Saturday marked Day 5 of the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event and it was a day full of action as over half of the field was sent to the rail. The field began with 282 and by the end of the night, that number had dwindled to just 97. At the end of Day 5, Kyle Keranen bagged up more chips than anyone else with an impressive 6,935,000, but he was challenged for the chip lead every step of the way as it was passed among several different players throughout the course of the day including Paul Volpe, Robert Salaburu, and Elizabeth Hille.
There are still several notable players left in the Main Event including Jason Somerville, Vanessa Selbst, Gavin Smith, Amnon Filippi, Yuval Bronshtein, and Gaelle Baumann. But Saturday saw many notables, and one Hollywood star, hit the rail, including crowd favorite Daniel Negreanu.
Negreanu was eliminated midway through the day by actor Kevin Pollak. Negreanu was up and down through most of the day and ended up getting short stacked. He finally moved all-in from early position and Pollak moved all-in over the top from the cutoff. Negreanu was holding and Pollak was ahead with . The board bricked for Negreanu and he was sent to the door in 160th place for another impressive finish, improving on his 211th place finish from 2011.
Other players who were eliminated on Day 5 include JP Kelly, Andrew Lichtenberger, AP Phahurat, Sorel Mizzi, Freddy Deeb, Chance Kornuth, Dan Shak, Matt Marafioti, John Phan and Andrew Moreno. Also eliminated was 2010 November Niner Joseph Cheong who made his third Day 5 appearance in three years. Cheong was up to over 3 million chips at one point and looked poised to make his third Day 6 appearance in three years, but after a tough level, ended up getting all of his chips in the middle with against Paul Volpe's . The flop fell , pairing Volpe's king and giving him the lead in the hand. The turn was the , and the river was the eliminating Cheong in 116th place. That adds to his 114th place finish from 2011, and his third place finish from 2010 to make three deep runs in the Main Event in three years for Cheong.
Two former November Niners still remain in the field. Eric Buchman will take a stack of 1,930,000 into Day 6. In 2009, Buchman finished in fourth place behind Darvin Moon and eventual winner Joe Cada. Buchman booked $2,502,890 for his finish in 2009. Also, Sam Holden bagged 765,000 in chips on Saturday night. Holden finished ninth in 2011 for $782,115. Both men still have a shot to make their second Main Event final table in a span of three years, something that hasn't been accomplished since Dan Harrington in 2003 and 2004.
Kevin Pollak was also eliminated Saturday not long after eliminating Negreanu. Pollak moved all-in before the flop holding and was called by Omar Saeed who also held . Pollak was in good shape to stay alive and pick up half the blinds and antes, but the poker gods had other things to say about that. The board rolled out giving Saeed a heart flush and eliminating Pollak from the tournament. After the hand, Pollak just laughed it off, saying “It's so absurd you have to laugh.” For his 134th place finish, Pollak collected $52,718.
Kyle Keranen was able to pick up a huge pot late in the day to add to his chip-leading stack. In the hand, Luke Brereton raised preflop to 45,000 chips from the cutoff. Keranen decided to three-bet to 105,000 from the button and both blind folded back to Brereton who put in a fourth bet to 245,000. Keranen announced an all-in, and Brereton called off his last 1.3 million chips for a massive preflop all-in. When the hands were turned up, Brereton held and Keranen turned up for queen high. Unfortunately for Brereton though, the flop fell and he was never able to catch up. With that hand, Keranen was able to move up to nearly 5,000,000 in chips, and he finished the day with 6,935,000.
Five women also remain of the 97-player field including Vanessa Selbst. Selbst had a rocky day and ended up finishing with less than she began with, but she is still alive with 1,165,000 chips. Also still in the running are Gaelle Baumann with 3,980,000, Susie Zhao with 740,000, Marcia Topp with 1,700,000, and Elizabeth Hille with 3,390,000. At one point, Hille was tangling with the chip lead when she eliminated Jeffrey Finklestein with against his . That pot moved her to 3.1 million and chips and put her in contention as one of the tournament chip leaders.
Other notable players who will be returning for Day 6 include Jan Heitmann (3,410,000), Amnon Filippi (3,400,000), A.J. Jejelowo (3,340,000), Roland Israelashvili (2,805,000), Jason Somerville (1,400,000), David ODB Baker (1,360,000), Erik Cajelais (1,180,000), Greg Merson (945,000), and Gavin Smith (675,000).
Sunday, players will return to play stating at Level 25. Action will begin at 1200 PDT (2000 BST) and players will play five more levels.
It will be another exciting day at the Rio as the final 97 players disappear one by one, so to make sure you don't miss a single huge pot or elimination, make sure you check out the live reporting blog for all the details.
Video of the Day
In the Video of the Day, Kristy Arnett gets down and awkward in Daniel Negreanu's trailer. In the video they talk about Negreanu's most awkward moment, do a little improvisation, and talk about what it means to win a bracelet. To see all that and more, make sure you check out the video below.
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