It’s time to get serious at the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event. Day 4 was a crossover day of sorts, as the money bubble burst at the end of Day 3 and now it was time for players to start trying to charge up the leaderboard. With just 354 players remaining, it is Canada’s Dean Morrone on top of the pack with nearly 5 million chips.

As expected, eliminations came fast and furious on Day 4, as it started with 1,286 runners, all of whom were in the money thanks to the final elimination the previous night. With the sigh of relief that comes from making a profit, short stacked players didn’t worry about the money jumps and were willing to shove early in order to double-up or go home. Almost 1,000 players were knocked out on Tuesday, but things will slow down a ton starting today.

The chip leader, Morrone, still has a long way to go to win the title, but oh man, it would basically be like when Chris Moneymaker won it in 2003. Morrone qualified via a $100 satellite on 888poker and this, his first WSOP cash, is now greater than his $10,000 in total live tournament cashes in his lifetime.

“”It feels like an absolute simulation, I can’t believe this is real life,” he told at the end of the night. “I’ve watched this tournament on TV over the years, always just manifested me playing it, it’s all coming into effect.”

Jumping from 365,000 chips to 4.98 million took some skilled poker playing and, like in any Main Event, a little bit of luck. Morrone said he flopped some early sets that his opponents could not overcome and later one man “gifted” him about 120 big blinds when Morrone had him dead-to-rights after the flop. That’s what you need to win the big tournaments, though: get some luck at times, maximize your pots when you have the goods, and get away from a hand when you don’t.

There are many players of note still remaining, but one that will be interesting to watch is ex-NFL football player and seven-time Pro Bowler, Richard Seymour. Seymour has taken up poker since retiring – many athletes find it a fun way to keep their competitive juices flowing – and by all accounts is a very solid player. This is the first time he has cashed in the WSOP Main Event and hopefully for him will be the first time he will get over the hump and go make the final table in a major tournament. He finished third in the PCA High Roller last year, and though the competition was as tough as you’ll find, the field was only 144 players. He also finished 18th in the 2016 WPT Five Diamond Poker Classic Main Event.

Seymour is in 35th place going into Day 5 with 2.750 million chips.

Aside from Dean Morrone, Lars Bonding is the only other player with more than 4 million chips, sitting less than two big blinds above that line. The top twenty players are all at about 3 million and higher.

The action is just now getting underway at the Rio for Day 5. The plan is to play five or six levels today, depending on how things go.

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