Day 5 Set to Be Moving Day in 2023 WSOP Main Event With 411 Remaining

After four day of play, just 411 players remain in the hunt for the $12.1 million first place prize at the 2023 World Series of Poker.

Tim Fiorvanti
Jul 11, 2023
Chance Kornuth brings a top 20 stack to Day 5 of the 2023 World Series of Poker Main Event (Drew Amato photo)

When play began on Day 4 of the 2023 World Series of Poker Main Event, 1,518 players returned with a chance to cash, and 11 of them were set to be unlucky finishers going home empty-handed. As it turned out, only 10 players walked away empty-handed, and not because of the now-traditional bubble payout of a seat to next year’s WSOP Main Event.

Three separate players went out at the same time during ‘hand-for-hand’ action, splitting two payouts of $15,000 between them. Then, with $10,000 in their pockets, they played a one-in-three blind hand of poker for a seat to the 2024 WSOP Main Event on top of their cash. Jeppe Bisgard’s Spade 9 Heart 2 rivered a king-high straight, and despite going out on “the bubble,” he walked away with $20,000 in total prizes.

From there, it was a whirlwind of action. From the 1,505 players who remained at that point, the field was whittled down to less than a third of that number by the time the bags came out early Tuesday morning. Of the 411 players who bagged for Day 5, Ryan Tosoc grabbed the chip lead with 5,120,000. But the next two players on that list – Mitchell Halverson and Aditya Systla – are each within two big blinds of the top.

What We Saw on Day 4

Before a card went into the air, Xiangchen Gao of China made a plea to all his tablemates. He printed it and handed them out – asking for them not to raise his first big blind, as he entered the day severely shortstacked.

Whether or not it was tongue-in-cheek remains to be seen, as any true ask of soft play would be a violation of tournament rules. Whatever ultimately happened, Xiangchen managed to make it 150 places into the money, finishing 1,350th – still worth a $15,000 min-cash.

Chess streamer and recent convert to the world of poker Alexandra Botez also reached the money in her first ever WSOP Main Event. She got short-stacked but managed to get her money in with a huge edge, holding pocket kings against king-jack offsuit. A runner-runner Broadway straight was ultimately her undoing, ending Botez’s run in 1,040th place for $17,500.

In a pot that bled into the dinner break, Chance Kornuth, who is having the summer of his career, faced a big river decision against Masato Yokosawa. A third player, Francisco Benitez, was not in the hand but elected to stick around the table and called the clock on Kornuth despite the lack of urgency due to the dinner break. Kornuth ultimately called, only to see Yokosawa table a turned nut flush. The typically laid back Kornuth lashed out at the third player, telling him, “You’re such a child.” Kornuth finished the say with 3.2 million in chips, good for a top 20 stack.

Kornuth finished Day 4 with 3.2 million, good for 19th. Yokosawa bagged 2.14 million, which puts him in 79th.

Heather Alcorn, who won 2019 WSOP Dealer of the Year honors and dealt multiple WSOP Main Event final tables, earned her own first career cash in this event. She ultimately finished 642nd for $30,000, her second-best career live cash. 

Who’s Moving On, Who’s Not

Former November Niner John Racener finished Day 4 with 3.71 million, which puts him squarely in the top 10. Christian Harder (2.345 million), Nick Guagenti (2.335 million), prognosticator Nate Silver (2.295 million), Kyle Cartwright (1.95 million), Maurice Hawkins (1.755 million) and Alec Torelli (1.72 million) are all well above average.

WPT commentator and Champions Club member Tony Dunst (1.515 million) and WPT Ambassador Andrew Neeme (780,000) are each in the mix as well.

Other notables moving on to Day 5 include NFL Hall of Famer Richard Seymour, Faraz Jaka, Toby Lewis, Davidi Kitai, Matt Salsberg, Sean Troha, James Obst, Huy Nguyen, Jason Somerville, Jesse Lonis and Chris Brewer.

Two former WSOP Main Event champions remain in the hunt. Twenty years after winning for the first time, 2003 champion Chris Moneymaker, will have to fight back from a short stack of 435,000. Joe Hachem, who won in 2004, is on slightly steadier ground with 1.485 million.

Four WSOP Main Event champions went out on Day 4 of the 2023 edition, with all four finishing in the money. 2009 champ Joe Cada (1,358th) took home $15,000, while 2006 winner Jamie Gold (1,082nd) and back-to-back 1987 and 1988 Champ Johnny Chan (1,067th) each earned $17,500. 2017 winner Scott Blumstein (782nd) cashed for $25,000.

Here’s a breakdown of some notables who went out after the money bubble burst on Day 4, and their payout:

$15,000 – Jeff Shulman (1,432nd), Vitaly Lunkin (1,430th), Fabian Quoss (1,390th), Allen Kessler (1,381st), Upeshka De Silva (1,342nd), Brandon Shack-Harris (1,258th); $17,500 – Sean Winter (1,188th), Andy Frankenberger (1,155th), Quinn Do (1,145th), Barry Greenstein (1,142nd), Jesse Sylvia (1,124th), Vinny Pahuja (1,074th), Connor Drinan (1,063rd).

$20,000 – Cliff Josephy (996th); $22,500 – Jason Mercier (940th); $27,500 – Doug Polk – (674th); $30,000 – Ben Lamb – (653rd); $32,500 – Michael Mizrachi (596th), Patrik Antonius (587th), Boxer Ryan Garcia (566th)

Who Are The Day 4 Chip Leaders?

1. Ryan Tosoc – 5,120,000 – With his cash in the 2023 WSOP main event, no matter what it is, Tosoc will go over $5 million in career tournament earnings. Sixty percent of that total was generated in a pair of impressive back-to-back results at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic. After going out in second in 2016, Tosoc returned to win and join the WPT Champions Club, defeating Alex Foxen heads-up. Hailing from Chicago, the one-time WSOP bracelet winner has two career cashes in the WSOP Main Event, with a best finish of 357th.

2. Mitchell Halverson – 5,100,000 – Speaking of WSOP Main Event cashes, Halverson has a big one on his resume. He finished 15th in 2021, banking $380,050. He owns a WSOP bracelet, won in an Online event in 2021, and has lifetime earnings of over $1.5 million.

3. Aditya Systla – 5,075,000 – Systla struck big with his biggest career cash back in December during the WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas series back in December. He finished second in a $1,600 Mystery Bounty event for $323,688. Systla also finished second in a WPT India High Roller back in 2019. This is Systla’s second straight year cashing in the WSOP Main Event, and he’s already bested his 575th place finish in 2022.

4. Scott Berko – 4,700,000 – This is already guaranteed to be the biggest career live cash of Berko’s career, and first cash of any kind in a tournament with a buy-in over $1,500. Berko’s total live earnings coming into the 2023 WSOP Main Event were $164,866, with the bulk of his results coming from events held in his home country of England.

5. Bradley Moskowitz – 4,145,000 – Try as we might, we cannot find a single career result for Bradley Moskowitz, who stands to make a substantial amount of money in what appears to be his first ever result. The only evidence of Moskowitz’s presence beyond his name and appearance in the 2023 WSOP Main Event field is an Instagram account (bmosk22) with 36 followers and 11 posts – the most recent from five days ago, when Moskowitz took a picture of his starting stack in this tournament.