Day 4 of the PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event saw the final 30 of a 366-player field return to action. After just six hours of play, only a dozen players remained, which puts the average stack at 57 big blinds. Leading the pack with 2,070,000 is Russia’s Denis Timofeev, who you may remember as winning a €2,000 no-limit hold’em side event at the EPT13 Malta last October for a career-high $70,280.
Others still in contention for the $293,860 first-place prize include start-of-the day chip leader James Salmon (1,612,000), 2015 GPI Player of the Year Byron Kaverman (1,236,000), EPT12 Prague High Roller champ Kenny Smaron (1,104,000), and Michael Lech (457,000), who was recently the subject of PokerNews’ “Not-So-Poor Bum” feature article.
Here’s a look at the remaining 12 players:
Among the 14 players to fall on Day 4 were poker pros Jason Wheeler and Jason Koon, who were actually the first two to go. Wheeler fell when he failed to win a race with pocket eights, and Koon busted shoving fives into aces.
From there, players like Pedro Pollino (27th-$12,480), Samuel Gagnon (26th-$12,480), and Caufman Talley (24th-$12,480) all hit the rail before UFC Hall of Famer and Friend of PokerStars Tito Ortiz joined them on the rail in 22nd place for $16,080.
Ortiz: "I still feel like an amateur, this was only my second tournament"
Ortiz, who notched his first-ever tournament cash, fell after getting his last 55,000 all in preflop holding ace-queen against the pocket tens of Kaverman.
“I gave it my best,” Ortiz told PokerStars officials after his elimination. “It’s been amazing Felipe [Ramos] has showed me a lot of things, he’s a great coach. I still feel like an amateur, this was only my second tournament.”
The last woman in the field, Jessica Perez Borrego, followed Ortiz out the door – the result of her ace-six suited failing to get there against the pocket queens of Robin Wozniczek – as did Roman Pavliuk (20th-$16,080), Alberto Meran Matias (19th - $16,080), Alexander Viard (16th-$16,080), and Vasyl Vertianov (15th-$20,860).
JC Alvarado busted in the last hand of the night, failing to make a flush against Wozniczek.
Fittingly, the day ended the same way it began, with the elimination of two notable pros. Two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Mark Radoja fell when he ran queens into the pocket kings of Smaron, while JC Alvarado busted in the last hand of the night, failing to make a flush against Wozniczek.
Day 5 will kick off a Noon local time on Sunday with the plan of playing down to the final six. Action will pick up at the start of Level 21 with the blinds at 8,000/16,000/2,000. The finalist will then return on Monday to play down to a winner with the final table being broadcast cards up.
Of course, the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be there every step of the way to bring you updates straight from the tournament floor. While you wait, check out this video of Timofeev talking about his experience playing against Ortiz.
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