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World Series of Poker Europe Main Event Day 4: Final Table Set, Jason Mercier Leads the Way

World Series of Poker Europe Main Event Day 4: Final Table Set, Jason Mercier Leads the Way 0001

When play started this past weekend, 334 hopefuls bought into the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event dreaming of the coveted WSOPE Main Event bracelet on their wrists. Today, only 36 remained, all hoping to secure their spots at the nine-handed final table. When the dust settled, Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier led the way with almost two million more in chips than his closest competitor.

For much of the day, all eyes were on poker's patriarch, Doyle Brunson, as he forged ahead looking for his 11th WSOP bracelet. Brunson's run came to an end in a hand in which he reraised over the top of Daniel Negreanu's initial raise with {q-Spades}{9-Diamonds}. Unfortunately for Brunson, British November Nine member James Akenhead woke up the {a-Spades}{k-Spades} in the big blind and shoved all-in to isolate himself against Brunson. The {4-Diamonds}{q-Hearts}{5-Diamonds} flop brought Brunson hope, but the {k-Hearts} sealed his fate and knocked the lovable superstar out in 17th place.

With Brunson's quest for 11 bracelets over, two significant story lines developed. One began upstairs at the secondary feature table where it seemed as though Jason Mercier could do no wrong. He built one of his now-famous ginormous chip castles by mowing down all those who crossed his path. At one point during the dinner break, his multi-tiered stack was knocked over by crew trying to adjust the table and it had to be recounted and verified by both the floor staff and camera crews.

Mercier's victims included the local soccer legend Teddy Sheringham, who was knocked out when his {k-Clubs}{q-Diamonds} could not out-flop Mercier's {a-Hearts}{k-Hearts}, Peter Gould, Saar Wilf, and Konstantin Bücherl whose {k-Spades}{k-Hearts} was flushed out by Mercier's {a-Spades}{j-Hearts} when a fourth spade fell on the river.

The second story line was the continued success of this year's November Nine led by none other than Antoine Saout and the aforementioned James Akenhead. To continue with the theme, Barry Shulman, father of November Nine member Jeff Shulman and owner of CardPlayer Media, also made the final table.

On top of knocking out legend Brunson, Akenhead busted French World Poker Tour Cyprus winner Thomas Bichon with kings that held up against the Frenchman's tens, and then in dramatic fashion, Akenhead busted Tony Cousineau. Akenhead raised from the button with {kd]{9-Diamonds}, and the short-stacked Cousineau moved all-in from the small blind with {a-Diamonds}{k-Spades}. The {5-Clubs}{2-Diamonds}{4-Clubs} flop looked good for Cousineau, but the {6-Diamonds} on the turn brought gasps from the crowded Empire Casino. The {3-Diamonds} crashed to the felt on the river sending Cousineau to the rail. Cousineau, who added a 42nd cash to his career accomplishments, has the dubious honor of having the most WSOP cashes without ever winning a bracelet.

The hand that brought us to nine again saw Mercier coming from behind, this time against Eric Liu. Mercier, who at the time had $2.6 million, raised it up in early position only to have Liu move in for his final $350,000 with pocket queens. Mercier thought for about a minute before finally calling with the {k-Clubs}{j-Clubs}. The {a-Clubs}{k-Spades}{10-Clubs} flop was a clear sign that it was Mercier's night, pairing up his king and bringing him a royal flush draw. Liu would need a nonclub jack that would never materialize and Liu was eliminated in 10th place.

With the final table set, Mercier will lead the charge tomorrow with over 3 million in chips. He is followed by Akenhead, Praz Bansi and Barry Shulman. Rounding out the final nine as the short stack is Negreanu, who will begin tomorrow with 438,000.

The official seat assignments and chip counts are below:

Seat 1: Barry Shulman - 1,090,000
Seat 2: Jason Mercier - 3,198,000
Seat 3: Praz Bansi - 1,160,000
Seat 4: Markus Ristola - 784,000
Seat 5: Chris Bjorin - 518,000
Seat 6: James Akenhead - 1,398,000
Seat 7: Daniel Negreanu - 438,000
Seat 8: Antoine Saout - 701,000
Seat 9: Matt Hawrilenko - 674,000

Join PokerNews tomorrow at noon local time when we will provide hand-by-hand coverage of the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event final table.

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