On Saturday the 2013 World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event rolled on as the remaining 239 players from a 6,352-player field returned to the Amazon Room at the Rio All-Suite Casino in Las Vegas for five more two-hour levels of play. By the end of the night just 68 remained with Sami Rustom and his stack of 7,005,000 leading the way.
While Marc McLaughlin and Ryan Riess managed to both take turns holding the top spot during the final level, Rustom soared at the end to finish just 310,000 chips ahead of McLaughlin. The California native is here making the largest cash of his career by a long shot. In fact, this single score here, whatever it may be for Rustom, has already surpassed his total lifetime tournament earnings of $43,957. Rustom does have two WSOP cashes, both coming from back in 2007.
OFFICIAL TOP TEN END-OF-DAY 5 COUNTS
At the start of the day all eyes were on the defending champ, Greg Merson, who was looking to make back-to-back final tables on the way to a title defense. Unfortunately for him, and those hoping to see him do it, those aspirations were crushed by Brett Richey in Level 22 (10,000/20,000/3,000).
It happened when Richey raised to 40,000 from middle position and Merson moved all in for 481,000. As soon as action got back to Richey he made the call and the defending champ was in need of some help.
The flop brought plenty of action, coming down . Merson had managed to pair his deuce, but Richey also paired his kicker. The one diamond meant that Merson could catch either runner-runner diamonds or straight cards, but the on the turn got rid of those possibilities. Merson would need a deuce on the river to stay alive, but it wasn't meant to be, as the hit the river.
Merson shook hands with Richey before he grabed his bag, wished everyone luck, and headed for the exit. Merson, who fell in 167th place for $42,990, had the deepest run for a defending champion in the Main Event since 2009 when Peter Eastgate finished 78th in his title defense. His elimination also meant that Steve Gee was the last remaining member of last year's Octo-Nine.
Merson’s elimination left 2001 WSOP Main Event winner Carlos Mortensen, who doubled on the very first hand of the day, as the only former champ left in the field. Mortensen will begin Day 6 with 2,665,000.
Others who joined Merson on the rail on Day 5 were Bob Bright (236th - $37,019), Michael "Pipedream17" Dietrich (231st - $37,019), Joshua Field (230th - $37,019), Amit Makhija (228th - $37,019), Greg "FBT" Mueller (226th - $37,019), Shawn Sheikhan (224th - $42,990), Tommy Chen (220th - $42,990), Roland Israelashvili (218th - $42,990), David Pecaski (208th - $42,990), Kristy Gazes (200th - $42,990) and Vivek Rajkumar (197th - $42,900).
Rajkumar's demise came in Level 21 (8,000/16,000/2,000) when he raised it to 35,000 from early position and Nick Schwarmann three-bet to 82,000 two spots over. Action folded back around to Rajkumar and tanked for a minute before putting in a four-bet to 202,000. Schwarmann made the call, and the flop came down . Rajkumar checked to Schwarmann, who moved all in. Rajkumar snap-called and the cards were tabled.
According to the PokerNews odds calculator, Rajkumar held a slight edge of 53% to Schwarmann's 47%, and Rajkumar's odds increased to 73% when the turn came the . Rajkumar was looking to fade an ace or a diamond, but unfortunately for him the one-in-four shot came through as the hit the river.
From there, Estelle Denis (186th - $42,990), Kyle Julius (176th - $42,990), Eddie Blumenthal (175th - $42,990), Jose Manuel Nadal (174th - $42,990), Kevin Calenzo (165th - $42,990), Jason Potter (164th - $42,990), Manig Loeser (162nd - $50,752), Luca Moschitta (151st - $50,752), Liam O'Donoghue (142nd - $50,752), Alexander Kuzmin (135th - $50,752), Ramzi Jelassi (133rd - $50,752), Max Steinberg (131st - $50,752), Justin Truesdell (130th - $50,752), Alex Bilokur (126th - $50,752), Ami Alibay (125th - $50,752) and Ronnie Bardah (124th - $50,752).
Bardah fell in Level 23 (12,000/24,000/4,000) after someone opened for 54,000 and Jorn Walthaus three-bet from the cutoff seat to 133,000. After the button folded, Bardah double-fisted all of his chips in the middle, The big blind and original raiser folded, then Walthaus called the 289,000.
The flop came down and Bardah suddenly had a sweat on his hands. The turn gave Walthaus a flush draw to go along with his straight draw. Much to Bardah's dismay, the spiked on the river to give Walthaus a flush. With that, Bardah collected his fourth consecutive in the WSOP Main Event, which ties the record held by Chris Bjorin and Christian Harder.
For a look at all the payouts, click here.
A few more notables fell before the night's end such as Ashton Griffin (118th - $50,752), Marvin Rettenmaier (99th - $59,807), Brandon Steven (91st - $59,708), David Paredes (90th - $71,053) and Annette Obrestad (89th - $71,053), and while many notables fell on Day 5, there are still quite a few accomplished players returning Sunday.
They include the aforementioned Brett Richey (690,000), who you may recall from his famous rap video; last year's ninth-place finisher Steve Gee (1,360,000); two-time WSOP bracelet winner and World Poker Tour champ JC Tran (3,280,000); Australian Jackie Glazier (4,045,000), the last women remaining in this year’s Main Event; online legend and former Ship It Holla Balla David "Raptor" Benefield (3,675,000); WPT Season VII $25,000 Champion Yevgeniy Timoshenko (4,065,000); WPT Season XI Jacksonville bestbet Open champ Noah Schwartz (3,595,000); and WSOP bracelet winners Rep Porter (950,000), Amir Lehavot (2,655,000) and Jim "Mr_BigQueso" Collopy (1,970,000).
Day 6 action will begin at 12 p.m. local time on Sunday as the remaining 68 players look to play five more two-hours levels and get as close to the final table of nine as possible. The PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on hand to bring you all the action straight from the floor, so join us then for another full day of action in the 2013 WSOP Main Event.