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WSOP -- Day 4 of the Main Event

Phil Ivey Surges to 1,276,000 in Chips


The last time Phil Ivey won multiple World Series of Poker bracelets in a single summer, he also made a run at the main event final table. The seven-time bracelet winner has another chance this year after a dominating day four of the main event.

Ivey entered day four on Saturday with 371,000 in chips, sitting in 148th place among the 789 that started the day. Now at the conclusion of day four and after the field reached the money, Ivey sits in tremendous chip position. He currently holds 1,276,000 and resides in 15th among the 407 that survived to play on in poker’s most prestigious tournament.

Phil Ivey and Jeff Lisandro

With two bracelets, Ivey is nearing the end of one of the best summers of his career. Only five men have ever won three at a single WSOP, and Ivey is one of them. He could etch his name on that exclusive list for a second time and join Jeff Lisandro, who was eliminated on day three, as a triple winner from this summer. Ivey would need to capture the one bracelet that has painfully eluded him over the years.

Ivey’s triple bracelet performance in 2002 was capped off with a deep run in the 631 player main event that year. He finished in 23rd place, in what was his first main event cash. The following year, Ivey found himself near the end of the no-limit hold’em world championship once again.

In the 2003 main event, Ivey suffered a heartbreaking beat from eventual champion Chris Moneymaker at the unofficial final table of ten.

Moneymaker opened the action in early position with the AHeart SuitQDiamond Suit for 60,000. Ivey made the call from the cutoff with the 9Spade Suit9Heart Suit and Jason Lester made the call from the small blind with pocket tens.

The flop came QHeart SuitQSpade Suit6Spade Suit, giving Moneymaker trip queens. Lester checked and Moneymaker bet 70,000. Ivey thought for awhile before calling and Lester mucked. Ivey hit gin on the turn when the 9Club Suit fell, giving him nines full. Moneymaker suspected nothing from the card and bet out 200,000. Ivey didn’t take long before announcing all in for 300,000 more. Moneymaker snap called and exposed his trip queens, as Ivey was in great shape to build a chip stack for the official final table. He needed to dodge an ace, queen or six in order for his full house to hold. However, disaster struck when the ASpade Suit pealed off the top of the deck.

Ivey had another opportunity in 2005 when he finished in 20th place after wading through a field of 5,619 players. A series of missteps cost him a large portion of his stack, before an all-in with pocket jacks ended his tournament when they collided with the kings of Aaron Kanter.

With one of the biggest surges on day four of the 2009 main event, Ivey sits with almost three times the chip average of 478,673. Here is a look at some of the hands that propelled him to his current position, as featured in Card Player’s live updates:

Ivey Eliminates Opponent with Aces

Ivey raised to 16,000 preflop from early position and was called by Binjian Wu. The flop came QHeart Suit 7Spade Suit 2Diamond Suit and Ivey bet 23,000. Wu called. The 8Heart Suit hit the turn and Ivey bet 55,000. Wu went into the tank before eventually calling.

The river was the 4Diamond Suit and Ivey fired out a bet that forced Wu to put in the rest of his chips. Wu eventually made the decision for his tournament life and Ivey tabled the ASpade SuitAHeart Suit. The aces were good as Wu mucked and was eliminated from the tournament. Ivey was then up to 900,000.

Phil Ivey

Ivey Breaks a Million

On a board of AClub SuitJClub Suit7Spade Suit8Spade Suit Phil Ivey fired 70,000 into David Wickham, who made the call. The river was the 3Diamond Suit and Ivey bet 120,000. Wickham thought for awhile before finally laying his hand down. Ivey took the pot and was closing in on 1,000,000 in chips.

Later, Ivey and Michael Graydon were squaring off on a board of QHeart Suit 9Club Suit 5Heart Suit 7Club Suit. Graydon checked to Ivey who moved all in, having Graydon well covered. Graydon called and turned over ADiamond Suit9Diamond Suit for second pair. Ivey exposed the KDiamond SuitKClub Suit. The 7Spade Suit fell on the river and Ivey scored another knockout. His stack was at 1,100,000 million.

Moments later, Ivey raised to 16,000 preflop and David Watkinson made the call from the big blind. The flop came 9Club Suit 6Spade Suit 3Diamond Suit and Watkinson checked. Ivey bet 22,000 and Watkinson called. The turn was the 8Diamond Suit and Ivey fired another 55,000 into the pot. Watkinson called and the KClub Suit fell on the river. Ivey fired 120,000 and Watkinson waved the white flag by mucking his hand. The stack had grown to 1,200,000 as the day was coming to a close.

Aside from Ivey’s day four success, there were many notable professionals who made exits after the money bubble burst. They include Phil Hellmuth (436th), Justin Bonomo (442nd), Paul Wasicka (480th), Alex Kostritsyn (498th), Chris Ferguson (561st) and David Williams (597th).

Here is a look at some of the elimination hands as featured in Card Player’s live updates:

Phil Hellmuth

Phil Hellmuth Short, then Busts with Aces

Abraham Mourshaki raised to 20,000 and the action folded to Phil Hellmuth who raised to 36,000. Mourshaki called and the flop came JHeart SuitJClub Suit3Diamond Suit. Mourshaki checked-called a 40,000 bet from Hellmuth. The turn was the 7Spade Suit and both players checked. The river was the 5Heart Suit and Mourshaki bet 120,000. Hellmuth called and was shown the ASpade SuitJDiamond Suit for trips. Hellmuth mucked and the tirade began.

