Day 4 of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event has come to a close and leading the final 291 players is Matthew Haugen. Haugen bagged up a stack of 2.808 million to end the day and will return on Saturday as the player closest to achieving the dream of winning the $10,000,000 first-place prize and the championship gold bracelet.
While Haugen sits atop the chip counts, he has a few noted tournament professionals close behind. Dan Smith is one such pro who is currently experiencing his first cash in the WSOP Main Event, catapulted into the chip lead early in the day. Smith had a large and dramatic confrontation with then chip leader Stephen Graner that hit a climactic moment Smith moved all in on the river. Graner tank-folded his hand and Smith dragged in a massive pot. From there, Smith's stack continued to grow as he sat among the leaders for the rest of the day. He bagged up 2.29 million which is good for sixth in chips.
Also bagging up a top stack at the end of the night is online wizard Griffin Benger. Benger, who has over $1.2 million in live tournament winnings to his name, has clinched his fifth cash of the series with his performance in the Main Event. He will be a forced to be reckoned with on Day 5 as he will return with 2.329 million in chips.
Other big stacks coming back for Day 5 include Zach Jiganti (2.364 million), Michael Finstein (2.316 million), Bruno Politano (2.28 million), Andoni Larrabe (2.195 million), Kyle Keranen (2.157 million), and Brian Hastings (2.079 million).
The bubble burst on the second level of the day, guaranteeing the top 693 finishers a payday of at least $18,406. On the first bubble hand, John Dwyer ran a full house into November Niner Mark Newhouse's quad fives. Zhen Cai followed Dwyer out the door, unable to improve with pocket queens against Darren Keyes' pocket aces. Finally, Kori Hunter's pocket aces were cracked by Harry Kaczka's nine-eight which made two pair. All three of these players made $6,135 and Cai won a high card for a free seat in next year's Main Event.
One the money bubble was burst, players began dropping like flies. One of the most notable eliminations was that of 10-time bracelet winner Phil Ivey. Ivey held the chip lead coming into Day 3 but had an unfortunate Day 4, ultimately falling from play in 430th place. Other notable eliminations in the money include Randy Ohel (692nd), Olivier Busquet (641st), Ben Yu (611th), Angel Guillen (594th), Vinny Pahuja (575th), Joe Kuether (558th), Daniel Alaei (534th), Phil Galfond (527th), Jonathan Little (490th), Abe Mosseri (455th), Matthias De Meulder (433rd), Chris DeMaci (357th), Michael Binger (353rd), Faraz Jaka (333rd), and Brett Richey (323rd).
While those players saw their Main Event come to an end on Day 4, other notable players thrived throughout the day. Some notable names who will return to the felt on Day 5 include Leif Force (1.987 million), Martin Jacobson (1.594 million), Simon Charette (1.525 million), Andrey Zaichenko (1.484 million), Matt Waxman (1.453 million), Ankush Mandavia (1.093 million), Jared Bleznick (986,000), Rep Porter (931,000), David Tuthill (896,000), Mukul Pahuja (827,000), Bryan Devonshire (667,000), Maria Ho (544,000), Jeff Madsen (419,000), and David Einhorn (284,000).
Play resumes at 12 p.m. on Saturday where the final 291 will play five more levels on the path to the November Nine. As always, PokerNews will be on hand to provide the latest from this prestigious tournament!