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Day Four of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event is a significant day because it is payday. 852 players squeezed into the Amazon room and 693 of them were guaranteed at least a small profit. 19 of those 852 players were wearing the PartyPoker patch today.

We had big stacks in the shape of Nicolas Fierro (754,500) and Andras Kovacs (694,500) and we had short stacks in the shape of Richard Sparks (51,900) and Rogelio Martinez Sada (59,000). At the end of all the flops, turns and rivers seven managed to stay alive and book their seat on the day five rollercoaster.

As the day started you could sense optimism in the air. The tables were buzzing with the sound of laughter and the occasional cry of despair. PartyPoker Team Pro Giovanni Rizzo three-bet [ax][qx]and was forced to fold to a four-bet, someone cracked a joke on Primoz Cimermans table and he couldn’t stop laughing and Jonnie Sonelin was eliminated in his very first hand. Starting with 74,000 chips (18.5 big blinds) he looked down to see [ax][kx]and got it all-in good against the [ax][jx]of his opponent but lost when the board gave his opponent a straight.

I guess you don’t have reads on that country?

Current front-runner for the WSOP Player of the Year title, Phil Hellmuth, managed to get through day three with 77,000 chips after sharing a table, all day, with our own Kevin Howe. It was the second time Howe had played with Hellmuth (after playing a $1.5k last year) so what is his opinion of the great man?

“He was a little frustrated yesterday. He would get really irritated after he had lost a pot and then when he won one he would be a lot more relaxed. At one point he called somebody a monkey but then at the end of the day he shook everybody’s hand and signed t-shirts and things like that.” Said Howe.

Nicolas Fierro is from Chile but just don’t tell Yordan Mitrentsov. Fierro raised to 9,000 from early position and the button called, as did Mitrentsov from the small blind. The flop was and Mitrentsov came out all guns blazing with a 16,500 bet. Fierro made the call and the button folded leaving us heads up at the turn. The turn was the and both players checked before we saw the . Mitrentsov checked and Fierro bet 34,000 and Mitrentsov went deep into le tank.

“What country are you from?” Asked Mitrentsov.

Mitrentsov eventually folded.

“I am from Chile,” said Fierro as he raked in his chips.

“I guess you don’t have reads on that country?” Laughed a random at the table.

When Ramin Henke woke up this morning we imagine he had mixed feelings about Day Four. He had been playing really well and had 310,000 chips, but he also had one of the most dangerous players in the room two seats to his left. Jeff Madsen was the 2006 World Series of Poker Player of the Year so it was a monumental achievement for Henke when he disposed of the lad from LA in the first level.

Henke raised to 8,500 from the button and both blinds called. The flop was and when both blinds checked to Henke he bet 10,500 and only Madsen decided to see a turn. It was the and Madsen check-called a 14,500 Henke bet. The river was the and this pot was starting to get big. Madsen checked for the third time and Henke decided to make the pot bigger when he moved all-in. Madsen’s face said it all, it was the face of a defeated man, and when he announced call Henke showed him and Madsen was out of the room quicker than The Road Runner – Henke was now up to 400,000.

As we entered level 16 there were some PartyPoker casualties. Richard Sparks was the first person to be eliminated. He got his last 40,000 in with [qx][qx]and his caller only had [7x] [7x]. Sparks was looking good for the double up until a [7x] on the flop eliminated him. Rogelio Martinez Sada was the next evictee after moving his last 25,000 into the middle with . His opponent called holding [7x] [7x] and the hand held up.

The usual post bubble all-in-a-thon

Kevin Howe was next to step up to the unfortunate plate, Howe getting his chips into the middle for a coin flip and his [ax] was not good enough to beat the [qx][qx]of his opponent.

Clement Tripodi was another PartyPoker qualifier who was eliminated in harsh circumstances. On a board of [9x] [tx][2x] [ax]all the money went in the middle with Tripodi holding [tx][tx]and his opponent way behind holding [ax][tx]; that was until a [ax]fell on the river giving Tripodi’s opponent a higher full house and in a blink of an eye he was gone. The last person to leave us was Ryan Smith and it was another cooler. Smith got it all-in pre flop with [9x] [9x] v [3x] and incredibly the board ran out [5x] to give his opponent the club flush.

As we entered the midway point of level 16 Robin Colbin had 195,000 and Per Strom had grown his stack to 330,000, Andras Kovacs was the biggest mover on 1.1 million after a 150,000 pot went his way after his [tx][tx]held up against the pressure applied by big slick.

Primoz Cimerman and Giovanni Rizzo both had 270,000 and Nicolas Fierro had a little stumble and was now around 650,000, Fierro losing over 100,000 in a hand against an opponent who held [qx][qx]on a board of [7x] [tx][3x] [9x] [2x], we didn’t see Fierro’s hand as it hit the muck.

