Pierre Neuville leads the final 69 players as time runs out on the fifth day of action in the $10,000 buy-in World Series of Poker Main Event. Daniel Negreanu, Brian Hastings, Toby Lewis and Justin Bonomo still have chips.
Fight Club’s author Chuck Palahniuk once wrote: “This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time.”
It’s a reminder to get your shit together. Stop fretting about the past, stop worrying about the future, and play the hand that you have just been dealt. I imagine when you reach the age of 72 these sorts of quotes hold more prominence in your life. I would ask Pierre Neuville for his opinion, but he’s a little busy beating up hoody-wearing hoodlums that could be his grandchildren.
The former Vice-President of Hasbro is not playing around. Last year he cashed 8-times, this year not so much, but with 7.105m chips he plans to settle down for the long haul. It’s quite an impressive feat for a man I once saw asking Mickey Petersen if he could take a rest when heads-up for the European Poker Tour (EPT) title in Copenhagen. Petersen refused. Neuville flagged. I am sure he would have learned from that experience.
There was also an air of triumphalism for the World Series of Poker (WSOP) as the fifth day of action came to a close. There are more than enough top quality players still left in the field to provide the zeitgeist of some of the greater run downs in WSOP Main Event history: Daniel Negreanu, Justin Bonomo, Brian Hastings and Toby Lewis a few of the biggest names in poker still swimming in the pond.
Here are the highlights as pulled from the excellent work done by WSOP.com.
The day started with 237 players all dreaming for a $7.6m payday and the most talented musician amongst them was the first player to hit a dull note. Frenchman Patrick Bruel eliminated by Jay Sharon A5<AQ, and he was followed by his fellow countryman Daniel Lhommeau when he lost a flip against Sal Dicarlo.
Next it was the turn of the Americans to fall. Tommy Hang was eliminated by Keith Donovan 66>QQ, Men Nguyen was eliminated by Samuel Gagnon AQ>KK, Michael Telker was flipped out by David Repicky, Dan O’Brien ran queens into Justin Bonomo’s aces, and both Christian Harder and Ryan D’Angelo also failed at this first hurdle. Vivek Rajkumar was also eliminated in that level.
At the end of the level 54 players had waved bye-bye, and Joseph McKeehen was the chip leader with 3.3m chips.
A blitz of bilious proportions hit a ton of high quality players in the second level of the day. Antonio Esfandiari’s wand ran out of batteries when he ran KK into AA to vanish from the competition, Matthias De Meulder was eliminated by Yordan Mitrentsov A9o<K5dd in a blind on blind battle, and Ville Mattila was hunted out of the contest by Christoph Brand AThh<TT.
Former WSOPE Main Event champion Elio Fox had no hope when he ran A8o into the AA of Thomas Kearney, the 2010 WSOP Main Event runner-up John Racener lost a fatal flip against Joe McKeehen, and Paul Tedeschi was eliminated by the regally named Carl DiVeglia III: K6o<A9o.
David Paredes was eliminated by David Peters (not that David Peters), after his straight came up short against a flush, Matt Glantz lost 88<AA of George McDonald and a man called Bruce Peery came from nowhere to the take the chip lead after flopping a flush and getting paid in a big way from Jay Sharon.
That hand handed Peery 4m chips, and it was a good enough haul to be leading the final 139 players.
The 23rd level was a crucial one for Daniel Negreanu. Kid Poker doubling up through Omri Moga (AK>77) and then Sal Dicarlo (KK>AK) to hand him enough chips to sail through the choppy waters of the rest of the day without feeling the need to puke overboard.
The Colossus final tablist Kenny Hallaert was eliminated by the machine Joe McKeehen 88>JJ, Felipe Ramos was beaten up and discarded by Alexander Debus JJ>KK, and whatever happens from hereon in we will have a WSOP Main Event champion breaking through the hymen for the first time as former champ Jim Bechtel fell at the hands of Tai Nguyen KJ>AJ.
Vitaly Lunkin lost out K3hh>KK of Yosef Fox, Farzad Bonyadi’s pocket fours were no match for the pocket eights of Amar Anand, and Dax Green hit the rail in the hardest possible way after his aces were cracked by Andrew Moreno’s ace-king: KK5 doing the damage.
Then there was some British bashing.
Tom Bedell was eliminated by Jake Cody K6o<KQo, before Cody himself was eliminated after turning JJ into a bluff on Kh9s7h8hQc only for George McDonald to be sat with a grin like a Cheshire cat holding the nut flush. Toby Lewis also got involved eliminating Norbert Szecsi AA>AJ.
There were 111 players at the end of the level and here were the top five chip counts.
- Joseph McKeehen – 5,535,000
- Justin Bonomo – 4,220,000
- Ghattas Kortas – 4,024,000
- Brian Hastings – 3,940,000
- Bruce Peery – 3,935,000
This was the level that saw Pierre Neuville turn a lukewarm performance into an electrifying one. The Belgian flopping a set of treys, at the same time Patrick Chan flopped two pair, and it was the springboard he needed to push on and finish with the chip lead.
Justin Bonomo continued to fly his kite higher than most when he eliminated Yosef Fox, and Bradley St. Vincent picked up aces at just the right time to eliminate Jonathan Hilton who had found queens.
The level ended with 93 players left and Max Steinberg had picked up the chip lead for 5.9m chips.
Into the final level of the day and the dangerous German Fedor Holz doubled through Upeshka De Silva KK>99, Alexander Debus was eliminated by Danny Fuhs AQdd<KThh, before Fuhs himself was eliminated bluffing against Dave Stefanski.
Nick Abou Risk went out against Andrew Moreno flush over flush, David Stefanski continued his late surge after sending Yordan Mitrentsov to the rail in a flip, Aditya Agarwal lost a flip against Brian Hastings, and Erasmus Morfe took two heads when his KK beat the JJ of Matt Waxman and the 66 of Tai Nguyen. Justin Bonomo also took a hit in that hand that saw his kite develop a few holes as the action ground to a halt.
Top 10 Chip Counts
1stt. Pierre Neuville – 7,105,000
2nd. David Stefanski – 6,480,000
3rd. Thomas Paul – 6,140,000
4th. David Peters – 6,130,000
5th. Mozheng Guan – 6,030,000
6th. Andrew Moreno – 5,320,000
7th. Matt Jarvis – 5,250,000
8th. Thomas Cannuli – 5,070,000
9th. George McDonald – 4,940,000
10th. Brian Hastings – 4,740,000
Other notables still in with a shot at the biggest and baddest title on the planet are Max Steinberg (4,285,000), Daniel Negreanu (3,620,000), Justin Schwartz (3,495,000), Steve Gross (2,750,000), Toby Lewis (2,645,000), Fedor Holz (1,945,000), Justin Bonomo (1,295,000), Charles Chattha (1,200,000) and Max Greenwood (590,000).