by Joseph Smith Sr.
Today is money day at the 2014 World Series of Poker. Returning to the Rio Resort's Pavilion Convention Center, now serving as the world's largest and most important poker room, are the 746 Main Event players that still have chips. The prize money from the $62,820,200 Main Event purse will begin flowing when the survivors reach 693. The player to go out 694th will not collect any money but will leave with a paid-up buy-in for the 2015 Main Event.
During the first hour of play the last remaining WSOP Main Event winner, 1996 Champion Huck Seed, was eliminated. This guarantees the 2014 Main Event World Champion crowned in November will be another first time winner collecting the guaranteed $10,000,000 purse.
As predicted the rush to the money bubble slowed to a crawl as players desperately attempted to protect their chip stacks. When tournament Director Jack Effel called for hand-to-hand play signaling the next player out would place everyone left into the money there were five simultaneous all-in hands. Once the WSOP officials sorted everything out and continued John Dryer was first to go when his full house ran into quads.
Zhen Cai was the second player to be eliminated of the five when his pocket Queens were trumped by pocket Aces. Kori Hunter left next when his pocket Aces were outpointed by two pair. The final two all-in hands didn't result in an elimination after the short stacks doubled up.
The three players eliminated split the $18,406 offered for 693rd place. A high card draw decided which of the three would receive the 2015 Main Event prepaid seat. Zhen Cai took the seat with a King while the other two both drew a Six.
Allen Cunningham, 2006 Main Event 4th place finish, went out just ten spots from the money when his pocket Queens were bested by David Feldman's pocket Aces.
Ronnie Bardah managed to hand onto his chips long enough to make the pay sheet and set a WSOP record. He was sharing the record for four consecutive cashes in the WSOP Main Event with 6 other players; but, today he cashed for the fifth consecutive time and now stands alone with the most consecutive cashes. He has cashed every year starting in the 2010 Main event.
Another item of interest is female player, Mikiyo Aoki, of Bozeman, Montana listed in the 29th spot on the chip leader board with 1,546,000 in play money. Well known professional player, Maria Ho, has 544,000 in chips placing her in the 162nd position.
Tournament chip leader is Matthew Haugen of Chicago with 2,808,000 checkers followed closely by Zach Jiganti from San Francisco holding 2,364,000. Only 291 players will be returning on Saturday for Day 5. This will be the day when players push to build huge stacks that will hopefully carry them into a spot with the 2014 November Nine and a seat at the Main Event final table.