It’s the end of Day 6 of the World Series of Poker Main Event, and the plot thickens.
Just 27 players remain in the signature event of the year and 3 of them – Ben Lamb, Antoine Saout and Michael Ruane – have made the final table before.
2015 WSOP bracelet winner Christian Pham has skyrocketed into the lead while notable names Bryan Piccioli, Jonas Mackoff, Benjamin Pollak and Marcel Luske are all still in the mix.
The runs of Dario Sammartino, Kenny Hallaert and Max Silver, however, have come to an end.
Every year the Main Event sees its share of drama and tragedy and players who go on incredible runs.
Last night Christian Pham was on the good end of one of these runs. Sitting on 1 million chips with around 50 players left, he then went on a heater and finished the day as chip leader with over 30 million .
Pham, who has won both a WSOP bracelet and a WSOPC ring, made a particularly big step when he busted Jonathan ‘Superman’ Dwek with a rivered straight flush over a straight for more than 20m chips.
Pham famously won a bracelet in 2015 when he accidentally registered for a 2-7 event – a game he’d never played before – and went on to win.
He won his seat in the 2017 Main Event via a $535 satellite.
In second place is now Valentin Messina. The French player has two deep runs in the Battle of Malta and a second place in the EPT Malta under his belt.
Now he’s the spearhead of the nation that has the second most players still in contention.
Lamb, Ruane, Saout go for 2nd ME FTs
Ben Lamb came third back in 2011(and won WSOP POY) when Pius Heinz beat Martin Staszko for the WSOP ME title.
Antoine Saout came third in 2009 when Darvin Moon eventually became the second luckiest player to Joe Cada.
Now both players have made it to Day 7 once again. Lamb sits in fourth place on the leaderboard while Saout is in 15th.
Michael Ruane’s run looks even more unbelievable. Since his fourth place last year he hasn’t had a single live cash anywhere.
Now he sits in 16th with 27 left out of 7,221 players, which means he has now survived 13,927 Main Event players within one year.
European Players in Majority
Of the final 27, 13 are from the other side of the pond. The French are the strongest with four players still playing for the win – among them Saout and Benjamin Pollak, who finished the ME in 27th place in 2013.
Britain has three players left, of which John Hesp with his outlandish shirts is bound to become the darling of the public. Germany has Day 5 chipleader Robin Hegele and Florian Lohnert.
In addition Portugal, Russia, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands still represent Europe while two Canadians and two Argentinians complete the armada of the Americas.
Mackoff and Luske repeat deep runs
Vancouver’s Jonas Mackoff has travelled the worldwide poker circuit for years and come close to a big title several times.
Two years ago he finished the WSOP Main in 63rd but this year he’ll have his best result yet. The same goes for Bryan Piccioli who busted on Day 6 last year with 84 players left but is now on to Day 7.
This year also marks the amazing comeback of the “Flying Dutchman” Marcel Luske.
It’s been rather quiet since Luske left the PokerStars pro team in September 2014. Now he’s back and having his best Main Event since his run to the last two tables in 2003 – the Moneymaker year.
Silver, Sammartino, Hallaert bow out
Belgian poker dealer turned pro Kenny Hallaert also dreamed of two final ME tables in a row, but one year after his 6th place he eventually had to leave the table with 64 players left at eight tables. Quite the feat for the small but strong Belgian community.
Dario Sammartino is having an incredible year and it took some bad luck to take him out of the Main Event. At this year’s WSOP Sammartino has cashed in eight events, of which just one had a buy-in under $10k.
Sammartino made the top 12 in four $10k Championship events, came 6th in the $25k PLO and 3rd in the $111,111 One Drop. His pocket queens were beaten by pocket threes with a three on the turn to end his ME.
Max Silver is one of the best players the British Isles has ever produced and he came into the day third in chips. Still, it wasn’t to be for the Londoner who exited in 45th. He’s still going home with a brand new bracelet under his belt, though.
The Marathon continues
The World Series of Poker Main Event certainly isn’t a sprint and will continue today with the field playing down to a final nine.
Americans, as always, make up the most players left but nothing has been decided and a long night is expected tonight.
WSOP Main Event Final 27