WSOP Main Event Day 4: Bubble bursts, over 1,500 players make money

Haley Hintze
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Posted on: July 10, 2023 6:22 pm EDT

The money bubble has burst early on Day 4 at the 2023 World Series of Poker Main Event, with more than 1,500 players moving into the payout positions.

Players slowly worked through the first 90 minutes of play on Day 4 as they inched closer to the bubble. Day 4 began with 1,517 players, just 10 spots from the money. The event went to hand-for-hand play after numerous clocks were called and stalling warnings issued through the first 40 minutes of the day.

Four knockouts were still needed to reach the money when hand-for-hand play was announced, leading to another half dozen hands, with media rushing from table to table and players running after to them to try to get a closer look. “Players, please remain in your seats. Ha-ha-ha-ha,” announced WSOP tournament dircetor Charlie Ciresi as hand-for-hand action began.

After three straight hands where a player was eliminated, two more hands passed without a bustout despite three players being all-in and at risk in both of the hands. That left the field on the stone bubble, just one bustout from the money.

Then, on the sixth hand-for-hand deal, three more players moved all in and were called. All three players busted, moving the field well inside the money, to a long cheer from the entire field. The three players who busted simultaneously all technically made the money, splitting the $15,000 paydays for 1,507th and 1,506th spots three ways, or $10,000 each.

Denmark’s Jeppe Bisgaard wins a three-way single-hand flip for a seat into the 2024 WSOP Main Event and is the official “bubble boy” of the 2023 ME. (Photo: Melissa Haereiti)

The three players who busted were then brought to an empty table near the tournament directors’ podium where WSOP VP Jack Effel oversaw a single hand, dealt face up, to the three players. Each player took turns leading during the hand, and Denmark’s Jeppe Bisgaard rivered a king-high straight to win the entry into the 2024 WSOP Main Event awarded to this event’s official bubble player.

Besides the cheers, quite a few players heaved a sigh of relief after just barely edging into the money. At a table near the rail, Germany’s Thomas Tomczyk sat with just 12,000 in chips as the blinds loomed. He’d be forced all-in in the hand following the triple bustout, had it not occurred. When the bustouts were announced, Tomczyk put his face in his hands briefly and reappeared with a bright smile, and he received congratulations from three other German players seated nearby as he eked into the money.

Thomas Tomczyk (Photo: Haley Hintze)

Tomczyk was tense in the moments before the triple elimination sent him into the money. “It’s really exciting,” he told PokerOrg. “I hope for nobody’s worst [outcome], but for now I hope anyone else gets the bubble but me. This is weird.”

Even though the field was just one spot from the money at this juncture, Tomczyk was also apprehensive about whether the Main Event’s recent tradition of awarding the bubble player a seat was still in force this year, though that quickly became a non-issue.

With the money bubble cracked, bustouts have occurred at a lightning pace. Over 200 more players have been eliminated in the 90 minutes since the bubble burst.