Expecting to crown another bracelet winner today at the 2011 World Series of Poker saw those ambitions fall just a few places shy in Event #4: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em as just four players remain.
Starting the day with 42 players all eyeing a piece of the $4,065,500 prizepool, many people wanted to see a fairytale story of Brian Lemke capturing his second gold bracelet in the same event after he collected the top prize in 2009. Action early saw players fly out the door as Bernard Lee (42nd), Matt Glantz (38th), Kyle Bowker, (37th), Tim West (35th), JC Tran (29th), Konstantin Bucherl (20th) and Carlos Mortensen (17th) all find themselves on the wrong side of the rail as players jostled for position as they made a run at the final table.
Unfortunately for Lemke, his roller coaster of a day that saw his chip stack soar up and down would eventually end in 14th place when his was no match for Allen Bari's when a king dropped on the board. With Lemke's chips in his possession, it would be Bari that would steamroll the field as he accumulated chips like Phil Ivey gets ZOMG's from poker noobs as he arrived at the final table sharing the chip lead with Thomas Ross.
Arriving at the final table wouldn't come without its dilemmas either as players were outraged at the fact that they had to continue playing instead of pausing for the night. Coming off two $5,000 buy-in-plus second-place finishes within the past month, Farzad Bonyadi would be unable to improve on that as he was bundled out in ninth before Mikhail Lakhitov had his kings cracked to fall in eighth. As Bari increased his lead to one-third of the chips in play, that would soon soar out to half and then two-thirds of the chips in play as Jesse Chinni and Ricky Fohrenbach fell in seventh and sixth respectively.
Although the voices on the rail picked up, the action came to a complete stall in the final hour - apart from a quickfire last few hands - as eventually play was ceased for the night with four players remaining. As was the flavor for the final table Allen Bari will hold the chip lead heading into tomorrow with an amassed 9,125,000 in chips, but with Nicholas Blumenthal, Sean LeFort and Maria Ho still fighting for survival, it won't be too easy for Bari.
The PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be heading home to get some much-needed rest, but just like the remaining players, we will be back here at 2:30 pm PST to provide the conclusion of all the final table action as we look to crown the Event #4: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Champion and award $874,116 in prizemoney along with the coveted gold bracelet!