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Found 9 results

  1. [caption width="640"] Qui Nguyen walked away with a little bit more than ,000,000 but that wasn't the only interesting number coming out of the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table (WSOP photo/Jayne Furman)[/caption] You know the headlines, you know the bustouts, you saw what happened on TV. But there were many untold and unexplored stories of the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event final table, so we decided to break some down and crunch some numbers. -45: Average temperature in the regions of Antarctica inhabited by polar bears. The bears are built for the cold, which is perhaps why Kenny Halleart’s rail chose to have someone dress as one to cheer their friend on at the notoriously cold Rio. 4: Number of players lost on the first day of November Nine play. While the plan was originally to play from nine down to six, the producers and tournament staff elected to play a little longer, perhaps because it did not take long to lose three players and, as a result, the table did not get far along in the structure. Because of the extended play, Halleart exited in sixth place on the first day of action. Then, on the second day of play, the table played three-handed for a little while because it took so little time to get from five players to three. 9: Number of years since an Asian player has won the WSOP Main Event. Laos-born Jerry Yang won in 2007, but since then the list of winners has been exclusively Caucasian and exclusively under the age of 30. Nguyen, who is 39, bucked both trends. 16: Number of hands it took before losing a player. Fernando Pons didn’t quite make it twice around the table before exiting in ninth place. 58: Number of hands it took at the final table before Griffin Benger managed to win a pot. The Canadian struggled at the final table and blinded off much of his stack. He also failed to flop much of anything, resulting in the very long stretch without dragging chips in his direction. The celebration was short-lived though. He busted in seventh place nine hands later. 60: Going rate in dollars for four pints of ice cream from the boutique Tin Pot Creamery, a Palo Alto ice cream provider Gordon Vayo promoted with a patch at the final table. Boasting flavors like Earl Grey and Sweet Barbeque, the creamery produces small batches of ice cream at quite the price, which also doesn’t include tax or shipping and handling. 69: Starting bid on eBay for the New Era brand Rocket Raccoon ball cap similar to the one wore by Qui Nguyen throughout the final table. The Guardians of the Galaxy hat was one of the more memorable pieces of headgear in Main Event memory. Now the hat is difficult to come by, but that is largely because of the popularity of the now two-year-old movie as opposed to Nguyen’s ability to influence style. 182: Number of hands heads-up play lasted. It is also the number of hands it took for the final table to get from nine down to two players. By comparison, last year the entire final table took 184 hands, with Joe McKeehen besting Josh Beckley after 13 hands. 1,046,965: Difference between $4.5 million and what Cliff Josephy collected for finishing in third place. Much has been made of the fact Josephy staked Joe Cada when he won the 2009 WSOP Main Event. Though the number was never confirmed, most assume Josephy took home half the $9 million payday. If that is the case, turns out this wasn’t his most profitable WSOP Main Event after all.
  2. Players who make televised final tables often times will go out of their way to dress up for the occasion. Some buy a new suit or get their favorite shirt pressed. Down to the final 27 players in the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event, Michael Ruane took some time out of his day to go shopping for new clothes for Day 7. He bought new socks, new underwear and a plain black t-shirt at Walmart. It wasn’t about looking good though necessarily, he just ran out of clean clothes. “I didn’t come out with enough clothes because I didn’t expect to get this deep in the Main Event,” said Ruane, who hails from Maywood, New Jersey. If you look at Ruane’s Hendon Mob profile, you’d think he fell off the planet in December 2012. He either just stopped cashing in live events or stopped playing them. It makes Ruane a real unknown commodity to his opponents. “Yeah, I’m trying to keep it that way. That’s the goal,” Ruane said. “It’s totally an advantage, so that’s why I’m not going to elaborate more on it.” Ruane admits he did play on PokerStars frequently prior to Black Friday and no, he’s not willing to share his screenname either. While he won’t give away his online identity, he does play on the legal online poker sites in his home state. “I live in New Jersey now so I play on the regulated online sites there,” said Ruane. It’s been an interesting week for Ruane. He came out to Las Vegas not long before the Main Event, played a $1,000 buy-in WSOP event and then dabbled in some online poker, including the $1,000 online bracelet event on WSOP.com. . “Just came out for the Main essentially so yeah, pretty cool that I came out for one tournament and I’m here right now,” said Ruane. “Here” is sitting with a top five stack with just 12 players left. A few days ago he left the Rio, jumped in an Uber and headed to the house he was staying at. Five days of poker was taking its toll on him and he was frustrated over a hand he felt he misplayed. He woke up the next morning, refreshed and ready for Day 6, but there was a problem. He wasn’t positive they were in the Uber though. “I was so frazzled. There was a hand at the end of the day that I was so frazzled by and discombobulated that I was flustered for two hours after that,” said Ruane. “So I didn’t put it past myself that I would leave my shoes in a strangers car.” So Bryan Piccioli, who had busted at the end of Day 5, was kind enough to lend Ruane his shoes for Day 6. Ruane ended that day with basically the same stack he started with - roughly 25,000,000. Things got even better when he got back to his house. The shoes that Ruane thought he had left in some strangers car were in fact outside by the pool. He found them Monday morning and wore them to Day 7.
