WSOP Main Event Bubble Bursts as Top Pros Remain in Contention

July 10th, 2019 | by Jason Reynolds

The 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event is into the money and there are some big names still gunning for the coveted title.

Antonio Esfandiari WSOP

Dean Morrone leads the WSOP Main Event after Day 4 but big-name pros such as Antonio Esfandiari (pictured) are still in the mix. (Image: WPT)

Getting underway on July 3, the $10,000 tournament has already made the headlines for a multitude of reasons.

As well as becoming the second largest Main Event of all time, disqualifications, exposed private parts and earthquakes marked an enthralling start.

However, in among the frivolities, the small matter of a $10 million top prize focused the minds of those at the felt. By Day 3 of the Big Dance, those hours of focus ended in victory for some a defeat for others.

WSOP Dreams Shattered and Made

Heading into the session, 2,880 hopefuls were still in with a shot at WSOP glory. But as chips flew inside the Rio, Las Vegas, more than 1,400 would go home disappointed.

With only 1,286 places offering players a return on their investment, things got tense midway through Day 3. As the bubble approached and the prospect of locking up $15,000 became a reality, caution prevailed.

Eventually, something had to give. After moving all-in with top pair on a 7♥8♦3♠K♦ board, Ryan Pochedly was confident.

With his opponent Julian Pineda holding 6♠7♠, only a seven or six on the river could oust the American. Unfortunately for him, the 7♣ was enough to end his WSOP dreams.

Although he received a free entry to the 2020 WSOP Main Event, Pochedly also took home the dubious honor of being this year’s bubble boy.

As the surviving players let out a cheer, thoughts soon turned to the finale. Although still days away, the remaining 1,286 players had cleared one major hurdle on route to the final table.

Pros Alive as Bubble Bursts

By the time Day 4 rolled around, a number of high-profile pros still had stacks. Galen Hall, Joseph Chong, Matt Glantz and Antonio Esfandiari were among the standout performers.

However, the man to beat though was Preben Stokkan. The only player with over 2 million chips at the start of Day 4, Stokkan was looking strong.

However, without much traction, his position at the top of the leaderboard was usurped by Canada’s Dean Morrone. Bagged and tagging just shy of 5 million chips at the close of play, Morrone topped the day’s 354 survivors.

While the Canadian will be confident, a smattering of elite pros and glut of eager grinders will all be looking to steal his stack on route to the title.


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