The action in the World Series of Poker main event tends to get a little crazy after the money bubble bursts, but that feels like a bit of an understatement when applied to how Sunday's action played out.
After Day 4 of the 2018 WSOP main event began with all 1,182 remaining players in the money, there were sure to be some big waves of players sent to the payout line, but by the time all was said and done just 310 people still have their dreams of becoming a main event champion intact.
Barry Hutter had the best day of all, bagging up 5.5 million in chips to earn the chip lead. Hutter, who won a WSOP gold bracelet in the $1,500 no-limit hold 'em shootout in 2015, is also just a few weeks removed from a runner-up finish in a $3,000 no-limit hold 'em bracelet event. His lifetime earnings sit at over $4.3 million.
- Barry Hutter (@barry_hutter) July 9, 2018
Three other players are bunched up just behind Hutter from second to fourth. Alexander Haro (5.0 million) sits second, while Brian Altman (4.8 million) -- the player who knocked Phil Ivey out of the main event on Sunday by picking off a river bluff -- is third. Andres Jeckeln (4.5 million) rounds out the lead pack in fourth.
While previous days saw a number of unfamiliar names at the top of the chip counts, there are some recognizable players who made big moves on Day 4. Kelly Minkin (3.4 million), Shannon Shorr (3.4 million), three-time bracelet winner Brian Yoon (3.2 million) and 2017 third-place finisher Benjamin Pollak (2.7 million) all hold well over twice an average stack at this stage in the tournament.
Joe Cada was one of three main-event winners who began the day with hopes of a repeat performance, but the 2009 champion was the only one to make it through to Day 5. The rest of the field is littered with notables, multi-time bracelet winners and those with previous final table appearances. Antonio Esfandiari, Daniel Alaei, Chris Moorman, Paul Volpe, James Obst, James Akenhead, Shaun Deeb, Cliff Josephy, Chino Rheem, Billy Kopp, Ben Yu, Eric Froelich, Bruno Politano, Richard Lee, Ted Lawson, Adam Levy, Tom Cannuli, Chris Bjorin and Barbara Enright are just a handful of those still in contention.
On the opposite side of that coin, more than 800 players saw their 2018 WSOP main event hopes go up in dust on Sunday. Ivey, the 10-time bracelet winner who spent much of Day 3 and the early parts of Day 4 cruising, went out in 547th. Jonathan Duhamel spent the better part of four days grinding out a short stack before his run ended late in the night on Sunday in 409th. Two-time champion Johnny Chan went out in 612th, while 1983 winner Tom McEvoy went out in 430th.
The rest of the Day 4 bust-out list is littered with big names, including multi-time WSOP bracelet winners Scott Clements (1,102nd), Kevin MacPhee (931st), Barry Greenstein (834th), Loni Harwood (721st), Allen Cunningham (642nd), Steve Bilirakis (621st), Men Nguyen (544th), Kristen Bicknell (492nd), Ben Zamani (455th), Ian Johns (445th) and Dan Heimiller (438th).
There are still three full days of play before we reach the final table of the main event, with Day 5 play kicking off at 11 a.m. PT Monday. A min-cash was worth $15,000 to start Day 4, and everyone still in the tournament now is guaranteed at least $37,705.
As the dream of $8.8 million and poker immortality looms for 310 players, there's plenty of action still to come. PokerGo coverage of Day 5 kicks off at 8 p.m. ET, with ESPN2 picking things up from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. ET before PokerGo wraps up the day from there.