  3. [caption width="640"] Qui Nguyen has 8 million reasons to smile after winning the 2016 WSOP Main Event (WSOP Photo / Jayne Furman0[/caption] When the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event final table began on Sunday night, nobody thought Qui Nguyen had a chance at overcoming a field that included two former #1-ranked players on PocketFives, a talented European poker pro, a former PokerStars SuperNova Elite and two young American poker pros who cut their poker teeth online. On Tuesday night in Las Vegas, Nguyen beat Gordon Vayo after a lengthy heads up battle to win the 2016 WSOP Main Event and the accompanying $8 million. Just like they did on the first night, when Nguyen and Cliff Josephy went at each other, things got crazy on the first hand Tuesday night. Nguyen started things off by raising to 2,700,000 with [poker card="as"][poker card="4c"] from the button. Josephy re-raised to 8,500,000 from the small blind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="qd"] and Gordon Vayo got out of the way before Nguyen four-bet to 20,900,000. Josephy immediately moved all and after getting a count, Nguyen called. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="qh"][poker card="7c"] flop gave Josephy top two pair. The [poker card="3s"] turn clinched the pot for Josephy with the [poker card="qs"] falling on the river. Nguyen’s stack dropped to 147,600,000 while Josephy more than doubled to 101,400,000. He also had momentum that proved to be short lived. Just four hands later the three players clashed in the biggest pot of the tournament to date and it nearly meant the end of the road for Josephy, the longest reigning #1-ranked player in PocketFives history. Josephy raised to 2,500,000 with [poker card="2d"][poker card="2c"] from the button, Vayo called from the small blind with [poker card="3d"][poker card="3s"] before Nguyen made 7,700,000 from the big blind with [poker card="as"][poker card="jc"]. Josephy and Vayo both called to see a flop of [poker card="kd"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2s"]. Nguyen bet 9,900,000 and both Josephy and Vayo called. After the [poker card="4d"] turn, Vayo and Nguyen both checked and Josephy bet 21,000,000. Vayo eventually moved all in for 75,100,000. Nguyen folded and Josephy called. The river was the [poker card="6d"] and Vayo doubled up while Josephy was left with just eight big blinds. Josephy doubled up through Nguyen on the very next hand and then again four hands later through Nguyen to get his stack back to 46,200,000 - just 3,800,000 less than he started the final day with. Josephy’s roller coaster ride continued five hands later when Nguyen took half of his stack and officially ended on the very next hand. Nguyen folded the button, Josephy moved all in for 18,700,000 with [poker card="qd"][poker card="3d"] and Vayo called with [poker card="kh"][poker card="6d"]. The board ran out [poker card="kc"][poker card="8c"][poker card="3h"][poker card="4c"][poker card="2c"] to eliminate Josephy in third place. After his elimination, Josephy discussed the set-vs-set confrontation with Vayo. “If he had played a small pair out of the small blind yesterday, I would’ve easily folded, due to his image, his reputation and my perception of him” said Josephy. “But he had folded a small pair against cutoff open against me, so it was easy to pull small pairs out of his range,” said Josephy. “The way he played the hand, he had to have a set of threes, but I don’t have him on threes, so it’s so hard because I couldn’t figure out what he could have.” When heads up play began Vayo had 200,300,000 chips to Nguyen’s 136,300,000. The two players exchanged the chip lead back and forth six times over the next 25 hands before Nguyen took the lead for the final time. Over the next seven hours of play, Vayo did everything he could to stave off elimination from the hard-charging Nguyen, but in the end, Nguyen’s aggression and unique approach that left his opponents dazed and confused over the final three days of play, ended up leading him to victory. After leaving Vayo shaking his head after numerous folds, the tournament ended in anti-climatic fashion. Nguyen opened to 8,500,000 with [poker card="kc"][poker card="tc"] and Vayo shipped in his 53,000,000 stack with [poker card="js"][poker card="ts"] and Nguyen called. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="9c"][poker card="7d"] flop gave Nguyen top pair and Vayo a boatful of extra outs but the [poker card="2s"] turn and [poker card="3h"] river were complete bricks for Vayo and after 181 hands of heads up play, Nguyen eliminated Vayo in second place to win the 2016 WSOP Main Event. Nguyen eliminated four of the final five players on his way to the win. Final Table Payouts Qui Nguyen - $8,005,310 Gordon Vayo - $4,661,228 Cliff Josephy - $3,453,035 Michael Ruane - $2,576,003 Vojtech Ruzicka - $1,935,288 Kenny Hallaert - $1,464,258 Griffin Benger - $1,250,190 Jerry Wong - $1,100,076 Fernando Pons - $1,000,000
