Belgium’s Kenny Hallaert Eyes Back-To-Back WSOP Main Event Final Table Appearances

Day 4 of the 2017 WSOP Main Event just came and went and the field (originally comprised of 7,221 participants) was further reduced to 297 players, who will continue their fight for the $8.15-million first-place prize and the champion’s gold bracelet on Saturday.

Argentina’s Damian Salas bagged the largest chip stack at the end of Day 4. The player had accumulated a total of 4.678 million worth in chips by that time to lead the pack for Day 5 action.

There were several former WSOP Main Event champions that were less lucky and left contention, missing out on a chance to add another major No-Limit Hold’em title to their portfolios. Scotty Nguyen, who won the Main Event in 1998, Carlos Mortensen, who was crowned World Champion in 2001, and Joe Cada, who claimed the big gold in 2009, were those unfortunate former champs.

Day 4 of this year’s Main Event was packed with action and highlights of various nature. However, we will pay a bit more attention to a player who is on the way to repeat his deed from 2016 and make it to the final table in back-to-back years. Kenny Hallaert fought fiercely last year and qualified for the final stage of the Main Event.

The Belgian eventually finished 6th in the world’s most prestigious No-Limit Hold’em tournament to scoop his career’s largest cash of $1,464,258. Hallaert collected the third largest chip stack on Friday night and has every chance to join final table play, which is set to begin on July 20.

When asked whether he was excited by the opportunity to experience the excitement and ferociousness of the final table for a second consecutive year, the player modestly replied that he still had a long way to go.

With 297 players still in contention, his statement is absolutely true. They will all have a long way before them and many would fall in the coming days, while others will continue their crusade to the big title. One thing is for sure, those who leave will not do that empty-handed. The Main Event’s money bubble burst on Day 3.

This year’s tournament would pay the top 1,084 finishers, min-cashes totaling $15,000. And each of the 297 players who are set to return to the Rio All-Suite Casino’s poker tables or Sunday are guaranteed a minimum of $35,267. Play is set to resume at 11 am Las Vegas time and the remaining survivors will further reduce the field within six scheduled levels.

As mentioned above, Salas will start the day as the chip leader, followed by France’s Sebastien Comel with 4,198,000 and Hallaert not trailing far behind with 4,145,000.

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