One thousand and eighty four players returned to the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event on Friday all with the hope of making it through five more levels of play. Just 297 managed to do just that though and at the end of the day, Argentinian Damian Salas put 4,678,000*into a bag to end the day as chip leader.
The group behind Salas is a talented, accomplished group, headlined by 2016 November Niner Kenny Hallaert. The Dutchman finished with the third largest stack (4,145,000). Even after playing for 10 hours on Friday, Hallaert was ready to play more.
“Full of energy at the moment. I wouldn’t mind if we played four more hours. Still was sharp, making good decisions, I think,” said Hallaert. “What I experienced in the last years, especially late in this tournament and late into the day, players are making mistakes which are based on fatigue.“
Hallaert looks back at how 2016 went for him and finds himself well ahead of where he was then.
“An amazing day. I remember last year bagging less chips than I started the day with,” said Hallaert, who went from 1.7 million to 1.6 million. “So it gives hope for the next few days actually. Looking forward to my third Day 5 in a row in the Main Event. I kinda like this tournament.”
Also in the top 10 are JP Kelly, Richard Gryko and Jonas Mackoff. Ben Lamb ended up just outside the top 10, finishing 12th. Hallaert and Lamb weren’t the only former November Niners to advance. Antoine Saout, Eoghan O’Dea, Chino Rheem, Tom Cannuli, Michael Ruane, Matt Giannett and Jake Balsiger also managed to move on.
There were 787 players who hit the payouts window on Friday including former #1-ranked PocketFiver Taylor Paur, 2001 WSOP Main Event champion Carlos Mortensen, Matt Glantz, Christoph Vogelsang, Mike Gorodinsky, Sofia Lovgren and Andre Akkari.
Top 10 Chip Counts
- Damian Salas – 4,678,000
- Sebastien Comel – 4,198,000
- Kenny Hallaert – 4,145,000
- John Kelly – 3,973,000
- Richard Gryko – 3,559,000
- Cosmin Joldis – 3,500,000
- Colin Moffatt – 3,086,000
- Jonas Mackoff – 3,076,000
- Eyal Maaravi – 3,030,030
- Valentin Messina – 2,979,000