Poker News

Day 4 of the World Series of Poker Main Event brought a lot of excitement and several tense moments as the money bubble approached late Friday afternoon. A total of 853 players made their way to the Amazon Room knowing that only 693 would cash, and the title of “bubble boy” was at the forefront of many minds.

That regrettable honor ultimately fell on Reza Kashani, who was eliminated by 2010 November Niner Joseph Cheong in 694th place after 45 minutes of hand-for-hand play. Kashani got his remaining chips in with Ks-Js on a flop of Kh-Qc-9c, but Cheong called and tabled Qs-Qd for middle set, leaving Kashani drawing thin for his tournament life. The turn and river were no help to Kashani, and he hit the rail to the delight to the 693 other players who each earned at least $19,359.

Kashani had told his family he was on a trip to Jamaica during his Main Event run and may have to tell a similar bluff again next year as he was awarded a free entry into the 2012 Main Event. “I think I got a lot of good experience from this,” Kashani said moments after being eliminated. “I think this is going to help me for next year.”

Several notables joined Kashani short of the money on Friday, including Phil Hellmuth, Berry Johnston, Jeff Madson, Jeff Lisandro, David Chiu, and Humberto Brenes. Hellmuth was seated at the ESPN Feature Table and made an unconventional play that resulted in his exit from the tournament.

With around 100,000 in chips, Hellmuth raised to 12,500 preflop with pocket threes and Swedish pro Martin de Knijff 3-bet to 32,500 from the blinds. Hellmuth called and the flop brought Qc-Js-2s. De Knijff led out for 30,000 and Hellmuth went into the tank for several minutes. He eventually moved all in and De Knijff quickly called, turning over Kc-Qh for top pair. The 4s turn and 9c river were no help to Hellmuth, and he made his way to the rail following a memorable World Series.

Hellmuth currently leads the 2011 WSOP Player of the Year race, but Ben Lamb is close on his heels and will take a large stack into Day 5 of the Main Event. Lamb, the Day 1b and 2b chip leader, continued to build his stack on Friday and bagged up 1,268,000 at the end of Day 4. He was seated for most of the day with Amanda Musumeci, the top female heading into Day 5 with 1,064,000.

The 378 remaining players are all looking up at Manoj Viswanathan, a Brooklyn native who made his first WSOP cash ever at this year’s Main Event. Viswanathan will take 2,115,000 into Day 5, with Sam Barnhart, Heinz Pius, Stephane Albertini and Daryl “aaaaaa” Jace not far behind.

Here’s a look at the Top 10 stacks along with a list of notables heading into Day 5 of the 2011 WSOP Main Event:

1. Manoj Viswanathan — 2,115,000
2. Sam Barnhart — 1,925,000
3. Heinz Pius — 1,887,000
4. Stephane Albertini — 1,867,000
5. Daryl Jace — 1,849,000
6. Lars Bonding — 1,813,000
7. Kyle Johnson — 1,761,000
8. Matt Kay — 1,756,000
9. Mazin Khoury — 1,707,000
10. Max Heinzelmann — 1,672,000

Bryan Devonshire — 1,365,000
JP Kelly — 1,332,000
Ben Lamb — 1,268,000
Sebastian Ruthenberg — 1,162,000
David Bach — 1,142,000
Phil “USCPhildo” Collins — 1,077,000
Amanda Musumeci — 1,064,000
Steve Brecher — 973,000
Joe Tehan — 893,000
Joseph Cheong — 862,000
Eli Elezra — 779,000
Kevin Saul — 690,000
Sorel Mizzi — 642,000
Daniel Negreanu — 619,000
Allen Cunningham — 582,000
Todd Brunson — 380,000
Peter Jetten — 360,000
Freddy Deeb — 258,000
Ted Forrest — 75,000

Play will resume at noon PST Saturday. Stay tuned to Poker News Daily for continuing coverage of the World Series of Poker Main Event from Las Vegas.

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