  4. [caption width="320" align="alignleft"] Vojtech Ruzicka could become the first Czech winner of the World Series of Poker Main Event (WSOP photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] You get the impression from 2016 November Niner Vojtech Ruzicka that he really loves poker. He's already promised that he won't be retiring if he wins the Main Event and that he would continue to play high buy-in tournaments all around the world. But since the end of this year’s World Series of Poker, and the final table eventually getting underway, Ruzicka has been spotted playing in a variety of different destinations. The Czech pro has certainly been honing his game ahead of the most important final table of his life, not only in tournaments! Ruzicka admitted over the summer that he wasn’t much of a cash game player, but that certainly didn’t stop him from heading to Rozvadov for the King’s Casino Cash Game. After a rough couple of days playing against the likes of Tony G and Igor Kurganov, he managed to turn it back around in the final session and finish the trip as a winner. Since then King’s Casino have announced that they intend to build a new hotel, spa and a new huge poker room. Ruzicka was quick to praise Leon Tsoukernik and the recent expansion plans at King’s. “I couldn’t be more excited about it! It looks like King’s could become the biggest European poker room really soon and the plans look awesome,” said Ruzicka of the host casino for WSOP Europe in 2017 and 2019. “King’s has some special memories for me. I actually played my first big live tournaments there, and I have won the German Championship of Poker there twice.” “I am really excited to represent Rozvadov in November." READ: Five Questions with Vojtech Ruzicka As well as playing at King’s, Ruzicka also headed to the European Poker Tour stop in Barcelona where not only did he finish 18th in the €25,000 High Roller, but managed a deep run in the Main Event only to finish 24th. Ruzicka said that it was great to have the experience of running deep in another tournament so soon. “When I was deep in the EPT Barcelona Main Event, I was really excited, but not nervous at all. It felt great,” said Ruzicka. “I’ve never thought self-confidence makes much of a difference, but the fact that you will play a final table in a much bigger tournament in three months’ time made me much more relaxed.” “I definitely felt much better at the table and I was just like ‘Wow, wouldn’t it be awesome to win the EPT while waiting for the November Nine?’” In Barcelona it was announced that the EPT is soon to rebrand into PokerStars Championships. Ruzicka’s poker resume is littered with cashes, as well as a High Roller win at EPT Deauville in 2013 for €313,000. Ruzicka says that he hoped that the new format will work as well as the EPTs have done. “I honestly think that the EPT had a great name around the poker world, and I personally would never have renamed those tournaments. But we will see. I will definitely give them a shot,” said Ruzicka. This year there are three Europeans at the Main event final table, with Ruzicka joined by Spain's Fernando Pons and the Netherlands' Kenny Hallaert. This is an increase from 2015 where just Federico Butteroni and Pierre Neuville were from the other side of the pond. In 2014, however, there were four Europeans at a final table which was eventually won by Swede Martin Jacobson. And with four of the last eight Main Event Champions being European, does Ruzicka think that it would mean anything special to become yet another European Main Event winner? “I think everyone wants to win the Main Event really bad, but I think that people care more about how the winner plays and behaves. I don’t think that nationality is that important," said Ruzicka. “However, I do feel that following these results American players are starting to respect us Europeans much more at the tables and when we come to the World Series of Poker.” And with the November Nine right around the corner, Ruzicka will have a gang of rowdy Czechs railing him at the final table. “Now that I’m a November Niner, everybody has been really nice to me. It’s been actually quite pleasant so far,” admitted Ruzicka. “I would like to thank the entire Czech poker community. Everyone has been so supportive to me and I hope that I will make them proud!”
