After two abbreviated days at the World Series of Poker Main Event, the remaining 185 players took to the felt at the Rio to play deep into the money. By the end of Day 6, the field was reduced to just 64 survivors as some big names fell by the wayside and others surged to the top of the leaderboard. Former world champions Joe Hachem and Peter Eastgate were among the most notable casualties as their impressive runs finally came to an end. Darvin Moon shot to the top of the leaderboard when he cracked David Benyamine’s kings and he never fell far from the top spot, but lurking right behind him at the end of the day were Billy Kopp and the most feared man in poker, Phil Ivey. Ivey finished the day third in chips, while Ludovic Lacay, Antonio Esfandiari, and Jeff Shulman all ended with healthy stacks.
Michael Greco had the best WSOP of any former television star, with a final table to his credit, but his run at the Main Event ended early on Day 6. He got all his chips in preflop with , but Scott Bohlman called with . Greco made top pair on the flop, but couldn’t pick up another king to stay alive. Other early bust-outs included Cole South, Joe Serock, Nasr El Nasr, and Thierry van den Berg.
Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier was one of the early chip leaders in the Main Event, but he busted on Day 6 as well. Grospellier lost most of his stack early in a big hand with Fernando Gordo and Scott Cook where four players saw a raised flop of . Gordo led out, Grospellier and Cook both called, and Don Tran got out of the way. The on the turn brought another bet from Gordo, and again Grospellier and Cook both called behind. Gordo checked the river, as did Grospellier. Cook thought for a long moment before checking behind, and revealed for a full house. Gordo and Grospellier had different variants of Big Slick, and ElkY found himself on the short stack. He ran into Scott Sitron’s pocket kings not long after that hand, and headed to the rail.
Darvin Moon called a small raise from David Benyamine to see the flop, and Moon led out. Benyamine raised, Moon reraised, and Benyamine four-bet. Moon slowed things down by just calling, and the came on the turn. Moon bet enough to put Benyamine all in, and Benyamine called with pocket aces. Moon tabled for bottom set, and when the river brought the , Benyamine was done and Moon was the new chip leader.
Billy Kopp took out Joe Hachem in a coin toss after Hachem moved all in preflop with . Kopp made the call with , and Hachem missed the flop, but picked up a flush draw. Any king, jack, or nine would also be good for Hachem, but the board ran out and to send the 2005 champion to the rail just before dinner.
With Hachem’s elimination, Peter Eastgate was the last man remaining with a chance for a second Main Event title, but the 2008 champ’s run ended late on Day 6. Eastgate got all his chips into the middle preflop, and got action from both Billy Kopp and Dennis Phillips to make a large three-way pot. Phillips and Kopp checked down the board of , and Eastgate showed for top two pair. Phillips mucked, but Kopp showed for the flush and the win. Peter Eastgate made a phenomenal run at a back-to-back championship, but was unable to make it all the way.
Joe Sebok came back from the dinner break in short-stack ninja mode, and picked up a couple of key double-ups to make it through to Day 7. He won a coin flip against Frank Rusnak with to Rusnak’s for his first double-up. Then Sebok moved all in over the top of Billy Kopp’s preflop raise with . Kopp reluctantly called with , but he could only muster a pair of sevens as Sebok doubled up once more. Sebok finished the day with an even one million in chips.
Antonio Esfandiari made a solid run at the chip lead late in the day, beginning when he busted Wesley Ismay in a big pot. Ismay reraised Esfandiari preflop, and Esfandiari called as the came down. Esfandiari led out, and Ismay called. The hit the turn and the fireworks went off as Esfandiari led out again, Ismay moved all in over the top, and Esfandiari called. Esfandiari showed , and Ismay was caught bluffing for all his chips with Q-9. The came on the river, and Esfandiari finished the day in sixth place with well over five million in chips.
The man no one else in the field wanted to see with chips picked up a ton of them on Day 6. Phil Ivey busted several players on the way to his big stack, including Hac Dang. Dang and Ivey got it all in preflop, and Dang got his chips in about as good as possible. He shoved with , Ivey called with , and the board came down jack-high to give Ivey top set and send Hang packing. Ivey then busted Kent Goulding in another come-from-behind victory. Ivey raised from the button, Goulding reraised from the big blind, and Ivey called. Goulding checked the flop, and Ivey fired a big enough bet to put Goulding all in. Goulding called with , and Ivey showed for the flush draw. Goulding looked good for the double-up on the turn, but the on the river filled Ivey’s flush and sent Goulding to the exit.
Darvin Moon closed out Day 6 with 9,745,000 to take the chip lead, while Billy Kopp finished a strong second with 8,245,000 and the always-dangerous Phil Ivey ended in third chip position with 6,345,000. Other notable survivors from Day 6 included Prahlad Friedman, Blair Rodman, Tom Schneider, and Dennis Phillips, who picked up a big pot late in the day to continue his run at consecutive final tables when he busted Fernando Gordo. Join PokerNews at noon local time for all the live updates from Day 7 of the WSOP Main Event.