LAS VEGAS -- The bustouts continued at a rapid rate on Day 4, and only 430 players are returning from the Level 17 break. Jay Farber has moved into the lead after a stellar start and, most recently, gathered more chips as an opponent moved all-in against him after he flopped a full house. He began the day with 604,000 in chips and now has 1.6 million. He's currently seated with Marcel Luske and has been moved to one of the featured tables.
Farber might hold the edge, but Max Steinberg continues to maintain his strong position. Steinberg owns a top-five stack (1.4 million in chips) at the moment and has remained rather stoic at the outside feature table on a day when the Amazon Room is simply hectic. Players and tables are being shuffled in and out, but Steinberg's towers just simply continue to grow as he focuses on getting the job done. Coincidentally, Steinberg has worked with mindset coach Jared Tendler in the past.
The fact that four members of last year's final table remain in contention has created some fun table dynamics on Day 4. Doyle Brunson, with 260,000 in chips at the break, spent the first level next to Steven Gee, and when that table broke, the seat next to him was filled by Rob Salaburu. Defending champion Greg Merson (644,000) is now seated next to Gee, and at the table next to them is Russell Thomas, who had a railbird named Jake Balsiger looking on for a while.
While he didn't make the final table last year, Roland Israelashvilli did last to Day 7 in 2012 and is in great position for another run with one million in chips. 2006 Main Event final table member and five-time bracelet winner Allen Cunningham has also made a good move in the chip counts, having started the day with 268,000 and now approaching 550,000. All four guests on the Day 3 Poker Edge podcast, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Amit Makhija, Melanie Weisner and Steinberg remain in contention. Timoshenko has chipped up most out of that group at a tough secondary feature table that features 2007 WSOP Europe Main Event champion Annette Obrestad.
Day 1C and 2C chip leader Mark Kroon, Michael Mizrachi, Erik Seidel, James Bord, Isaac Haxton, Paul Wasicka, Stephen Chidwick, Bryn Kenney, Rupert Elder and Blair Rodman were among the eliminations during the past level. Mizrachi's run ended with a gradual downswing throughout the day, and, ultimately, King-Jack failed to overcome Ace-King all-in preflop. This was Mizrachi's third WSOP cash this summer, with one final table appearance.
Blinds are now 4,000/8,000 chips with a 1,000-chip ante. There will be one more level before the dinner break.
Small blinds: Thomas is the first former November Niner to approach one million in chips. Guess that Jason Somerville coaching thing worked. Tables are starting to be removed from the Amazon Room as soon as the tournament staff breaks them. There's more open space on the floor, which helps camera teams get in better positions to cover the action. Former "Nuts" panelist Court Harrington has been at one of the outside feature tables all day and has 500,000 in chips. Harrington owns a few businesses in North Carolina in addition to playing poker. According to the WSOP's Jess Welman, 14 women made the money in this year's event, and 12 remain in contention.