Here we are. The 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event field was whittled from 80 players down to just 27 on Sunday. The next step: determine the November Nine. Those 27 remaining players will get together at noon Pacific time on Monday and will play as long as it takes to get down to the final table of just nine players. The end is in sight, yet still likely seems so far away.
The chip leader going into Monday is the Czech Republic’s Vojtech Ruzicka, who has 26.415 million chips. He is in a tight race at the top with Michael Ruane with 24.565 million chips and Cliff Josephy with 23.860 million. Ruzicka has cashed three times at the 2016 WSOP (aside from the Main Event), though none of those cashes were for more than $2,200. They all clearly pale in comparison to what he is going to bank in this tournament. He has cashed 17 times in total at the World Series of Poker prior to this event.
Ruzicka’s live earnings add up to over 1.1 million in his career, aided primarily by two big cashes: a victory in the €10,000 High Roller Event at the 2013 European Poker Tour (EPT) Deauville in which he earned €313,000 ($426,907) and a win at the 2012 German Championship of Poker Grand Final Main Event, where he won €122,500 ($161,146).
Ruzicka gained the chip lead on the last hand of the night when he called Elliott Peterman’s all-in pre-flop raise for 3.290 million chips. Peterman had Queens and Ruzicka had A-K, but it was tough luck for Peterman as Ruzicka paired both of his hole cards on the flop to eliminate Peterman in 28th place. Had Ruzicka not won that hand, he still would have been amongst the chip leaders, but would have likely been down around 20 million chips (pending hands that might have followed), rather than the 26.415 million with which he finished.
A number of notable names still remain in the field, giving the final table great potential. In addition to the aforementioned Cliff Josephy, other players readers make recognize include James Obst, previous chip leader and eight-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Valentin Vornicu, Tom Marchese, Griffin Benger, and 2009 November Niner Antoine Saout. Jerry Wong, who entered Sunday as the chip leader, is also still doing well, sitting in 13th place with almost 13 million chips.
Notables who were eliminated on Sunday include Daniel Colman, Max Silver, Paul Volpe, Tony Gregg, Brian Yoon, and Chris Klodnicki.
As already mentioned, play will commence at noon at the Rio in Las Vegas. It will not stop – aside from schedule breaks – until the November Nine has been determined. If past years are any indication, it is going to be a long night.
2016 World Series of Poker Main Event – Day 6 Chip Leaders
1. Vojtech Ruzicka – 26,415,000
2. Michael Ruane – 24,565,000
3. Cliff Josephy – 23,860,000
4. James Obst – 19,560,000
5. Mike Shin – 19,345,000
6. Valentin Vornicu – 17,450,000
7. Fernando Pons – 17,270,000
8. Thomas Miller – 17,185,000
9. Kenny Hallaert – 15,465,000
10. Tom Marchese – 15,420,000