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WSOP 2009

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Event #57, $10,000 Main Event, End of Day 4 Report

World Championship
World Series of Poker Main Event
No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-In: $10,000
Number of Entries: 6,494
Players Remaining: 407
Total Net Prize Pool: $61,043,600
Number of Places Paid: 648
First Place Prize: $8,546,435
July 3--November 10, 2009

Day Four Headlines

  1. World Series of Poker Main Event Continues – All Surviving 407 Players Are Now in the Money
  2. Late on Day Four, Matt Affleck (Seattle, WA) Seizes the Chip Lead
  3. Numerous Poker Superstars Still Alive – Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier, Kieth Lehr, Phil Ivey, Blair Rodman, Tom Schneider, Dan Harrington, Joe Hachem, Prahlad Friedman, Kenny Tran, Dennis Phillips, David Benyamine, Fabrice Soulier -- All in Top 200

The Main Event Continues

The 2009 WSOP Main Event continued with the play and conclusion of Day 4. The day was most notable for reaching the threshold at which participants break into the money. After nine days and more than 30 hours of tournament play, all in-the-money finishers were guaranteed at least $21,365 in prize money.

This day is also referred to as “Bubble Day.” This is because several players miss and others make a guaranteed payout. The player who finishes exactly one spot out of the money is referred to as the “bubble finisher.” This is generally regarded as the most disappointing fate any tournament player can suffer, since he/she spent the greatest amount of time at the tables (and likely played well enough to go deep), yet collected no prize money.

Reaching the money is traditionally one of the tournament’s most exciting (and stressful) moments. The difference between cashing and busting out represents a $21,365 swing. For this reason, the pace of play slows down considerably as the bubble approaches. Players tend to play much tighter during this stage, fearing the catastrophic consequences of busting out. For this reason, tournament officials institute a hand-for-hand format which forces all players and tables to play the same number of hands leading up to the bubble point.

The pace of play during the first two hours of Day 4 (Level 15) was sonic. The tournament played from 789 at the start all the way down to 659 players in that span, which meant 130 players were eliminated. That translated into a bust out about every 52 seconds.

Day 3 began with 789 players. The day ended with 407 survivors.

Prize money payouts increase at various intervals. Every player still alive in the tournament (407th place and better) is now guaranteed at least $27,469 in prize money.

The day began with WSOP President and Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack alongside WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel. They announced the WSOP “Dealer of the Year” award. The honor went to Dennis McCollum, from Reno, NV. He is a tournament director at the Peppermill Casino. The “Dealer of the Year” prize is given out to the dealer who best demonstrates excellence over the duration of the six-week-long WSOP. McCollum was presented with a luxury watch made by Corum, the official timepieces of the WSOP.

This was the 45th day of the WSOP. Play continues for four more days, plus the finale to be played in November.

Tomorrow (Sunday) begins at noon and is expected to include five levels of play.

Any player dealt four jacks in this year’s Main Event receives a special prize from Jack Link’s Beef Jerky valued at $100. So far, 34 packages have been given away (through eight completed days).

Play on Day 4 began on July 11, 2009 at 12:10 pm.

Play on Day 4

Defending champion Peter Eastgate remains very much alive in the 2009 Main Event. He is presently in 202nd place, which is exactly in the middle of the pack. Amazingly, late on Day 2, he was down to just 8,000 in chips, but went on a monster rush during the final hour and ended up with about an average-sized stack. On Day 3, he held steady and also finished the day with an average-sized stack. Eastgate is primed to make the best run by a defending champion since Greg “Fossilman” Raymer’s 25-place finish in the 2005 Main Event.

It should be noted that Eastgate was ranked 74th after Day 4 last year, and went on to win the championship.

Former world champions who continued play on Day 4 included – Bobby "the Owl" Baldwin (1978), Phil Hellmuth (1989), Dan Harrington (1995), Chris “Jesus” Ferguson (2000), Joe Hachem (2005), and Peter Eastgate (2008). Hellmuth and Ferguson were eliminated, while the other champions all survived.

