It happens every year. A kind of camaraderie tends to develop between those who make it through the long, arduous journey into the money of the WSOP Main Event, especially for those getting all of the way to the end of a Day 5.
Just now came an illustration of that phenomenon after the announcement came that the field had shrunk to just 99 players. That meant a pay jump had been crossed, with all of those remaining guaranteed at least $62,021.
Over at Table 411, Fred Vogt had been folding hands for quite some time, his stack having fallen under 200,000. When the announcement came, the entire table recognized that Vogt had made it through with his short stack, and all congratulated him with fist bumps.
Helge Stjernvang, sitting to Vogt's right, was ecstatic for Vogt. "You made it!" he said, patting him on the back. "Patience paid off," said Erik Hellman from across the table. Vogt thanked them all, his grin as wide as his stack is small.
Vogt continued smiling through the last hands of the night, folding his way to Day 6, happy to have have made it this far. And probably happy to sleep one more night knowing that when he wakes up tomorrow, he's still playing in the greatest poker tournament in the world.