A play-down day on the World Poker Tour that was packed with professional intrigue began today at noon at Bellagio in Las Vegas. Thirty-two players remained in the $10,000 no-limit hold’em championship event of the Bellagio Cup IV. For many of the professionals remaining, this final day of play is at the tail end of a very long stretch of tournament poker. Many have been playing events daily since the beginning of the World Series of Poker on May 30. Only six of them would to make the final television table on day 4 to finish their summer off with a huge prize tomorrow. The winner will take home $1,673,770 in prize money.
The final six include some big names in the poker world, including two of hottest players in the game right now. John Phan was the only player to win two gold bracelets at the WSOP this summer, and he could follow that up with his first World Poker Tour title to complete one of the most dominant summers in Las Vegas in recent poker history. David Benyamine made three final tables at the WSOP and earned his first gold bracelet in the $10,000 Omaha eight-or-better world championship. Ralph Perry, while he didn't make a final table at the WSOP, still had a strong summer, finishing in 20th place in the $2,500 deuce-to-seven draw lowball event, making a final-table appearance at the $2,000 Omaha eight-or-better event, and just missing the final table in the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E world championship, busting out as the final-table bubble boy in ninth place. These three players will be joined by Michael Watson, Luke Staudenmaier, and Gabriel Thaler tomorrow at the final table, which begins at 5 p.m.
Here is a look at the final table seating chart with chip counts:
Seat 1: Ralph Perry -- 1,635,000
Seat 2: Luke Staudenmaier -- 3,495,000
Seat 3: John Phan -- 3,495,000
Seat 4: David Benyamine -- 4,860,000
Seat 5: Gabriel Thaler -- 1,550,000
Seat 6: Michael Watson -- 5,060,000
Not everyone could make the final-table party that awaits tomorrow, though, and many players fell during day 4. Here is the entire elimination list from the day:
32nd Place: Wayne Chang -- $32,320
31st Place: Alan Sass -- $32,320
30th Place: Barry Greenstein -- $38,785
29th Place: Jon Van Fleet -- $38,785
28th Place: Zach Hyman -- $38,785
27th Place: Ted Forrest -- $38,785
26th Place: Tom McCormick -- $38,785
25th Place: Hevad Khan -- $38,785
24th Place: Mathias Andersson -- $38,785
23rd Place: Jimmy Tran -- $38,785
22nd Place: Aliaksandr Dzianisau -- $38,785
21st Place: Thiago Nishijima -- $38,785
20th Place: Daniel Alaei -- $51,710
19th Place: Tai Nguyen -- $51,710
18th Place: Jerry Van Strydonck -- $51,710
17th Place: Sarguon Ruya -- $51,710
16th Place: Phillipe Rouas -- $51,710
15th Place: Sabyl Cohen -- $64,640
14th Place: Glen Chorny -- $64,640
13th Place: Adam Geyer -- $64,640
12th Place: Chris McCormack -- $64,640
11th Place: John Gale -- $64,640
10th Place: Henning Granstad -- $77,565
9th Place: David Pham -- $90,495
8th Place: Javed Abrahams -- $103,420
7th Place: Per Ummer -- $116,350
Here are the highlights from CardPlayer.com’s live coverage of day 4 at the WPT Bellagio Cup:
Gabriel Thaler Doubles Through Adam Geyer
Gabe Thaler raises to 65,000, and Adam Geyer reraises to 170,000. Thaler thinks it over for a bit before moving all in for another 175,000. Geyer calls and shows J J, and Thaler needs help with A Q.
The board rolls out Q 7 7 7 3, and Thaler doubles up.
John Gale Eliminated on the River
John Gale was all in for his last 343,000, and David Pham made the call. Gale showed Q10 and was surprised to see he was flipping a coin against Pham's 2 2.
The flop came K Q J, and Gale took the lead. The turn was the 3, giving him a scare but putting him only one card away from the double up. The river was the ... 2, and Pham hit his set. Gale was eliminated in 11th place.
The remaining 10 players are now redrawing for the final table before taking a 15-minute break.
Henning Granstad Eliminated in 10th Place ($77,565)
Short-stack Henning Granstad moved all in with A-J, and he was called by David Pham holding A-Q. The "Dragon" hit his queen on the flop, and Granstad didn't improve. He was eliminated in 10th place and earned just over $77,000 for his finish.
Gabriel Thaler Doubles Up Through John Phan
John Phan raised to 100,000 from middle position and Gabriel Thaler made the call from the button. The flop was dealt Q 5 2, and Phan bet 100,000. Thaler made the call, and the turn fell 9. Phan bet 375,000, and Thaler made the call once again. The river fell 8, and Phan led out at the pot yet again, this time moving all in. Thaler called, risking his final 578,000. They turned up their hands: Phan held A Q, and Thaler turned over J 10. Thaler had hit a runner-runner straight to win the hand.
David Pham Eliminated in Ninth Place ($90,495)
Gabriel Thaler raised to 180,000, and David Benyamine reraised to 455,000. David Pham then reraised to 955,000. Thaler folded, and Benyamine moved all in. Pham eventually called all in, but not before Thaler mentioned out loud that he folded pocket queens.
Pham showed down pocket jacks and he was behind to Benyamine's pocket kings. The board ran out queen high, and Pham was eliminated in ninth place.
Javed Abrahams Eliminated in Eighth Place ($103,420)
Javed Abrahams was all in with a pair of eights against the heart flush draw of David Benyamine. Benyamine made his flush on the turn and Abrahams was drawing dead.
Per Ummer Eliminated in Seventh Place ($116,350)
Per Ummer moved all in on the short stack with pocket eights and John Phan had him covered while holding Q-J. The turn brought a queen, and Ummer was eliminated as the the seventh-place finisher and television table bubble boy. After well over eights hours of play at the final table, the final six have been reached, and play has ended for the evening. Tune back in tomorrow at 5 p.m. for all of the final table action.