It took roughly eight hours for the 24 players who started Day 4 of the PokerStars.net North American Poker Tour Main Event to play down to the eight-handed final table. The player who played the most fearless poker throughout the day was Sam Stein. He was rewarded with the largest stack of the final eight players and will be the only player with no chance of being eliminated on the first hand of the final table on Wednesday afternoon.
Play started out quickly on Day 4, with Christina Lindley, Michael De Gilio and Jonathan Aguiar all reporting to the rail during the first level of play. Day 4 chip leader Eric Blair never seemed to get on track during the day, slipping ante by ante from more than 4 million in chips all the way to 1.68 million.
Stein stepped up and took over the void created by Blair's absence from the top of the leaderboard. The local $5/$10 no-limit hold'em player played a lot of pots and played them to a lot of streets. At one point in the middle of the day, he amassed more than 9 million chips. He used those chips to take shots at eliminating the short stacks. For the most part that strategy didn't work out for Stein but he still managed to finish as the leader with 6,145,000 in chips.
Once Kyle Zartman was eliminated in ninth place, the following eight players were assured of a spot at Wednesday's televised final table:
Seat 1: Daniel Clemente (1,345,000)
Seat 2: Sam Stein (6,145,000)
Seat 3: Tom Fuller (4,735,000)
Seat 4: "Miami" John Cernuto (1,300,000)
Seat 5: Yunus Jamal (3,940,000)
Seat 6: David Paredes (4,700,000)
Seat 7: Tom Marchese (2,370,000)
Seat 8: Eric Blair (1,690,000)
What's on the line for these eight men? Only $827,000 and bragging rights as the first-ever NAPT champion. Will that title go to the local grinder, Stein? One of the young guns of Blair, Fuller and Marchese? Or will the old guard representative, "Miami" John Cernuto, show the internet generation how live poker is really played?
The action kicks off from the Bellini Ballroom at Venetian at 2 p.m. local time Wednesday afternoon. If you're in the area, come to the Venetian and join the crowd. If you're not, keep your browser pointed at PokerNews.com's Live Reporting page for all of the action.