91 players returned for Day 2 of Event #4, the $5,000 Mixed Hold'em Event at the 2008 World Series of Poker, on the way to the final table of nine. Along the way, many big names headed to the rail, including Andy Bloch, Patrik Antonius and Phil Laak, who all logged their second cashes of the young WSOP. The star-studded final nine included stars Erick Lindgren, Howard Lederer, Justin Bonomo, Isaac Haxton, David Williams and Roland de Wolfe, but all the big names finished the day chased virtual unknown David Rheem into the Wednesday final.
Day 1 chip leader Jon "Pearljammer" Turner was one of the early exits, busting before the dinner break. Other early eliminations included Mark Newhouse, Anna Wroblewski, Antonio Esfandiari and Gavin Griffin, who fell to David Williams in a huge hand. In a no-limit portion of the round, Griffin and Williams saw a flop of with one other player tagging along for good measure. Williams fired out a bet on the flop, the other player called and Griffin check-raised. Williams called and the third player got out of the way. The came on the turn and Griffin fired a nearly pot-sized bet. Williams thought for a moment before raising Griffin all in. Griffin called, then mucked his hand as Williams revealed pocket tens for top set. The fell on the river, and Griffin was eliminated.
It didn't take long for the first few dozen players to head to the rail on Day 2, and Justin Bonomo took care of any lingering bubble issues when he picked up pocket kings against Nick Mao's A-K and sent him home in 37th place. The typical flurry of post-bubble bustouts ensued, as Andy Black (35th), Barry Shulman (33rd) and Raphael Zimmerman (31st) all headed to the rail shortly after Mao. They all earned $10,922 for their performances.
After Andy Bloch took the chip lead by eliminating Zimmerman, Isaac Haxton took it upon himself to thin the field even further, busting two players in one hand. In a limit hand, George Abdallah got all his chips in preflop, and Phil Tom was all in on the flop of . Haxton's pocket eights was well ahead of Abdallah's A-10, which was dominated in turn by Tom's A-Q. No help on the turn or the river, and Tom and Abdallah headed to the rail in 30th and 29th place, respectively.
Other notable money finishes included Patrik Antonius, Michael Craig and Phil Laak, who made the final table of Event #1. Finishing in 27th, 26th and 24th, respectively, they each picked up $12,483. Robert Williamson III headed to the rail soon after play condensed to two tables, busting in 18th ($15,604).
As the final two tables took shape, players began making their moves to secure their spot among the top nine. David Rheem began making his presence even more strongly felt as he busted Jordan Smith in 17th ($15,604) with a full house. Roland de Wolfe came on strong as well, taking out Andy Bloch and David Olson in a huge limit hand. The short-stacked Bloch moved all in blind after de Wolfe raised preflop. Olson re-raised from the big blind, and de Wolfe made the call. The flop came down , and all the chips went in the middle as Olson led out, de Wolfe raised, and Olson re-raised all in. De Wolfe was in the lead with , Olson held and Bloch tabled . The turn and river ran out , and de Wolfe sent both Olson and Bloch to the rail.
With Chau Giang's elimination in 11th place, players consolidated to one table for the final hands of the night. Ron Kevin Haeri became the final table bubble boy when he moved all in over the top of David Williams' preflop raise with . Williams called with pocket nines, and flopped a set on a board of . Haeri went to the rail in 10th ($23,406) and the final table was set.
Rheem held a sizeable chip lead as play drew to a close on Day 2, but will face a minefield of poker superstars at a final table that features a "Professor," a WSOP Main Event runner-up, a couple of internet phenoms and two WPT champions. The final chip counts looked like this at the end of Day 2:
David Rheem 885,000
David Williams 678,500
Justin Bonomo 517,500
Erick Lindgren 345,000
Howard Lederer 324,500
Roland de Wolfe 194,000
Andrew Robl 162,000
Isaac Haxton 111,500
Pat Pezzin 108,500
Stay tuned to PokerNews.com as we bring you all the live updates from the final table starting at 3PM today!