  5. [caption width="640"] There are more numbers in play at the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table that just the November Nine (WSOP Photo / Joe Giron)[/caption] You’ve seen plenty of numbers related to the November Nine. You’ve seen ages and chip counts, number of bracelets and final tables. Let’s not forget lifetime tournament earnings and number of big blinds. Rather than examine the obvious stats, let’s get to know this final table by the not-so-apparent numbers in this edition of The Number Crunch. 0 – This number applies to quite a bit of Fernando Pons’ resume. Prior to this Main Event, he had never played a World Series of Poker tournament, he had never even been to Vegas. He also has zero players behind him on the leaderboard, as the Spaniard is coming in with just a handful of big blinds amounting to 6.15 million. 2 – Spot on the Czech Republic all-time money list for Vojtech Ruzicka, who has already been credited with at least ninth place money. If he wins, he can take the top spot away from Martin Staszko, who finished second to Pius Heinz in 2011. 3 – This is the third career WSOP final table for Gordon Vayo. While he may not be a household name to casual poker fans, he actually came up just shy of a bracelet in 2014, finishing second to Davidi Kitai in a $3,000 Six-Handed No Limit Hold’em event. 25 – Position of Qui Nguyen in the counts with 27 players remaining. He began near the bottom of the counts, but after doubling through Michael Ruane early, he went on to eliminate Tom Marchese, James Obst, and Mike Shin to take the chip lead and go on to bag the second-biggest stack going into November. 407 – Total number of runners in the 2016 Unibet Belgium Poker Championship in September of 2016. Kenny Hallaert was on hand as the Unibet tournament director for the event, and does not appear interested in quitting his full-time day job after making the final table. 519 – Number of days chip leader Cliff Josephy was ranked #1 on the PocketFives Rankings. One of the OGs of online poker, the man known as 'JohnnyBax online joined P5s in 2005 and quickly ascended the ranks of online poker to take the number one spot. He is not the only top PocketFiver in the pack though. Griffin Benger was also ranked #1 in P5s World Rankings. Bax isn’t just a token member either. He has posted over 1,300 times in the forums as well as backed numerous other P5ers, including a former Main Event winner, Joe Cada. 26,158 – Total dollars confiscated by US Customs when Michael Ruane tried to fly back into the States after the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Then 23, Ruane and his brother and cousin did not properly declare the amount of money they were returning with, so officials confiscated it at the Nassau Airport. 98,683 – Dollars in earnings for Griffin Benger in his career as a professional Counter-Strike player. His career-high score came in 2007 when he and four teammates won a Competitive Gaming Series (CGS) event for $250,000 total, amounting to $50,000 apiece. 1,380,000 – Number of chips Jerry Wong lost over the course of two days of play as the field winnowed down from 80 to the November Nine. He was chip leader at the end of Day 5 with over 11 million, but lost steam late in play, bagging just over 10 million and coming into November eighth out of nine in the chip counts.
