy Vu 830000

Can Kim Hua 760000

Richard Anthony 755000

Phil Hellmuth 738000

Adeeb Harb 735000

Paul Wasicka 581000

James "KrazyKanuck" Worth 556000

Roland de Wolfe 460000

Jimmy Tran 458000

Robert Wazelle 284000

Raymond Davis 274000

Tom Pniak 270000

Action will resume at noon on Thursday where they will play down to the final 6 players. You can follow the action by reading our live updates which included chip counts. Also, be sure to check out our photo gallery and extensive video gallery which features interviews with Doyle Brunson and Phil Hellmuth.

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