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WSOP 2019: Dean Morrone leads the Main Event; Asian players rise on Day 4

Day 4 is now written into the books of Main Event history and things are starting to get serious up top. Dean Morrone required a sack the size of a hot-air balloon at bagging up time, having developed a comfortable lead at the top of the counts. Meanwhile, notable names are sitting on 100BB stacks and Asian players have truly taken day 4 by the horns, with the field having been slashed to 354 during the battles of day 4.

Event overview: Dean Morrone chip leader

Dean Morrone – Photo WSOP.com

Day 4 kicked off with 1,286 players, all of whom were guaranteed at least $15,000 with the bubble bursting at the close of day 3. Numerous notable names adorned the masses of tables as cards found the air, with Preben Stokkan starting with a chipleading stack of 2,184,000. Stokkan’s hold on the lead did not last long once the fourth day was underway, and when the clocks had finally ticked their last during the final level, Dean Morrone had taken command of the chip counts with a powerful stack of 4,980,000. The Canadian now has a healthy lead over Danish pro Lars Bonding (4,040,000) who finished 22nd in 2011, with American Michael Messick in 3rd with 3,925,000. Just to remind you, the players are competing for a prize pool of $80,548,600 with $10,000,000 set aside for 1st place.

Notable names: Antonio Esfandiari and Todd Brunson still in contention

Antonio Esfandiari – Photo WSOP.com

While the top ten stacks are relative lesser-known names, familiar faces can be found on the counts with minimal scrolling. Three-time bracelet winner Brian Yoon is currently 40th with 2,622,000, followed closely by Antonio Esfandiari in 44th with 2,583,000. Further down the order is bracelet winner Craig McCorkell (2,500,000 – 53rd), Dario Sammartino (2,302,000 – 63rd), Olivier Busquet (2,041,000 – 89th) and Joseph Cheong (1,958,000 – 97th).

Outside the top 100 but still going strong are: Jon Turner (1,720,000), four-time bracelet winner Jeff Madsen (1,425,000) and double bracelet winners Chance Kornuth (1,221,000) and Eric Froehlich (1,202,000). Bracelet winner and son of Doyle, Todd Brunson is close behind (1,151,000), as is Galen Hall (1,013,000).

Grinding away with a sub 50BB stack are: GPI’s world number 1 Alex Foxen (933,000), bracelet winner Anthony Spinella (854,000), four-time bracelet winner Mike Matusow (726,000), bracelet winners James Mackey (558,000), Adam Friedman (505,000), Tom Cannuli (495,000) and Max Silver (473,000). Also, holding on with 12BBs is Allen Kessler (240,000).

Asian names through to day 5

The fourth day has seen some Asian players hit the rail, but of those who have kept themselves alive, many have flourished during the fourth day. Of the sixteen Asian survivors, there are six from China, three from Korea, three from Japan, two from India, one from Taiwan and one from Hong Kong. Here are their counts and placings in order:

21st – Chang Luo (CHN) – 2,962,000
59th – Sejin Park (KOR) – 2,363,000
70th – Kartik Ved (IND) – 2,243,000
71st – Jiwoon Kim (KOR) – 2,235,000
83rd – Steven Au (HK) – 2,100,000
131st – Quan Zhou (CHN) – 1,601,000
146th – Daisuke Ogita (JPN) – 1,492,000
186th – Jeonggyu Cho (KOR) – 1,230,000
210th – Guofeng Wang (CHN) – 1,078,000
228th – Xixiang Luo (CHN) – 967,000
230th – Xuming Qi (CHN) – 960,000
233rd – Shintaro Baba (JPN) – 942,000
250th – Nai Hu (TWN) – 900,000
286th – Akshay Nasa (IND) – 670,000
293rd – Hiroki Nawa (JPN) – 643,000
297th – Fan Fan (CHN) – 621,000

Australian players have also been building on their position during day 4, with five players surviving to see day 5. Up in the lofty heights of 4th in the chip counts is Warwick Mirzikinian with 3,900,000 and he is followed by Daniel Hachem (55th – 2,450,000), Stevan Chew (257th – 856,000), John Lombardo (287th – 663,000) and Daniel Neilson (336th – 420,000).

In the field

Daniel Hachem – Photo WSOP.com

Daniel Hachem’s bid to emulate his father Joe Hachem’s Main Event title in 2005 remains a story, with the Australian bagging a very big stack of 2,450,000.

Elsewhere in the field, it was a bad day for former champions as Johnny Chan (1987, 1988), Chris Moneymaker (2003) and Qui Nguyen (2016) all hit the rail. In other stories from the field, Antonio Esfandiari is seeking to become the only player to hold Main Event and $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop titles. To own both of these bracelets is something most players can only dream of, but Esfandiari will have his chance if he can build on his 2,583,000 stack during day 5.

He will be chasing down 43 players ahead of him, one of whom is American Football star and three-time Superbowl winner Richard Seymour, who is mixing it with the big stacks and currently has 2,750,000.

Article by Craig Bradshaw

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