“I’m gonna vomit on the floor,” he said. “You had to find jack-jack for him. You couldn’t find just one jack so he could sail off?” Hellmuth then walked away from the table as he was down to about 100,000.

Just a few hands later, Mourshaki raised to 22,000 preflop and Hellmuth called. Three other players jumped in the pool as well and the flop came JClub Suit 10Diamond Suit 5Club Suit. Kevin Jenkins moved all in for 83,000 and Hellmuth reraised all in with his last 110,000. Kenny Hsuing made the call and the three players tabled their hands.

Hellmuth: AClub SuitASpade Suit
Hsuing: JHeart Suit10Club Suit
Jenkins: 9Heart Suit8Heart Suit

Hellmuth started with the best hand but was out flopped. He needed some help, but the 7Diamond Suit on the turn gave Jenkins the straight and left Hellmuth drawing dead against Jenkins. He did have a shot at a side pot, but the river was the 3Spade Suit and Hellmuth was gone from the main event.

Paul Wasicka

Paul Wasicka Eliminated

The runner-up to Jamie Gold in the 2006 main event was below 100,000 during the last level of the day when he decided to move all in preflop holding the AHeart SuitJHeart Suit. He was called by an opponent holding the ADiamond SuitKClub Suit.

The flop came ASpade Suit 9Heart Suit 4Spade Suit , giving Wasicka little help. The turn was the KSpade Suit, leaving him drawing dead as he didn’t have an out to make a flush. The meaningless 5Spade Suit fell and eliminated Wasicka.

Chris Ferguson Eliminated

Chris Ferguson was crippled right before level 16 ended when his two pair was no good against the better two pair of an opponent. He was left with just 4,000 chips heading into break. After a few hands into the new level, he was all in for his 1,000 ante. A player in early position limped in and Sander Lylloff made it 21,000. Everybody folded, including the limper, leaving Lylloff to eliminate the five-time bracelet winner.

Lylloff exposed the AClub Suit6Heart Suit and Ferguson tabled the 9Diamond Suit2Heart Suit. The flop was horrendous for the 2000 main event champion as it came JClub Suit 6Diamond Suit 6Club Suit. The 8Diamond Suit on the turn left Ferguson drawing dead and he exited the tournament, heading for the payout desk.

The field only saw three levels of play due to the plethora of eliminations.

Here are the official top 10 chip counts from the end of day four:

1. Matt Affleck – 1,819,000
2. Ludovic Lacay – 1,680,000
3. Tom Lutz – 1,600,000
4. James Akenhead – 1,570,000
5. Charlie Elias – 1,540,000
6. Miika Puumalainen – 1,492,000
7. Jordan Morgan – 1,489,000
8. Bernhard Perner – 1,426,000
9. Blair Hinkle – 1,399,000
10. Benjamin Jensen – 1,394,000

Matt Affleck

The chip leader of the tournament is Matt Affleck with 1,819,000. Affleck has one cash so far at this summer’s series when he finished 22nd in event no. 44 ($2,500 seven card razz). He also won a PokerStars SCOOP event this past spring for $550,500.

Ludovic Lacay

Second in chips is Ludovic Lacay, who has remained very consistent over the last couple of days. The french pro ended day three with 896,000 chips, trailing only Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier on the leader board. Lacay doubled his stack on day four.

Jordan Morgan made his first cash of the 2009 WSOP on day four and currently resides in seventh with 1,489,000. Blair Hinkle, the bracelet winner from last year’s event no. 23 ($2,000 no-limit hold’em), is also very healthy with 1,399,000.

Grospellier ended with 127,500 chips less than his monster stack of 1,380,500 that he began the day with. Going into day five, Grospellier sits right behind Ivey in chip position with 1,253,000 and still has a great shot at his first bracelet.

Main event champions Dan Harrington (659,000), Joe Hachem (490,000), Peter Eastgate (397,000) and Bobby Baldwin (219,000) are also still in contention. Eastgate would be the first back-to-back winner since Johnny Chan in 1987-88.

Jeff Shulman

A member of the Card Player family is still alive with a healthy chip stack. Jeff Shulman began the day with 178,000 and made solid progress, ending day four with 314,000.

Day 5 will begin at noon PDT on Sunday. Check back as Card Player will be providing up to the minute coverage with hand histories, chip counts and eliminations.



12 years ago

Personality aside, If Ivey does somehow stay focused, get a bit lucky, and doesn't get unlucky; he would cement his legacy as the greatest poker player alive by winning the ME. Doyle is a living legend, but at 75 years old or whatever, his skills and stamina are fading. Poker is for ALL ages but if favors the young. Nuff Said.


12 years ago

I agree! If Ivey can come away with bracelet #3, with the Main Event victory, W0W! Who would be better? I would love to see Ivy vs Elky hu for the title!



12 years ago

dont forget doyle, while a legend, won his braclets in fields of 24 and 25 players.

dan harrington's accomplishments in the ME over the last few years have been underplayed and its unfortunate. From what I read he's still around this year and another deep run would be remarkable.

but yes Ivey winner of multiple braclets in multiple events and a cash game genius is IMO the greatest all around poker player out there...