Ramin Henke had also taken a little dent, post his Madsen elimination. Henke raised on the button and the small blind came in for the three-bet. Henke made it a 40,000 four-bet and his opponent called. The flop was [ax][6x] [3x] (two diamonds) and both players checked. The turn was the and after his opponent checked to him Henke bet 32,500 and his opponent check-raise jammed for around 120,000 and Henke made the call holding [qx]but his opponent had already hit his flush holding . The river bricked off and Henke was down to 240,000.

Patryk Hopner was down to 130,000 and a resurgent Jody Howe was seated next to the delightful looking Sandra Najouks and a fresh chip stack of 460,000. He won those chips after somehow managing to get it in with [ax][ax]versus [9x] [7x].

David Lenz had 90,000 and a shot of Jagermeister in front of him, in fact everyone on table 364 had a celebratory shot lined up next to their cards. Interestingly, it was that very table that became the first bubble boy scare table but the interest quickly waned when the cards were turned over to show a pocket kings versus pocket kings confrontation.

Eventually the vultures surrounded a table featuring Joseph Cheong and Reza Kashani. Cheong had [qx][qx]on its back and Reza Kashani had [kx][jx]on his back with a flop of showing on the felt. Not that he needed it but a on the river gave Cheong quads and the former November Niner had once again impressed his name on this tournament by making sure all the remaining players got paid.

The usual post bubble all-in-a-thon started as soon as Reza Kashani wondered off centre stage. Unusually we only had one casualty and it was Patryk Hopner who moved his last 15 big blinds into the mixer with [8x] [8x] and was called by [kx][qx], a queen in the window and it was bye, bye Hopner who finished in 649th place for $19,359.

Nicolas Fierro was back up to 900,000 after eliminating an opponent at his table. Nicolas Fierro raised from early position, there was a three-bet from middle position and a cold call before Fierro made the four bet. The original three-bettor folded but the cold caller made the call. The flop was and Fierro’s opponent moved all-in and Fierro called. Fierro was holding and his opponent held . Neither the turn nor river changed anything and Fierro moved closer to that 1 million mark.

Heading into dinner and Ramin Henke was eliminated in 600th place. We don’t know the hand details but we do not he picked up $21,295 for his troubles. Other PartyPoker qualifier chip counts at the dinner break were Primoz Cimerman 235,000, Robin Colbin 140,000, Nicolas Fierro 900,000, Jody Howe 440,000, Andras Kovacs 1,000,000, David Lenz 150,000, Neil McFayden 320,000, Per Strom 450,000, Giovanni Rizzo, 450,000 and David Stimpar 60,000.

Please Vegas let me win one flip

Going into the final level of the day there were 486 players left and the average chip stack was 423,765. One person not involved in the 486 was David Stimpar who moved all-in with and was called by [qx][qx]and the best pre flop hand held. Stimpar finished in 547th place for $23,876.

The next to be eliminated from the PartyPoker team was Primoz Cimerman. Cimerman had just lost a huge pot to knock him down to 160,000 when he moved all-in over a David Diaz raise. An opponent two seats to his left also moved all-in and Diaz folded to leave the pair see a board. Cimerman had and his opponent had .

“Please Vegas let me win one flip,” Cimerman begged the poker Gods.


Maybe the poker gods were still at dinner? Cimerman gone in 513th place for $23,876.

This tournament is without doubt the most excited poker tournament on the planet. With all that excitement comes expectation and when your luck doesn’t flow it can be a very lonely place to be. Giovanni Rizzo was staring at a potential 1 million in chips but instead he was left with 200,000 of poker dust after this ridiculous hand.

There was a raise from early position and four cold callers. Rizzo was seated in the small blind, looks down and sees [ax][kx], and raises to 48,000. One by one every opponent folds until it falls to the final cold caller and he moves all-in for 270,000! Rizzo snap calls and his opponent rolled over [5x] [8x]. After everyone at the table picked themselves up off the floor with laughter the flop came down [ax][8x] [8x] [tx][2x] leaving Rizzo absolutely shattered and devastated. Rizzo would later redeem himself after doubling up with [ax][tx]on a board with paired tens.

Neil McFayden was eliminated in 473rd place after moving all-in with and getting called by and the best hand held. Andras Kovacs had a day to forget. He started with a monster stack but bled down to nothing and he will be disappointed with his 392nd place finish and his $30,974 payout.

So that left the magnificent seven and the person leading the way for the fourth consecutive day was none other than Nicolas Fierro. Here are the final PartyPoker chip counts.

  • Nicolas Fierro 970,000
  • Jody Howe 588,000
  • Per Strom 561,000
  • Giovanni Rizzo 449,000
  • Robin Colbin 307,000
  • Martin Ross 191,000
  • David Lenz 146,000

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