Just 85 players remain after day 5 of the WSOP Main Event.

By RP, July 16, 2017

Day 5 of the World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas kicked off mid-morning Saturday on a schedule that called for five-and-a-half levels.

Argentinian pro Damian Salas held the overnight chip and managed to stay with the big stacks for most of Day 5, finally bagging 8.4 million chips to claim fifth position in the top chip counts going into Day 6.

When play ended on level 26 there were 85 players still in contention with the average chip stack around 4.24 million and the next pay level $72,514; Robin Hegele from Bavaria in Germany bagged the most chips for the day on 9.9 million and leads the pack going into Day 6 action on Sunday.

Chasing him as his closest rival is Joshua Horton on 9.36 million, but there is no shortage of large stacks and formidable talent still in the quest for the final table and a crack at the main prize of over $8 million. Among them is Antoine Saout (8,260,9000),

Day 5 casualties included Charlie Carrel, Tom Cannuli, Isaac Haxton, Chino Rheem, Max Pescatori, Greg Mueller, Vitaly Lunkin, Dominik Nitsche, Kathy Liebert and Davidi Kitai, along with the talk of the Rio this week, party animal Mickey Craft, who started the day with a respectable stack despite some reportedly heavy celebrating the night before, but did not make it through Day 5.

Characteristically, his day was a roller coaster of deep dips and astonishing double ups, but in the end 2016 November Niner Michael Ruane saw him off.

Defined by several top players as a “crazy, fun dude” Craft certainly lived up to his pronouncements that he just wanted to inject a little fun into poker.

Creating a little additional excitement is the prospect that two players still standing – Michael Ruane (3,450,000) and Kenny Hallaert (4,370,000) – could be about to duplicate Mark Newhouse’s feat of achieving back-to-back inclusion on the final table. InfoPowa readers may recall that Newhouse achieved this remarkable feat by finishing ninth on the 2013 and 2014 final tables of the main event.

Last year Ruane finished 4th for $2,576,003, and Hallaert 6th for $1,464,258.

Also going forward are great players like Ben Lamb, Connor Drinan, Dario Sammartino, Marcel Lusk and Scott Stewart.

Day 6 action starts Sunday mid-morning Vegas time, with a tentative plan to play down to 27 survivors.