  6. [caption width="320" align="alignleft"] Michael Ruane sits fifth in chips as the 2016 WSOP Main Event gets underway, but there's more to the New Jersey native than just poker (WSOP photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] Before the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table begins, PocketFives is providing extensive coverage of the 2016 November Nine including player features, interviews, previews, and statistics. In this edition of Five Questions we introduce you to Michael Ruane. PocketFives: You were paid $1,000,000 for finishing ninth back in July. If you were forced to bet that money on one player other than yourself to win the Main Event, who would you bet on and why? I don't really gamble or bet outside of poker so I'd probably make the fish bet and just bet on whoever has the most ridiculous odds, who happens to be Fernando - so I'd probably throw a 20 ball on Fernando to win. * PocketFives: If you knew you were going to be stranded on a deserted island for one year and could only bring three non-living things with you, what would you bring and why? This is a good one that I've put a lot of thought into and tried to come at from a very practical angle.*So growing up the first show I was absolutely obsessed with was LOST.*It was the first show that I (and I think a lot of people) totally immersed myself in 100%.*This is a bit of a spoiler alert, but if you haven't watched LOST at this point, you've probably missed the boat - but in later seasons Locke's mortality is sort of up in the air, so technically I think he'd qualify as non-living.*So my first "thing" I'd bring to this island is the character of John Locke.*I honestly don't think I'd need anything else after that to survive, but to round out my three I'd probably bring a knife (for practical purposes) and an iPod (for when Locke gets too annoying rambling on about said deserted island's meaning). PocketFives: If you win the Main Event and the $8 million, what is the first extravagant purchase you will make? I don't think it would be one extravagant single purchase.*I'm a pretty big music nut and try to go to as many concerts and music festivals as possible.*I also really love to travel.*I think I would try to combine these two passions and plot a really awesome (and expensive) trip that included different places I've been wanting to visit that had a cool music festival or band playing at the same time. * PocketFives: If a major Hollywood movie studio were to make a movie about your life, who would you cast in the lead role? I've been told that I resemble anywhere from Michael Shannon to Robert Pattinson to Leo, himself.*To answer the question, if a Hollywood studio was serious about this idea, I'd embark on a global journey to find this mystical creature who looks like a combination of all three of these actors.*I'd then offer this person an exorbitant amount of money (so this actually might be my most extravagant purchase) to portray me in a major motion picture. * PocketFives: If you and your brother Sean (also a professional poker player) had to play heads-up against each other in a winner-take-all scenario, who wins and why? Depends when this match takes place. If it takes place before the Final Table, Sean would for sure let me win to give me a nice confidence boost. If it's after the Final Table, it's a real toss up.*Sean is huge lightweight though, so my strategy would be to act as if this heads-up match was a fun, light-hearted brotherly match where we'd have a few beers and have a good time.* I'd then get Sean absolutely bombed, rendering him incapable of defeating me.*In theory, I think it'd be virtually impossible for the poor guy to win.
  7. [caption width="640"] Conor Beresford is the current king of the UK rankings. Photo: PokerStars.[/caption] As an online poker powerhouse country, the UK continues to be in the conversation of producing some of the best poker players in the world. Just as the country itself has been a major world influence in popular culture, players hailing from UK have helped shape the modern-day poker landscape including old school veterans like David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott,Neil Channing and Roland de Wolfe, high-rolling regulars like Sam Trickettand Charlie Carrell and even some of the most recognizable faces of the game in PokerStars Team Pro Liv Boeree and online poker legend, Chris Moorman. The current crop of Top 10 online players from the United Kingdom uphold the tradition of influential talented grinders and current at the top of the list is Conor ‘1_conor_b_1’ Beresford (6,76.34 PLB Points). Beresford is not only the #1-ranked player in the UK, but also currently sits as the #15-ranked player in the world, according to the PocketFives.com Worldwide Rankings. His last month is highlighted third-placed place finish in Event #8 of the PokerStars High Rollers Series ($2,100 8-Max No Limit Hold’em) where he took home $57,781. Beresford, constantly grinding a schedule of the largest online MTTs, cashed 30 times for four-figures or more in November and looks to out do that pace here in December already notching nine four-figure or more paydays including a sixth place finish in the PokerStars $1,050 Super Tuesday for $10,929. Despite Beresford’s amazing stats and consistency, he’s being hotly pursued by Team partypoker ambassador Patrick ‘pleno1’ Leonard (6,612.64). The former Worldwide #1-ranked superstar, currently sits as the