The first player to reach the million-chip mark was Owen Crowe, from Halifax, NS (Canada) – which took place on Day 3. No player has reached the 2 million chip mark at this point.

Players competed for four complete levels. Play ended after Level 17. When play resumes tomorrow at Level 18, blinds will be 4,000-8,000 with a 1,000 ante. The average stack size is 478,673.

Day 4 started with a field of 789 players and ended with 407 survivors. This means only about 6.2 percent of the original 6,494 starters survived past the fourth day.

The hand-for-hand format began when players were five spots out of the money. It took 13 hands to eliminate the next five players. It also took eight hands to move from 649 to 648 players. This was the longest hand-for-hand session in Main Event history, breaking the mark set three years ago (12 hands). It also took 1 hour and 48 minutes to complete.

Perhaps the most exciting hand too place exactly one spot out of the money on the fourth hand-for hand when Richard Harrington (Johnson Bayou, LA) moved all-in with A-A and was called by an opponent holding K-J. The flop came K-J-x, which shocked Harrington and everyone who was watching. With the entire tournament room holding its collective breath (hoping for a bust out so they could be guaranteed prize money), the turn and river came 2-2, which gave Harrington a higher two pair with his aces and deuces. The room let out a collective groan and play continued for more than an hour.

During the hand-for-hand format, Tournament Director Jack Effel announced at one point when a player was all-in, “He’s playing against 648 other players who all hope he busts out.”

The unfortunate bubble player was Kia Hamadani, from Los Angeles, CA. He was down to a single chip and finally busted out, thus becoming the official 649th-place finisher in the 2009 Main Event. Fortunately, not all was a lost cause for Hamadani. He was brought up to the main stage and stood in front of a few thousand people, feebly attempting to hide his disappointment. WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack made the announcement that Hamadani would receive a nice consolation prize courtesy of Jack Link’s Beef Jerky. He became the first player entered into the 2010 WSOP Main Event, as a result of the $10,000 gift prize paid for by Jack Link’s.

Poker player and game theorist J.P. Massar (Berkley, CA) finished in 627th place. Massar was the person who inspired actor Kevin Spacey’s role in the movie “21.”

Chuck Pacheco (Los Angeles, CA), a Hollywood Producer, finished 612th place.

Bob Slezak (Omaha, NE) a former gold bracelet winner and ex-CFO of Ameritrade, finished in 594th place.

2000 WSOP champion Chris “Jesus” Ferguson (Pacific Palisades, CA) finished in 561st place.

Two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Jesper Hougaard (Copenhagen, Denmark), finished in 523rd place.

Paul Wasicka (Las Vegas, NV), who was the runner-up to Jamie Gold in the 2006 Main Event, finished in 480th place. Wasicka also won the 2007 NBC Heads-Up championship.

1989 WSOP champion and 11-time gold bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth (Palo Alto, CA) finished in 436th place. This was his second consecutive year to cash in the Main Event after finished 45th last year.

Former gold bracelet winner and French singing superstar Patrick Bruel (Paris, France) finished in 428th place.

Poker ambassador, former gold bracelet winner, and television commentator Mike Sexton (Las Vegas, NV) cashed. He finished in 420th place. This was Sexton’s seventh time to cash in the Main Event.

During the day, all 500-denomination chips were raced off. This means the lowest-denomination chip at the start of Day 5 will be 1,000.

Players who survived Day 4 will return to continue their quest for the 2009 world poker championship gold bracelet and $8.5 million in prize money on July 12th, starting at noon.

Play on Day 4 ended at 7:45 pm.

