2017 World Series of Poker Main Event Day 5: 85 Remaining

Michael Ruane - WSOP Main Event 2017

Though Robin Hegele has the chip lead at the moment, Michael Ruane (pictured) received a lot of attention.

The 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event is wrapping up its fifth day of play and 85 players remain. The WSOP Main Event began with 7,221 entries.

Robin Hegele sits in first place in the chip stack lead at the moment, with $9.99 million chips. Joshua Horton is second with $9.36 million chips, while Max Silver is in third with $8.665 millionchips.

Meanwhile, three familiar faces from previous WSOP Main Events are in the remaining 85 players: Michael Ruane, Kenny Hallaert, and Antoine Saout.

Michael Ruane and Kenny Hallaert: Still Alive

The big news from Day 5 is the two of the 2016 November Nine remain in the tournament: Michael Ruane with $3.45 million and Kenny Hallaert with $4.37 million. Last year, Michael Ruane finished 4th in the event, while Kenny Hallaert finished 6th. This is the third year in a row that Kenny Hallaert has a high finish in the WSOP Main Event.

When asked about his amazing 2017 follow-up to making the 2016 final table, Michael Ruane said, “It feels great. I’m just mad right now, because I just messed up a few hands at the ends of the night. But to be here again is super surreal.

“The energy you get in the Main Event is like no other tournament you could play. It’s super exciting.”

Michael Ruane v. Mickey Craft

Michael Ruane had a dramatic moment late in the day when he knocked fan favorite Mickey Craft out the event. Mickey Craft made an impression with the crowd at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, with his big personality and wild swings of fortune. In Day 5, Mickey Craft ran his chip stack to $4 million, but fell back to $900,000 later in the day. After doubling up to $1.8 million, Craft called a raise by Michael Ruane with a 7-2 offsuit.

Despite holding a big lead in the hand with an overpair, Michael Ruane got nervous when Mickey Craft flopped top pair. With the television cameras and an excited crowd looking on, Ruane said he was nervous Craft would get the card he needed in a made-for-TV moment.

Ruane said, “I mean, you just play the hand, but this guy is obviously the most crazy-fun dude in the tournament and he’s getting a lot of attention and he’s all-in with a seven-two off. And I’m, like, all-in essentially and it’s like, ‘Oh my God — it’s like written in the stars this guy is going to hit a two. I’m sure ESPN would love it.”

It didn’t happen, but Mickey Craft returned an hour later with shots for the remaining players at his table. Craft said about his gesture, “Whether you go out with an ace-king or a seven-deuce, it’s all for fun. I just wanted to make a little light of these guys’ day and say ‘Thank You'”.

Antoine Saout Has Another Deep Run

Ruane and Hallaert are not the only veterans of the WSOP Main Event final table. Antoine Saout, who made the final table in 2009, sits with $8.2609 million chips in the event.

Antoine Saout, who finished 25th in the 2016 WSOP Main Event, said the pressure is starting to build. Saout added, “The field is different every year. But it’s the Main Event and there’s lots of amateurs and some pros. I drew some good tables today. But the deeper you go, the tougher it gets.”

Though 7,136 players have been eliminated, the 2017 WSOP Main Event still has a lot of poker left to play. The action is expected to go through July 20, when the final table ends. After the final 9 are decided, players will take a one day break to rest and strategize. Unlike the last number of years, the WSOP has no “November Nine” this year. All the action is contained in July.

WSOP Main Event Cash Notes

As is tradition, the buy-in for the main event is $10,000. The prize pool, is 467,877,400. The top 1,084 players earn winnings from the tournament.

This year’s 1,085th place finisher (who did not earn money) was Quan Zhou, a Chinese high roller. Though he fell on the wrong side of the money bubble, Quan received a free $10,000 entry into the 2018 WSOP Main Event.