UK’s #2-ranked player having just recently reached a new personal benchmark of eclipsing over $4 million in lifetime earnings. Leonard also did a good deal of damage in the PokerStars High Rollers Series cashing in five of the events for over $130,000. He final tabled three of the events and his largest score of the month came with his seventh place finish in Event #6 ($10,300 No Limit Hold’em - $1M Gtd) for $55,635. David ‘davaman’ Lopez (5,894.23) has ascended to the UK’s #3 spot. While there’s a pretty big gap between him and the duo of Beresford and Leonard, that could be in part due to a lighter play schedule in November. Originally from Spain, but currently playing out of London, Lopez reportedly at one point earned the title of Supernova Elite on PokerStars in only three months but with only a handful of scores for the month of November it looks like the pro is simply taking some time off after a month of everyday scores in October. Still sitting in the Worldwide Rankings at #40, his best recent score was a tenth place finish in the partypoker High Roller back on November 13 for $3,000. Literally right behind Lopez is the UK’s #4-ranked player Jonathan ‘proudflop’ Proudfoot (5,874.55). Proudfoot has been making waves in the Worldwide rankings, climbing just about every week in the month of November, where he currently resides at #41. Proudfoot has been putting in the time and his results have shown it. On the precipice of conquering $1 million in lifetime earnings, Proudfoot racked up 25 four-figure scores in November, not including his victory in the partypoker High Roller on November 28 for $19,734. Sitting less than 20 PLB points behind Lopez, he could, once again, climb the rankings in no time. Charlie ‘chaz_man_chaz’ Combes (5,843.76), caps off the UK’s Top 5, having recently taken down the partypoker High Roller on November 23 for $12,170. Combes is the third of the UK trio that occupies virtually the same space in the Worldwide rankings as he currently stands only 2 spots back from Proudfoot at #43 and as of now is trailing him only 30.79 PLB points, meaning things can change in a hurry on both the UK and Worldwide rankings list. Combes’ December is off to a hot start as well as the daily mid-high stakes tournament grinder has won nearly $40,000 in the first week of play. There’s a little breathing room between the #5 and #6 spots, where Owain ‘sngwonder’ Carey (5,581.54) ranks. Carey was recently featured in the PocketFives.com Milestones column for surpassing the $3 million lifetime earnings mark and he also is enjoying his highest placement in the Worldwide Top 100, currently sitting just outside the Top 50 at #51. Playing out of Glasgow as its #1 player, Ludovic ‘ludovi333’ Geilich-Jonsen (5,554.91) checks in at #7. After a light November schedule, Geilich-Jonsen emerged to cash in the PokerStars High Rollers Event #19 for over $7,800. PokerStars WCOOP Event #1 Champion‘carpediem200’ (5,426.14) checks in at #8. While still benefitting from the massive points boost a major victory like a WCOOP will give you, he’s not sitting idly by having put in a full schedule over the past two months raking in over 20 four-figure scores in that time period. Bristol’s Oscar ‘MendaLerenda’ Serradell (5,408.48), a former #2-ranked Worldwide professional, occupies the #9 spot. His victory in PokerStars Bounty Builder on November 14 for $7,297 was his highest PLB points score of November and is basically the difference between him and the #10 spot which belongs to…Chris ‘moorman1’ Moorman (5,278.54). As we previously mentioned, Moorman is one of the UK’s most popular and accomplished tournament grinders. The 888poker ambassador recently published his second book as well as took down one of the side events at the World Poker Tour Five Diamond (Event #9 $1,100 No Limit Hold’em Turbo) for $37,132. Even with all of his media duties and live play, he still finds the time to grind and add to his over $14 million in lifetime earnings. His most recent only victory came just days after his live win as he took down the PokerStars Bigger $162 for over $5,200. UK Online Poker Rankings Top 10 RANKPLAYERPOINTS 11_conor_b_16,6776.34 2pleno16,612.64 3davaman5,894.23 4proudflop5,874.55 5chaz_man_chaz5,843.76 6sngwonder5,581.54 7ludovi333r5,554.91 8carpediem2005,426.14 9MendaLerenda5,408.46 10moorman15,278.54
  8. [caption width="640"] Michael Ruane is on the verge of recording his first cash since busting from the WSOP Main Event in July (WPT photo)[/caption] For a lot of poker players, getting to the final ten of the World Series of Poker Main Event along with one their good friends sounds like a dream scenario. The two of, on the verge of winning a million dollars and maybe more, along with the chance of winning the whole thing. For Michael Ruane, that dream scenario turned nightmarish this past July when he found himself in a hand with his good friend Bryan Piccioli on the final table bubble. Piccioli was the one that was all in, but the result of the hand all but guaranteed one of the two good friends would eventually become the 10th place finisher. That was Ruane's fate as Piccioli, holding [poker card="tc"][poker card="ts"], called for his tournament life after Ruane, holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"], had moved all in. The board brought no help for Ruane and a few minutes later he was eliminated in 10th place. "It was the worst. If somebody's going to win I'd rather have it be him. It