Day 5 of the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event began with 282 players and ended with 97. Kyle Keranen is sitting atop the chip leader board with 6.935m, followed by Robert Salaburu (6.195m), Taylor Paur (5.82m), Erik Helman (4.715m), Wilfreid Haerig (4.505m), Shahriar Assareh (4.395m), Charles Coultas (4.015m), Gaelle Baumann (3.98m), Fabrizio Gonzalez (3.935m) and Nicco Maag (3.895m).
Day 4 leader Paul Volpe finished with 3.25m, good for 19th place. Sam Holden, who finished ninth in last year’s main event, is still clinging to hopes of a final table repeat with a short stack of 765k. Also among the ranks of the living are Jan Heitmann (3.41m), Amnon Filippi (3.4m) Jason Somerville (1.4m) and David ‘ODB’ Baker (1.36m). Besides Baumann, there are four other female players remaining, led by Elisabeth Hille in 17th (3.39m), Marcia Topp (1.7m), Vanessa Selbst (1.35m) and Susie Zhao further back at 740k.
As for the day’s casualties, Daniel Negreanu’s 2012 Main Event dream died when his K-Q ran into actor Kevin Pollak’s A-Q. Negreanu finished in 160th place, good for $52,718 and an improvement over last year’s 211th place finish. Pollak’s remarkable run came to an end shortly thereafter and, befitting his Hollywood pedigree, he exited in dramatic fashion. Pollak went all-in against Kirill Rabtsov, and both men turned over pairs of queens. But what could have ended as a chopped pot turned into potluck for Rabtsov, who picked up four hearts among the community cards to flush Pollak’s hopes of doing his Christopher Walken impersonation at the final table. Rabtsov himself was eliminated right before play wrapped for the night.
Day 5 also brought an end to the comeback of 75-year-old three-time bracelet winner Perry Green, who made his first cash since 1995. Other notables hitting the rail on Saturday include Sorel Mizzi, Eric Cloutier, John Juanda, Andrew Lichtenberger, Freddy Deeb, JP Kelly, 2012 bracelet winner Brian Meinders, Dan Shak, John Phan and Joseph Cheong.
Perhaps the day’s strangest elimination was that of Jarrett Nash, who ended Day 4 with a stack of over 500k but who failed to show up on Saturday. His chips were gradually blinded out, relegating Nash to a 171st place finish worth $44,655. Card Player managed to contact Nash at his hotel room at the Bellagio, and Nash explained that he had elected not to play out of respect for his non-denominational Christian beliefs, which call for a day of rest between sundown Friday and sundown Saturday. Nash stopped playing before Day 4 was officially done, informing WSOP staff at the time that he wouldn’t be back the next morning. Nash said he nonetheless held out hopes that some of his stack might survive until he could return late Saturday, but he doesn’t regret the fact that it didn’t turn out that way. Opinion on the interwebz is sharply divided between respect for Nash’s principles and scorn for his being deity-whipped.