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Best of Dan Podheiser

Gaming Guru

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Main Event Day 4 post-bubble action makes for crazy swings

12 July 2014

LAS VEGAS -- The 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event money bubble burst at approximately 2 p.m. PT Friday afternoon. After that, all hell broke loose.

Within an hour and 15 minutes, the field had shrunk from 692 to 577 players. By dinner, just 443 players remained. And just 297 players made it completely through Day 4.

Along the way, massive chip stacks shifted around the Amazon Room. Now that the pressure to cash in the Main Event was gone, players were ready to gamble. The swings were crazy.

Phil Ivey's stack had steadily risen to 522,500 over the first three days of the Main Event and he entered the day as one of the most feared big stacks in the room. At one point early on Day 4, Ivey had roughly 650,000 chips.

But even the 10-time bracelet winner was not immune to the post-bubble swings, as Ivey lost a pair of important coin flips and eventually busted in 440th place.

Raul Mestre started Friday third in chips with 988,500 and Kenny Tran entered the day in 27th with 728,500. But both players hit the rail on Day 4.

Meanwhile, Brian Hastings's luck swung the opposite way on the pendulum. The high-stakes grinder entered Day 3 with a modest 167,000-chip stack, but netted a pair of double-ups and a few other key pots to end the day as one of the leaders with just over 2 million in chips.

"I've just had some fortunate spots where I've been able to get my money in good," Hastings said.

Hastings was the recipient of a good run of cards while the gambling was hot after the bubble. But before the money hit, the players at his table weren't as willing to stick their stacks in the middle.

"There was definitely some tight play prior to the money," Hastings added. "I saw a guy fold Kings for 15 big blinds right before the bubble. I don't think we're seeing any of that post-money."

Jonathan Aguiar also was the benefactor of a crazy, high-variance spot after the money hit. Aguiar, who entered Day 4 with 136,500 chips, was sitting on roughly 375,000 chips when the following hand occurred:







"It's the end of Day 4, and people have now been playing for a long time," Aguiar said. "For inexperienced players, the pressure is just getting to them, and the key is to keep your head on and not lose your cool and call off your tournament with 7 high."

That hand sent Aguiar's chip stack to the 700,000 mark. He ended the day with 599,000.

Other big Day 4 swings included:

Matthew Haugen: 815,500 --> 2.808 million
Griffin Benger 792,500 --> 2.329 million
Farid Jattin: 524,500 --> 2.135 million
Dan Smith: 817,000 --> 2.229 million
Kane Kalas: 550,000 --> 1.27 million
Alex Outhred: 16,000 --> 714,000
Dan Podheiser

Dan Podheiser has covered the gambling industry since 2013, but he has been an avid poker player for more than a decade, starting when he was just 14 years old. When he turned 18, he played online poker regularly on U.S.-friendly sites until Black Friday in April 2011.

Since graduating from Emerson College with a degree in journalism in 2010, Dan has worked as the sports editor for a chain of newspapers in Northwest Connecticut and served a year as an Americorps*VISTA, writing and researching grant proposals for a Boston-based charity.

Originally from South Jersey, where he still visits occasionally to see his family (and play on the state's regulated online poker sites), Dan lives in Brighton, Mass. with his wife and dog.
Dan Podheiser
Dan Podheiser has covered the gambling industry since 2013, but he has been an avid poker player for more than a decade, starting when he was just 14 years old. When he turned 18, he played online poker regularly on U.S.-friendly sites until Black Friday in April 2011.

Since graduating from Emerson College with a degree in journalism in 2010, Dan has worked as the sports editor for a chain of newspapers in Northwest Connecticut and served a year as an Americorps*VISTA, writing and researching grant proposals for a Boston-based charity.

Originally from South Jersey, where he still visits occasionally to see his family (and play on the state's regulated online poker sites), Dan lives in Brighton, Mass. with his wife and dog.