Monday July 16 2012 : FIVE WOMEN SURVIVE TO DAY SIX AT THE WORLD SERIES OF POKER (Update)
Actor Kevin Pollack's deep run is done, and WSOP vet Joseph Cheong has gone home.
With the unremitting pressure and stress of a week of top level, poker-filled days starting to show on the faces of many of the remaining players in the 43rd World Series of Poker main event, 282 survivors from an original field of 6,598 took their seats at 32 tables in the Amazon Room at the Rio in Las Vegas Saturday for Day 5.
Joining tournament director Jack Effel in the Shuffle Up and Deal call was three-time WSOP bracelet veteran Perry Green (72), who played against the legendary Stu Unger in his heyday.
The day was also remarkable in that five women were in the starting line-up, with two of them – Winamax pro Gaelle Baumann and Elisabeth Hille – up in the major chip stacks and vying for the honour of joining Barbara Enright as the only woman ever to make a WSOP main event final table (she finished fifth in the 1995 championship).
Happily, they were all still in the running by the end of Day 5, by which time the field had been whittled down to just 97 players, among them Baumann and Hille, Marcia Topp, Vanessa Selbst and Susie Zhao.
The 282 starters on Day 5 were all guaranteed a pay day of at least $38,453 as they started out on the first of five 2-hour levels scheduled for the day, with New Jersey internet ace Paul Volpe topping the leader board on 2.75 million chips.
Still in the chase at that stage were Marcel Luske, Leo Wolpert, actor Kevin Pollak, Erik Cajelais, Joseph Cheong, David “ODB” Baker, Tristan Clemencon, Isaac Baron, JP Kelly, Jason Somerville and Daniel Negreanu, with Norwegian pro Elisabeth Hille the most chip-upped woman player remaining.
Recreational player Jarrett Nash's devotion to his faith may have proved to be a costly affair for him; he did not take his seat – reportedly because he would not play on the sabbath – on Day 5 despite having built up a healthy half-million plus stack in the $10,000 buy-in event. As play progressed his stack was steadily blinded off until midway through the second level, when tournament officials announced that he had been eliminated in 171st place – still earning $44,655..
Notable names eliminated as the day wore on included John Juanda, Andrew Lichtenberger J.P. Kelly, Freddy Deeb, Brian Meinders and Daniel Negreanu.
The latter was busted out by actor Kevin Pollack, who enjoyed an outstanding WSOP, but was himself later eliminated in 134th place for $52,718.
After the dinner break just 139 players were still in action, with the blinds at 12,000-24,000 with a 3,000 ante, and big money in prospect – once the 100 player pay step is reached each would earn at least $62,021.
After-dinner casualties included Marcel Luske in the closing stages of the day, and Joseph Cheong.
Entering the last levels of the day, Gaelle Baumann and Elisabeth Hille were up in the top ten chip counts with four million plus in chips each, along with chip leaders Kyle Keranen (6.20 million in chips), Robert Salaburu (5.40 million) and Erik Hellman (5.05 million).
When the chips were bagged at the end of Day 5, just 97 players survived and will reassemble Sunday afternoon for Day 6 and level 25, with the blinds at 20,000-40,000 and a 5,000 ante.
WSOP top chip counts at the end of Day 5 were:
Kyle Keranen (USA) 6,935,000
Robert Salaburu (USA) 6,195,000
Taylor Paur (USA) 5,820,000
Erik Hellman (Sweden) 4,715,000
Wilfried Haerig (Germany) 4,505,000
Shahriar Assareh (USA) 4,395,000
Charles Coultas (USA) 4,015,000
Gaelle Baumann (France) 3,980,000
Fabrizio Gonzalez (Uruguay) 3,935,000
Nicco Maag (Germany) 3,895,000