was just a terrible situation because getting to the final table together with a very good friend of mine would have been awesome," said Ruane. "All of our mutual friends were on the rail and nobody knew who to root for. It was silent. It was awful." The cliche says that the day a poker player busts out of the Main Event is their worst day of the year. Ruane got to live that moment, in an extremely important spot, live on ESPN for all the world to see. As the cards were turned over and the board ran out, Ruane looked upset and some mistook that as something directed towards Piccioli. Ruane insists that's not the case. "I was immediately obviously pretty angry, just because I wanted to make the final table, but I handled it a lot better than I thought I would. It just took me an hour or two to decompress, said Ruane. "I called my brother, Sean, and we talked on the phone for a bit. I actually didn't even realize there was a pay jump between 10th and 11th." Even though the two are good friends, and saw each other later that night, the big hand wasn't brought up. Five months after that fateful day, Ruane says that he and Piccioli have yet to discuss it at all. "We saw each other that night actually, and I congratulated him and I was happy for him. There's nothing really to talk about. It's just a shitty situation, I think we both just understood that. It's just poker. It's all good," said Ruane. The WPT Five Diamond, where he's starting Day 3 with a decent stack, is just the third live tournament Ruane has played since July. As long as he avoids a monumental misstep early on Friday, he's going to record his first cash since then. He had no cashes between his fourth-place finish in the 2016 WSOP Main Event and the 10th place finish last summer either. "I'm really pumped for this tournament because I haven't played in a while. I don't really like traveling and playing live - I like playing live a lot, but only when I want to. So I don't want to just go and play," a aid Ruane, who plans on spending the holidays with friends and family before heading off to Australia and Asia for prolonged vacation. "I was in Europe before the World Series and I've been to South America, so it's kind of the next place I haven't been yet and I feel like it's a pretty good time to go in my life right now," said Ruane. "Plus, I've never played the Aussie Millions. I've got a friend that lives there and a friend in China, so it just makes sense for me to this right now."
  9. [caption width="639"] Christian Pham has over 31 million reasons to smile after Day 6 of the 2017 WSOP Main Event.[/caption] Christian Pham once registered for a World Series of Poker tournament by mistake and won it. On Sunday, Pham made all the right moves to end Day 6 of the 2017 WSOP Main Event and ended up as the chip leader with just 27 players remaining. Pham’s move up the chip counts came at the expense of the player who spent the previous few days playing wearing a Superman costume, Jonathan Dwek. Pham raised to 425,000 from late position before Dwek raised to 690,000 from the small blind. Pham called and then called Dwek’s bet of 800,000 after the [poker card="kh"][poker card="5d"][poker card="3s"] flop. The turn was the [poker card="2d"] and Dwek bet 1,400,000 and Pham called. The river was the [poker card="4d"] and Dwek bet 2,000,000. Pham announced all in and Dwek went into the tank before calling all in. Pham happily showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="3d"] for the straight flush while Dwek showed [poker card="as"][poker card="8c"] for a straight. The hand eliminated Dwek in 38th place and gave Pham 25,800,000. Pham, who won the $1,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven bracelet in 2015, ended the night with 31,250,000. Frenchman Valentin Messina finished with the second biggest stack at 28,590,000 while English pro Jack Sinclair ended with 27,535,000. Ben Lamb is one of three former November Niners still in contention for a return trip to the final table. The high stakes cash game regular finished Day 6 with 25,685,000 while Antoine Saout ended with 9,945,000 and last year’s fourth place finisher Michael Ruane ended up 16th after bagging 9,340,000. Bryan Piccioli doubled up late in the night to end up with a top 10 stack. This marks the third straight year that Piccioli has cashed in the Main Event with each improvement outdoing the previous one. RELATED: Bryan Piccioli Thriving Through Tragedy with WSOP Main Event Run There were 85 players at the start of the day. Some of the eliminations on Sunday included WSOP bracelet winners Ian Johns, Arash Ghaneian, Max Silver, Chris Wallace, Kevin Song and Martin Finger. Other notables who saw their Main Event end early include Tom Middleton, Charlie Carrel, Vitaly Lunkin, Kenny Hallaert, Connor Drinan and Brandon Meyers. One player who was eliminated on Day 6 was 70th place finisher Paul Senat. The 37 year old is facing a manslaughter charge in Palm Beach County, Florida the Palm Beach Post reported. They were unsure about any possible conditions on the bond he agreed to. Action resumes at Noon PT on Monday and will play down to a final table of nine. Top 10 Chip Counts Christian Pham - 31,520,000 Valentin Messina - 28,995,000 Jack Sinclair - 27,690,000 Ben Lamb - 25,685,000 Pedro Oliveira - 22,540,000 John Hesp - 20,880,000 Randy Pisane - 18,370,000 Scott Blumstein - 14,900,000 Bryan Piccioli - 14,500,000
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