The Bubble Finisher (Kia Hamadani)

The “bubble finisher” was Kia Hamedani, from Los Angles, CA. He is a 26-year-old financial analyst, who plays recreationally, but seriously. was interviewed by several members of the media shortly after busting out, and being presented an entry into next year’s Main Event (courtesy of Jack Link’s Beef Jerky):

Question: How do you feel?
KH: I’m disappointed obviously. I started the day with 280,000 in chips. I had some really tough hands....we went like six hands during hand-for-hand and I thought I could make it through. But it didn’t happen. That’s how it goes.
Question: Is there any consolation to getting a buy-in into next year’s Main Event?
KH: To tell you the truth, I was not playing in this event just to cash. It’s nice. But I was playing to win. It really was that gut-wrenching to finish on the bubble because I was playing to win, anyway.
Question: Can you take us back through how the day went?
KH: I started out the day with 280,000 so I was feeling pretty good. I was actually the chip leader at my table starting the day. I just couldn’t win a hand. I went about two hours where I think I won one hand. I got down to about 40,000 and I realized I was getting closer to the money. So, I decided to just fold all the way into it. And then, about ten hands ago when we started playing hand-for-hand I thought I was going to make the money. I had ten hands to play and we were five players away from the money (Note: it was actually 13 hands). Then, it got down to the point where we were only one player and I still had six hands left. Since we had been losing one or to players per hand, to go six hands without losing a single hand was jsut horrible.
Question: You seem remarkably calm for someone who just finished on the bubble.
KH: Like I said, I really was not playing this tournament just to cash. What I want to do at this tournament is to win....I am used to pretty big swings with my normal line of business (investing). So, I understand this is part of the game and you have to take it in stride. That is how the cards fall.
Question: If you could rewind your life seven days earlier and you were to know you would be standing here in 649th place, walking away now with nothing but the worst bad beat story of the tournament, would you still have entered the WSOP and gone through all this?
KH: Definitely. I would not change anything. I had a great time. I had a great run. I think I played well. I got a $10,000 seat out of it, so I basically broke event. It’s been a lot of fun. I have no complaints.

Day 5 Chip Leader (Matt Affleck)

The chip leader is Matt Affleck, from Seattle, WA. He went on a rush late in the day and overcame several other players to take the top spot over Frenchman Lodovic Lacay (Paris, France). Affleck ended the day with 1,819,000. His closest rival is more than 200,000 chips behind.

Affleck does not have many tournament cashes – just four in the past year. But he did cash earlier at this year’s WSOP in the Razz event. He also made final tables at WPT Deauville (France) and the California State Poker Championship (runner up).

The highest-ranked former WSOP gold bracelet winner after Day 4 is Blaire Hinkle, from Kansas City, MO. Tran is now ranked 9th, with 1,399,000 in chips.

Here is how the previous end-of-day chip leaders have fared:

  • Day 1-A: Redmond Lee (London, UK) – eliminated, did not cash
  • Day 1-B: Brandon Demes (Tempe, AZ) – eliminated, did not cash
  • Day 1-C: Joseph Cada (Shelby Township, MI) – currently in 44th place
  • Day 1-D: Troy Weber (West Terre Haute, IN) – eliminated, did not cash
  • Day 2-A: Andrew Gaw (Philippines) – eliminated, did not cash
  • Day 2-B: Amir Lehavot (Weston, FL) – currently in 128th place
  • Day 3: Bertrand Grospellier (Nancy, France) – currently 16th place
  • Day 4: Matt Affleck (Seattle, WA) -- TBA

WSOP Main Event (Cashing Records)




JOHNSTON BERRY $10000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship 1982 3 $104,000.00
JOHNSTON BERRY $10000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship 1985 3 $140,000.00
JOHNSTON BERRY $10000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship 1986 1 $570,000.00
JOHNSTON BERRY $10000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship 1987 32 $7,500.00
JOHNSTON BERRY $10000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship 1989 29 $7,500.00
JOHNSTON BERRY $10000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship 1990 5 $75,150.00
JOHNSTON BERRY $10000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship 1992 17 $10,100.00
JOHNSTON BERRY $10000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship 1995 21 $17,300.00
JOHNSTON BERRY $10000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship 1996 16 $23,400.00
JOHNSTON BERRY $10000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship 2007 113 $58,570.00


