LAS VEGAS -- Tournament director Jack Effel said there would be 4 1/2 levels played on Day 4, which means that the field will once again complete action after midnight. Continuing the standard post-bubble trend, nearly 200 players hit the rail over the past two hours. The tournament is far from over for Ben Greenberg, who became the first player with over 2 million in chips and is the leader with approximately 450 players remaining.
The line at the cage outside of the Amazon Room is crowded, but the payout process seems more streamlined than ever. After a player is eliminated, the dealers call for the floor. The floorman radios into the a table inside the Amazon Room and they officially award a player a finishing position. The players are then escorted from their tables by a WSOP representative and brought to another table where they present their Total Rewards card. From there they walk over to the cage and collect their money. Antonio Esfandiari, Huck Seed, Christian Harder, Dani Stern, J.C. Tran, Bernard Lee, Ronnie Bardah and Brock Parker were among the players who went through this process during the past level. With Seed's elimination, Johnny Chan remains the final former main event champion in the field.
"501st in main event," Esfandiari tweeted. "[Thank you] everyone for all the support it was a truly spectacular series. Until next year ...."
Two members of last year's final table, Phil Collins and Sam Holden, still have their hopes of a repeat alive, as do former November Niners Joseph Cheong and Eric Buchman. Vanessa Selbst continues to run over the secondary feature table and is in sixth place, while Daniel Negreanu is all smiles once again as he's built his stack to 560,000 in chips with the blinds at 4,000/8,000 with a 1,000 ante.
With one bracelet, four final tables and now a WSOP cash, David Baker is making a run at WSOP Player of the Year. Baker enters Level 18 with 745,000 in chips. Also holding stacks in that chip count range is Marcel Luske, Jason Somerville and Sorel Mizzi.
The top 10:
1. Ben Greenberg (2.01 million in chips)
2. Dave D'Alesandro (1.76 million)
3. Paul Volpe (1.60 million)
4. Nghi Van Tran (1.45 million)
5. Erik Hellman (1.40 million)
6. Vanessa Selbst (1.28 million)
7. Ricky Markowitz (1.17 million)
8. Leo Wolpert (1.12 million)
9. Jacob Balsiger (1.10 million)
10. Kyle Keranen (1.09 million)
A few other counts from around the room:
• Eric Buchman - 745,000
• Erik Cajelais - 1.0 million
• Jason Somerville - 850,000
• Andrew Lichtenberger - 395,000
• Grant Hinkle - 387,500
Small blinds: Eric Baldwin made an unbelievable call during Level 17. On a board of 7h-6h-2s-3h-Jh, Baldwin called a 100,000 bet on the river with Qd-7d. His opponent flipped up 9-10 and the entire table reacted by asking for a table change. Three hands later, Baldwin ran K-K into A-A. He finished the level with 190,000 in chips. ... All players eliminated from this point forward will earn at least $24,808. ... Ryan Young showed up late, but the absence hasn't hurt him thus far as he has 720,000 in chips. ... Gavin Smith and Amnon Filippi aren't at the same table, but they are playing Chinese poker using an app for their phones and iPad. ... There are 15 players with at least 1 million in chips. ... Play will resume at 7:30 p.m. as players are now on an unxpected dinner break at the request of the tournament staff.