2018 WSOP Main Event Day 4: Hutter & Altman Bag Big; ~300 Remain

Barry Hutter

Less than five percent of the field remains in the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event at the close of Day 4, with about 310 players of the 7,784 runners remaining in contention at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

Two notable American pros finished in the top three at the close of a long day that saw the players grind through five-and-a-half levels of play and walk out the doors more than 13 hours after they showed up. Barry Hutter has the lead with 5,597,000, with Brian Altman sitting third with 4,861,000. Alexander Haro sits between them with 5,031,000.

Hutter was the first to surpass four million and then went on a rush during the last hour of the night to finish ahead of Haro and Altman, who said he "caught some heat" toward the end of the night as well.

Altman scored the most notable elimination of the day when he sent superstar Phil Ivey packing from the feature table about midway through the day. Ivey opened for 22,000 at 5,000/10,000/1,000 from middle position and Altman three-bet to 75,000 in the hijack. Ivey continued and check-called a bet on the queen-jack-high flop that featured two spades. Both players checked the eight of spades on the turn and Ivey check-jammed for 629,000 over 195,000 on the three of diamonds river.

Altman found the call button with queen-jack for top two and Ivey's bluff was revealed as he held pocket nines with the nine of spades.

"Given the spot, I took a relatively short amount of time for the river call, probably 90 to 120 seconds," Altman said when asked about the hand. "My hand was just too strong to fold. I thought he was very capable of turning hands like and black tens and black nines into bluffs as well as something with the ace of spades in it. So, I just went with my gut."

Brian Altman
Altman eliminated Phil Ivey en route to bagging big to end Day 4.

Altman had a big stack in last year's Main Event but let it slip away as he didn't even manage to make the money. He said he's focusing one hand at a time and just trying to make as many correct decisions as he can. He came into the Main Event ice cold but finds himself in a spot where he can make it all up with a big result.

"I was actually 0 for 35 in tournaments," he said of his recent skid. "So, it's kind of nice to have a glimmer of hope in this one, the most meaningful tournament of the year. I'm very happy to be in this spot."

Others bagging big included Kelly Minkin (3,459,000), Brian Yoon (3,228,000), Benjamin Pollak (2,765,000) and James Obst (2,560,000).

Minkin made a huge calldown for stacks with second pair of kings during the penultimate level of the night, being shown bottom pair on the flop by her daring but caught opponent.

"I was prepared to make that call when I called the turn bet," she told PokerNews on break. "I'm like, 'All right, I'm gonna call, I think he's bluffing.' He had jack-eight for fourth pair so that was nice to win that pot."

With the tournament being in the money after a long bubble the previous night, the pace of bustouts was furious early on and didn't slow down much as over 800 were eliminated and paid. Some notables hitting the rail were [Removed:17], Scott Clements, Jamie Kerstetter, Barry Greenstein, Patrik Antonius, Johnny Chan, Kristen Bicknell, Tom McEvoy and Jonathan Duhamel.

The elimination of Duhamel leaves 2009 winner Joe Cada as the last former champ remaining.

Players return for another grueling day on Monday, July 9, at 11 a.m. with blinds and antes still at 10,000/20,000/3,000 for another hour. Come right back to PokerNews then for more coverage of the Main Event.

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