John Juanda kicked off Day 4 of the 2008 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event as the chip leader, and carried that designation throughout the day and all the way to the final table as top players from the live and online worlds fell around him. Among the top pros starting Day 4 were Juanda, Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Mel Judah, Mike Matusow and Andy Bloch, who busted early in the day to take 24th place (£28,960).
Bloch saw a flop, along with Judah and Juanda, moving all in on a flop. Judah folded, but Juanda called with for the flush and straight draws. Bloch tabled for the nut diamond draw, and his ace-high held the lead as the turn came the , but it was the on the river that made a pair for Juanda and sent Bloch home.
Mel Judah became another victim of Juanda's monster stack when he shoved all in preflop with and received action from Juanda, who tabled . With no sense of suspense at all the came in the window, and the board ran out . Judah picked up £28,960 for 21st place. Soon after Judah's departure, Erik Seidel got his last few chips in the middle holding , but found Soren Kongsgaard waiting with . Seidel picked up a pair on the flop, but Kongsgaard picked up running to make a wheel and send Seidel home in 19th place (£28,960).
Big names fell like dominoes and Mike Matusow was the next to head to the rail. Matusow finished in 18th place (£36,200) when he moved all in on a flop, only to find action from Johnny Lodden with . Matusow led with until the hit the turn. The river made Lodden's flush, and silenced Mike "the Mouth" for the day.
After watching John Juanda bounce several early opponents, Daniel Negreanu got into the action as he eliminated Brandon Adams in 17th place (£36,200). Adams got all his chips in against Negreanu preflop with , dominating Negreanu's . Unfortunately for Adams the flop didn't cooperate, as it came down . Negreanu took the lead with his pair of kings, and Adams never caught up. Negreanu then sent former chip leader Justin Smith home in 16th place (£36,200) when his hit the flop exceptionally hard. Smith found himself in the unfortunate position of flopping top set and drawing thin as he got all his chips in with . The board failed to pair, and Smith headed to the rail.
Brian Townsend was next to fall as the final table drew ever nearer. He got all his chips in the middle with against Scott Fischman's pocket tens, and got not enough help on the board. Townsend picked up £45,250 for 15th place. Fischman added another scalp to his belt when he picked off Philippe Rouas in 14th place (£42,250). Rouas open-shoved with -J, and Fischman called with . The coin flip abruptly ended with the -J- flop, and the turn and river were no help to Rouas as he headed off just before dinner.
Stanislav Alekhin came back from the break looking for chips for dessert, and Talal Shakerchi became the first course. Shakerchi got all his chips in with to Alekhin's , but the board of made a full house for Alekhin and sent Shakerchi home in 13th place (£45,250). Alekhin then took out Soren Kongsgaard in 12th place (£54,300) when the short-stacked Kongsgaard pushed all in preflop with . Alekhin called with the dominating , and the board sealed Kongsgaard's fate. After that hand, Alekhin moved close to John Juanda's rarefied air atop the leader board.
Johnny Lodden lost a coin flip for his tournament life as he and fellow short stack Peter Neff got all the money in preflop. Lodden's failed to improve on a board of , and Neff's was enough to send Lodden packing in 11th place (£54,300). It took about an hour of one-table play before Neff became the official final-table bubble boy, busting in 10th place (£54,300) at the hands of Ivan Demidov.
Neff moved all in from late position with , and Demidov called from the small blind with . Demidov picked up a pair and a flush draw on the flop, and the on the turn filled that flush and ended the day's meaningful action as Neff departed in 10th place. Demidov became the first person in poker history to make the final table of the WSOP in Las Vegas and the WSOP Europe, and he did it in the same year.
John Juanda finished the day with the chip lead, but Stanislav Alekhin, Demidov and Daniel Negreanu trailed closely behind as the final-table seating assignments and chip stacks were set:
Seat 1: Robin Keston - 849,000
Seat 2: Daniel Negreanu - 1,002,000
Seat 3: Chris Elliott - 281,000
Seat 4: Bengt Sonnert - 385,000
Seat 5: John Juanda - 1,349,000
Seat 6: Ivan Demidov - 1,006,000
Seat 7: Toni Hiltunen - 386,000
Seat 8: Scott Fischman - 732,000
Seat 9: Stanislav Alekhin - 1,278,000
Join PokerNews tomorrow at 1PM local time on Thursday as the final nine players vie to become the second-ever champion in the WSOP Europe Main Event.
Check out the Absolute Poker First Deposit Bonuses on PokerNews.com