Monday July 18, 2011 :  DOWN TO 378 AT WORLD SERIES OF POKER
 
Day 4 is in the books…and Phil Hellmuth isn't, but the money bubble has burst
 
Late Friday night the 378 survivors of the World Series of Poker's Day 4 bagged up their chips with Manoj Viswanathan in the lead on 2.115 million chips, chased by Sam Barnhart (1,925,000) and Pius Heinz (1,887,000).
 
Earlier in the day the leaders were part of a Day 4 field of 852 survivors from Day 3 who returned to take their seats for another torrid day of poker, with the money bubble some way off.
 
However, the action was brisk and by late afternoon the money bubble burst when a 31-year-old flooring company owner from Irvine, Calif., Reza Kashani, was busted in 694th place by 2010 November Niner Joseph Cheong, setting off a round of celebrations as the remaining players realised they would each earn at least $19,359.
 
Kashani's consolation prize was a $10 000 seat in the 2012 WSOP.
 
The realisation that the cashes were flowing seemed to release a flood of action which saw a long series of eliminations, and by the end of the day the field had moved up five levels on the pay scale, with the next elimination (position 378) carrying a payout of $30,974.
 
Other notable events in the day included the elimination of Phil Hellmuth, dashing his dreams of a twelfth WSOP bracelet this time around.
 
Joining him in the continuous procession to the rail were 1986 main event champion Berry Johnston, two-time bracelet winner Humberto Brenes, poker professional Kristy Gazes, five-time bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro, Jeff Madsen, Andrew Chen, Steve O'Dwyer, Dennis Phillips, Shannon Shorr, Jake Cody, Robert Varkonyi, Sandra Naujoks, Joe Serock, Vanessa Rousso and Bryan Micon.
 
Despite all these departures, the field remains intensely competitive, and still includes Daniel Negreanu, Sam Barnhart, Bryan Devonshire, David Bach, Jean-Robert Bellande, Ben Lamb, Sebastian Ruthenberg, Joseph Cheong, Matt Stout, Phil Collins, Joe Tehan, Kevin Saul, Eli Elezra, Lars Bonding, Gary Gates, Tony Hachem, Jon Turner, David Diaz, Erick Lindgren, Allen Cunningham, Todd Brunson, Peter Jetten, Carter King, Sorel Mizzi and JP Kelly. Many of these have 1 million plus chip counts, making them strong threats to the leaders.
 
Ben Lamb, whose phenomenal progress in this year’s WSOP has been the cause of frequent comment, is still in the tournament with 1,268,000 in chips..
 
When Day 4 play concluded at Level 18 there were just 378 players left from an original field of 6,865, with average chip stacks at 544,841.