When the sun rose over Las Vegas today, 282 players awoke with dreams of becoming the next world champion of poker. After five grueling levels of play on Day 5, only 97 remain. This means that at the most basic level, each player returning for Day 6 has at least a one in ninety-seven shot at winning the first place prize of $8,527,982 and the shiny gold championship bracelet that accompanies it. The one closest to achieving this goal is Kyle Keranen who is sitting on the biggest stack in the room with 6,935,000.
On Keranen's heels is Robert Salaburu who finished Day 5 with a stack of 6,195,000. Rounding out the top three is Taylor Paur with 5,820,000.
When the day began there were several notable names still in the hunt for the championship. However, as both the blinds and the pressure rose, many of those players were sent to the rail with their summer coming to an end a bit earlier than they would have enjoyed. Eric Cloutier, Jesse Martin, John Juanda, Andrew Lichtenberger, Freddy Deeb, JP Kelly, Randy Haddox, AP Phahurat, Andrew Moreno, Will Souther, Dan Shak, Chance Kornuth, John Phan, and Sorel Mizzi are just a handful of the players who saw their stacks vanish today.
Daniel Negreanu was one of the other faces to hit the rail today. This makes Negreanu's second Day 5 bust from the Main Event in back to back years. While seated at the featured table, Negreanu moved all in for his last 240,000 in chips from early position. It folded around to actor Kevin Pollak in the cutoff who tanked before moving all in for his last 500,000. It folded around and Pollak showed which was crushing Negreanu's . Negreanu failed to improve and was forced to end his summer with a 160th-place finish.
Soon after, Pollak would meet his untimely demise in a most sickening fashion. Pollak moved all in before the flop holding and was called by Omar Saeed with the other two queens. Saeed would flop two hearts and then hit two more on the streets to follow to end Pollak's impressive run in the Main Event. After the initial shock wore off of Pollak's face, all he could do was laugh at the crazy scenario that unfolded. The renowned actor made a remarkable run with his 134th-place finish and left everyone within the vicinity of his table with a smile on their face.
The day also saw the elimination of the oldest player in the field, the 76-year-old Perry Green. Green has three WSOP bracelets to his name and finished runner-up to Stu Ungar in the 1981 WSOP Main Event. Green announced "Shuffle Up and Deal" to the runners today and left an impression of humility on the room through his words. Green hit the rail when he ran into the two pair of an opponent.
Jospeh Cheong was also returning to play today to take on his third consecutive Day 5 in a row. Cheong was able to battle through and move on to the final table in 2010 and finished in 114th in 2001. Cheong was forced to settle for a 115th place finish this year when he was eliminated by Paul Volpe. Volpe ended up finishing the day with a stack of 3,250,000.
While many big names fell, others were able to thrive and move on to Day 6 of the biggest poker tournament in the world. Keranen finished the day as the chip leader and was able to start his upward trend when he six-bet all in with . Keranen was able to crack his opponent's pocket jacks to scoop the pot of almost three million chips.
Other notable names that will be returning for Day 6 include Gaelle Baumann (3,980,000), Jan Heitmann (3,410,000), Amnon Filippi (3,400,000), Elisabeth Hille (3,390,000), A.J. Jejelowo (3,340,000), Roland Israelashvili (2,805,000), Marcia Topp (1,700,000), Jason Somerville (1,400,000), David ODB Baker (1,360,000), Vanessa Selbst (1,350,000), Erik Cajelais (1,180,000), Greg Merson (945,000), Sam Holden (765,000), and Gavin Smith (675,000).
Play will resume tomorrow at 12:00 PM PST where the final 97 players will return for five more levels. Join us here on PokerNews as we track these players' quests for WSOP glory!