With the elimination of Kyle Zartman in 9th place, we have completed the march to the first final table in NAPT history. Four days of poker have reduced a field of 872 starters, each eyeing the $827,000 first-place prize, to these 8 outstanding competitors:
Seat 1: Daniel Clemente (1,345,000)
Seat 2: Sam Stein (6,145,000)
Seat 3: Tom Fuller (4,735,000)
Seat 4: "Miami" John Cernuto (1,300,000)
Seat 5: Yunus Jamal (3,940,000)
Seat 6: David Paredes (4,700,000)
Seat 7: Tom Marchese (2,370,000)
Seat 8: Eric Blair (1,690,000)
Stein controlled much of the play for most of the day, at one point crossing the 9,000,000-chip threshold. He came back to the field slightly in the last hour but will still lead the final eight at the start of play tomorrow. The player with the most work to do is the "old man" of the crew, 66-year-old "Miami" John Cernuto. He'll start the day with 1.3 million chips, or roughly 21 big blinds. It's enough that the cagey veteran can wait to pick his spot.
That's it for Day 4. Join us tomorrow at 2pm local time to see who will be crowned the first champion of the North American Poker Tour. Until then, you can find us at the bar.
Action folded to Miami John Cernuto in the small blind, and he shoved with . Kyle Zartman was in the big blind, and having been crippled a few moments ago, had about three big blinds behind. He called with . Both hit the flop, but Zartman didn't get any more help from the on the turn or the on the river. Zartman finishes in 9th place, meaning the remaining eight players have made the final table.
Kyle Zartman raised to 155k, David Paredes called on the button, and Eric Blair called from the small blind.
Flop: - Blair checked, and Zartman bet 315,000. Paredes smooth called, and Blair quickly folded.
Turn: - Zartman checked to Paredes, who bet 475,000. "All in," announced Zartman, and Paredes couldn't get his remaining 1.3 million in the pot fast enough. Zartman's for top pair top kicker was in bad shape. Paredes tabled for the flopped boat. Zartman needed a queen to win, but the river was the .
Paredes doubled up, and Zartman was left crippled with 285,000.
Sam Stein has been active with the big stack. He opened a recent pot to 130,000 from the cutoff and was called by big blind Kyle Zartman. Both players checked the flop. When the board paired eights on the turn, Zartman check-called a bet of 165,000 from Stein.
Stein didn't slow down on the river. After Zartman checked a third time, Stein bet 230,000. Zartman quickly called with ; Stein just mucked.
Action passed to Tom Marchese on the button. He made what has become the new standard open for our last 9 players, 110,000. Sam Stein was in the small blind and re-raised all in. That brought the action to Tom Fuller, who called all in for 2,075,000. Marchese quickly folded.
It was a great situation for Fuller as the dominating favorite for a double-up. The board safely blanked out, to take him to 4.3 million chips. Stein is still quite healthy with roughly 7 million.
A crowd of railers has built steadily throughout the day. Paul Wasicka has a front row seat to sweat Thomas Fuller. Christopher DeMaci and several others are here to support Sam Stein. But the entire rail has been unusually silent all day, perhaps because there is not a drink to be found among them.