What a day of poker that has wrapped up in the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event. Today was Day 4 of the greatest tournament of the year, and it was a barn burner to say the least. The money bubble burst, a record was tied, a living legend busted, stars emerged, and the defending champion survived — all in just five levels of play.
Let's first start with the money bubble, as that's where it all mattered to start the day. Coming into Day 4, 666 players remained. Only 648 of those would cash, and that meant 18 competitors would be sent packing with nothing to show for their long days of effort. The player earning the most unwanted title of the tournament, bubble boy, was three-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Farzad Bonyadi.
In Level 16 with the blinds at 2,500/5,000/500, Bonyadi got involved in a hand with Nick Schwarmann, who had raised to 12,000 preflop in middle position. Bonyadi called in position on his opponent, and the two players saw the flop come down . Schwarmann checked, Bonyadi bet 14,000, and Schwarmann check-raised to 37,000. Bonyadi called.
The turn was the , and Schwarmann led with 54,000. Bonyadi called, and the river completed the board with the . Schwarmann put Bonyadi all in, and according to Schwarmann after the hand, Bonyadi snap-called. After all other tables had finished action, the hands were revealed to show Bonyadi with the and Schwarmann with the . Bonyadi had but a pair of jacks, and Schwarmann had a Broadway straight to win the hand.
Two players to reach the money were Ronnie Bardah and Christian Harder. By making it to a cash, both had done so for the fourth year in a row in the Main Event, tying the record held by Chris Bjorin. Harder went on to finish in 608th place for $19,106 while Bardah made it to the bag-and-tag portion of the night and will return for Day 5 with 932,000 in chips.
With all of the remaining 648 players in the money, the eliminations came fast and furious, but none were more notable than 10-time WSOP gold bracelet winner and two-time Main Event champion Doyle Brunson.
In Level 18 with the blinds at 4,000/8,000/1,000, Brunson called all in with the against the for Sergei Stazhkov. The board ran out , and Brunson was eliminated to a standing applause from the entire tournament room.
Throughout the day, many players took a turn at holding the chip lead. With every new level brought two or three more players swapping out time spent holding the top spot. At the end of the night, though, it was Jon Lane leading the way, but he wasn't the only player to advance with heavy artillery. Grayson Ramage (2,438,000), Amir Lehavot (1,783,000), David Benefield (1,675,000), Rachid Ben Cherif (1,649,000), Jackie Glazier (1,595,000), Rep Porter (1,526,000), Joshua Prager (1,237,000) and Annette Obrestad (1,186,000) all finished well into the seven figures.
Lane snatched the chip lead when he busted Nicholas Immekus in Level 20 in a pot worth more than 1,000,000. Lane's held against Immekus' to vault him to 2,700,000 in chips, and he went on to bag up 2,839,000.
Although not doing quite as well as some of his competitors, the defending champion Greg Merson is very healthy moving forward after bagging up 635,000 in chips. Merson was seated on multiple feature tables throughout the day, and played a steady, solid game of poker. Merson began the day with 390,000 in chips, making for a nice addition of 245,000 on the day. At the conclusion of Day 4 last year, Merson finished on 376,000 with 282 players remaining. As the story goes, Merson went on to win the event, and could very well be celebrating 19 months sober with another spectacular Main Event splash.
Day 5 will commence on Saturday at 12 p.m. local Las Vegas time. With 239 players remaining, the field should easily work it's way down to under 100 players, and you won't want to miss a thing. Be sure to keep it locked right here to PokerNews for all the coverage from the 2013 WSOP Main Event as we bring it to you live. Until tomorrow, goodnight from Las Vegas!