After a multi-week hiatus, last night marked the return of the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event to ESPN. Fans were treated to two hours of brand-new coverage of Day 5 action, and alongside some bad jokes that’s exactly what they got. Check out the highlights below for a breakdown of the action.
On the very first televised hand of the day, 2001 Main Event winner Carlos Mortensen doubled up when his AJ outlived Robin Ylitalo’s A10. He will survive until at least next week’s episode, eliminating Marvin Rettenmaier and finishing the day with over 2.6m in chips.
The always-outspoken Shawn Sheikhan saw his Main Event at risk when his wired pair of 7s went up agains Steve Gee’s AK, and an Ace on the flop sent him home in 224th place.
Former World Series Europe champion Annette Obrestad elicited a “How do you make that call? What’s wrong with you?” from Canadian David Pecaski, who was crushed to see his pair of 9s lose out to her AJ. I’m not entirely sure his complaints were justified as it was less than 20% of her stack. On top of that, he had shoved with K7 off-suit earlier, so it wasn’t a stretch call by any means.
A heartbreaking one-two knockout occurred for Vivek Rajkumar as back-to-back diamond river flushes dashed his dreams and sent him home in 197th place and $42,990.
Nothing like going all-in and hitting a straight flush on the turn for Jason Cohen, eh Norman Chad? Somar Al-Darwich wasn’t laughing however when his trip 8s lost him 35% of his stack.
Perhaps most importantly, Day 5 marked the end of the line for 2012 World Champion Greg Merson, who was trying to become the first person since Johnny Chan to win back-to-back Main Event titles. His fantastic run eventually ended in 167th place, netting him $42,990 for a 2-year total of $8,574,843.
Asked to reflect back on his year as the World Champion and what will stand out, Greg had this to say: “The relief that someone else is going to be in my shoes for the next year. It’s been fun and I’m grateful for a lot of the opportunities I’ve had, but being in the spotlight as much as I have been is not really something I enjoy. It’s kind of a relief busting and I’m happy with how far I went and how I played.”
In perhaps the funniest/most embarrassing moment of the day, the fast talking Yimin Fang tried to take his Q10c up against Jonathan Jaffe’s pocket Aces. Despite being told repeatedly by Jaffe that he had a “big hand”, Fang called a four-bet preflop. A Queen on the flop was more bad news for Fang, who re-raised all-in and was snap called by Jaffe, who won over 2.8m chips in the pot. Yang would lose 73% of his stack in the hand. Not finished, Yang tried his luck once again with Q10 and lost 38% of his stack to Nikolai Sears. Yang was eventually eliminated after his A5 lost to online pro David Benefield’s JJ. Yang finished in 138th place for $50,752.
A battle of the blinds saw Livingston’s QQ up against Rettenmaier’s KK all-in preflop for over 3m chips. A flop of QJ10 had it Livingston’s way before a K on the turn shocked the crowd and gave Rettenmaier the lead again. A river 9 put a straight on the board for a chopped pot.
Jonathan Jaffe’s was the biggest name during the day, taking down several key hands, including the final hand of the night. His effective bet on the river secured a 2.44m pot, propelling him to 4th place on the leaderboard with 3.8m.
Players Remaining: 118
Average Stack: 1,245,000
Make sure to tune in next week for the rest of Day 5!