Theodore Park, 4 cashes - 2005-2008  
Bo Sehlstedt, 4 cashes- 2004-2007  
Robert Turner, 4 cashes- 1991-1994  
13 others tied at three including Mike Sexton ('91-'93), Johnny Chan ('87-'89)
Jay Heimowitz ('87-'89) Hans "Tuna" Lund ('90-'92) Berry Johnston ('85-'87)
Andrew Brokos (06'-08') and Stefan Mattsson ('06-'08)  


Theodore Park 2005- 2008 (2009???)
Stefan Mattsson 2006-2008 (2009??)
Andrew Brokos 2006-2008 (2009??) 

Players to Watch

Here is the current status of all former WSOP world champions who played in this year’s Main Event. Six former champions remain still alive:

  • 1972: “Amarillo Slim” Preston – eliminated on Day 2
  • 1975/1976: Doyle Brunson – eliminated on Day 1
  • 1978: Bobby Baldwin – STILL ALIVE (319th place, with 213,000)
  • 1983: Tom McEvoy – eliminated on Day 1
  • 1986: Berry Johnston – eliminated on Day 2
  • 1987/1988: Johnny Chan – eliminated on Day 2
  • 1989: Phil Hellmuth – CASHED IN 436th PLACE
  • 1993: Jim Bechtel – eliminated on Day 3
  • 1995: Dan Harrington – STILL ALIVE (103rd place, with 659,000)
  • 1996: Huck Seed – eliminated on Day 1
  • 1998: Scotty Nguyen – eliminated on Day 2
  • 2000: Chris “Jesus” Ferguson – CASHED IN 561st PLACE
  • 2001: Carlos “the Matador” Mortensen – eliminated on Day 3
  • 2002: Robert Varkonyi – eliminated on Day 2
  • 2003: Chris Moneymaker – eliminated on Day 1
  • 2004: Greg “Fossilman” Raymer – eliminated on Day 3
  • 2005: Joe Hachem – STILL ALIVE (159th place, with 490,000)
  • 2006: Jamie Gold – eliminated in Day 1
  • 2007: Jerry Yang – eliminated on Day 1
  • 2008: Peter Eastgate – STILL ALIVE (202nd place, with 392,000)

Here is the current status of all current and former WSOP “Player of the Year” champions who played in this year’s Main Event:

Here is the current status of those players with notable results from this year’s WSOP:

  • David Bach (HORSE World Championship winner) – eliminated on Day 2
  • Alex Bolotin (“Ante-Up for Africa” championship winner) – eliminated on Day 3
  • Darryll Fish (cashed 7 times at this year’s WSOP) – eliminated on Day 2
  • Jeffrey Lisandro (won three gold bracelets this year) – eliminated on Day 3
  • Ville Wahlbeck (finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 6th in four events) – eliminated on Day 3
  • Vitaly Lunkin (finished 1st, 2nd, and 4th in three events) – STILL ALIVE (268,000 place, below average stack)
  • Greg Mueller (won two gold bracelets this year) – eliminated on Day 4
  • Phil Ivey (won two gold bracelets this year) – STILL ALIVE (15th place, with 1,276,000 )

Here is the current status of notable non-pro celebrities from this year’s Main Event:

  • Chuck Pachenco (movie producer) – CASHED IN 612th PLACE
  • Jason Alexander (actor) – eliminated on Day 3
  • Scott Ian (musician with band “Anthrax”) – eliminated on Day 3
  • Shane Warne (world famous cricket player) – eliminated on Day 3
  • Torrie Wilson (female wrestler) – eliminated on Day 1
  • John Salley (former NBA basketball player) – eliminated on Day 1
  • Patrick Bruel (French actor and singer) – CASHED IN 428th PLACE
  • Lou Diamond Phillips (actor and singer) – STILL ALIVE (114th PLACE, 607,000)
  • Marlon Wayans (actor) – eliminated on Day 2
  • Jordan Farmar (NBA basketball player) – eliminated on Day 3
  • Sam Simon (Hollywood writer and producer) – eliminated on Day 3
  • Joseph Kahn (music video producer) – eliminated on Day 1
  • Ray Romano (actor) – eliminated on Day 1
  • Sully Erna (musician) – eliminated on Day 1
  • Shannon Elizabeth (actor) – eliminated on Day 1
  • Brad Garrett (actor) -- eliminated on Day 1
  • Jennifer Tilly (actor) – eliminated on Day 1
  • Orel Hershiser (former major league baseball player – eliminated on Day 1

Historical Footnote: The highest Main Event finish for a (non-poker) celebrity was actor Telly Savalas, who finished 21st in the 1992 championship.

Here is the current status of last year’s “November Nine” (2009 Main Event Final Table participants):

Of the remaining players who are still alive going into Day 5, XXX are international (non-American) players. This represents 34 percent of the field. Nations still in contention include:

  • Argentina -- 1
  • Australia -- 1
  • Austria -- 1
  • Bolivia -- 1
  • Brazil – 1
  • Bulgaria – 1
  • Canada -- 18
  • Chile -- 1
  • Denmark – 5
  • Finland -- 3
  • France -- 11
  • Germany 10
  • Hungary -- 3
  • Ireland -- 3
  • Israel -- 2
  • Italy -- 6
  • Macedonia – 1
  • Malaysia -- 1
  • Mexico -- 1
  • Netherlands -- 8
  • Norway -- 2
  • Panama -- 1
  • Peru -- 1
  • Poland -- 1
  • Russia -- 3
  • Slovakia -- 1
  • South Africa -- 1
  • Spain -- 1
  • St. Kitts -- 1
  • Sweden -- 4
  • Switzerland -- 1
  • Turkey -- 1
  • UK -- 21
  • USA -- 289

Daily elimination percentages are as follows:

  • DAY ONE: 68 percent of the original starters in this tournament survived the first day / 32 percent were eliminated.
  • DAY TWO: 31 percent of the original starters survived the second day / 27 percent were eliminated from the start of day amount.
  • DAY THREE: 12 percent of the original starters survived the third day / 60 percent were eliminated from the start of day amount.
  • DAY FOUR: 6.2 percent of the original starters survived the fourth day / 48.2 percent were eliminated from the start of day amount

Female Participants in the 2009 Main Event

(Note: The WSOP recognizes that player characteristics such as gender, race, etc. do not warrant special mention. However, since many members of the media wish to know details about female participation and status, the staff is providing this information for media use.)

The number of female participants in this year's Main Event is estimated to be 187, which amounts to 2.8 percent of the field. There is no official record since entrants are not designated by their gender. However, it has been customary to count every player at the start of Day One and take an unofficial head-count of female players.

Here are the highest-female finishers (by year) in the WSOP Main Event (Note: Only players who finished in-the-money were recorded):

No female cashed in the Main Event between the years 1970-1985.

1986 – Wendeen Eolis (25th)
1987 – None
1988 – None
1989 – None
1990 – None
1991 – None
1992 – None
1993 – Marsha Waggoner (19th)
1994 – Barbara Samuelson (10th)
1995 – Barbara Enright (5th)
1996 – Lucy Rokach (26th)
1997 – Marsha Waggoner (12th)
1998 – Susie Isaacs (10th)
1999 – None
2000 – Annie Duke (10th)
2001 – None
2002 – None
2003 – Annie Duke (47th)
2004 – Rose Richie (98th)
2005 – Tiffany Williamson (15th)
2006 – Sabyl Cohen-Landrum (56th)
2007 – Maria Ho (38th)
2008 – Tiffany Michelle (17th)

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