At the conclusion of the longest day played yet in the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event, 79 players bagged up their chips and wrote down their names before marching out the doors of the Amazon Room. An extra hour was added to play to make up for the shortened Day 3 and Day 4, and it provided much added excitement.
The man at the top of the chip counts is a person who will be familiar to anyone who tuned in to the 2013 WSOP coverage; Mark Newhouse entered the November Nine last year with a short stack of 7.3 million, good for eighth place. Evidence of how dominant his Day 5 was, he actually has more chips now than he took into last year’s final table, with 7.4 million.
Perhaps having been there before has helped solidify in Newhouse the fearless mentality needed to conquer huge tournament fields, as his aggression was on display throughout the day, putting people to the test for stacks seemingly every time he played a pot. Known as "Newhizzle" in his online heyday, he has more than $2.7 million in live tournament cashes but is undoubtedly hungry to add $10 million to that after getting a small taste of the biggest stage in poker last year.
On the final break of the day, which occurred an hour before play ended, Remko Rinkema chatted with Newhouse about having the chip lead and comparing his run to last year:
Newhouse has plenty of tough company in the top 10. Players chasing him include Kyle Keranen (6.67 million), Scott Palmer (6.595 million), Bruno Politano (5.475 million), Dan Smith (5.36 million), Dan Sindelar (5.24 million), Tony Ruberto (5.235 million), Iaron Lightbourne (4.975 million), Leif Force (4.745 million), and Craig McCorkell (4.355 million).
Several other notable players didn’t crack the top 10, but still lurk with a bag of chips and a dream. That batch includes Martin Jacobson (3.925 million), Bryan Devonshire (3.83 million), Andrey Zaichenko (3.565 million), Matt Waxman (3.125 million), Isaac Baron (3 million), and Brian Hastings (2.945 million).
Maria Ho, meanwhile, outlasted every other woman who entered the tournament, and she will continue to Day 6 with a short stack of 435,000. Impressively, Ho pulled off the same feat in 2007, when she cashed 38th for $237,865. She’s an accomplished tournament player who has tallied more than $1.5 million in live winnings, but Day 6 will see the obstacles stacked high in her path.
Nevertheless, Ho is excited for things to come and talked with Rinkema on the chase to better her 38th-place finish from 2007:
A total of 291 runners entered the day with high hopes, but the majority of them left the arena with broken hearts and fatter wallets at some point during the 14-hour grind. One by one, Mike Sowers (286th), John Monnette (272nd), last year’s bubble boy Farzad Bonyadi (238th), Jared Bleznick (217th), Kevin Eyster (204th), Jeff Madsen (188th), Brian Townsend (170th), Byron Kaverman (123rd), Jonathan Aguiar (105th), Mukul Pahuja (101st), and Griffin Benger (90th) saw deep runs come to an end.
Dozens more will join them on the payout list on Sunday, as Day 6 will commence at 12 p.m. local time here at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. The PokerNews Live Reporting team will be on hand to deliver all of the action, so be sure to return and don’t miss a single key hand as the November Nine draws closer.