Houston, TX's Michael Dyer tops 12 million chips to lead a storm-shortened Day 5 in the 2018 WSOP Main Event
Las Vegas, NV (9 July 2018 ) -- Day 5 action has concluded in the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event, and the field has been trimmed to just 109 players. Leading the way into Tuesday's Day 6 is Houston, TX's Michael Dyer, who bagged 12,180,000 in chips to end a weather-shortened night of play.
Dyer opened a gap of more than 3.5 million chips over his closest foes, but behind second-place Brian Yoon, a three-time WSOP gold bracelet winner from Torrance, CA, the field is tightly packed. Yoon has 8,395,000, just ahead of the 8,305,000 total posted by four-time Circuit ring winner, Winter Haven, FL's Jeff Trudeau. Israel's Hari Bercovici (7,650,000) is in fourth, with Belgium's Bart Lybaert (7,530,000) rounding out the top five.
Dyer used a huge knockout of former Main Event Final Niner Cliff Josephy to move close to the lead, then padded his stack over the final two-plus hours of play to open a gap over the rest of the field, before inclement weather forced suspension of play in the Rio Convention Center. Dyer simply said, "I got lucky," referring to the hand wherein he spiked an ace to send Josephy to the rail.
Monday's action in the Main Event was impacted by severe storms moving through Las Vegas, which caused several brief power outages and surges. Tourney staff called a brief 15-minute delay to allow the worst of the storm to pass. However, full lighting in the Amazon Room was unable to be restored, leading to a second decision to bag up chips for the night. As a result, Main Event play will resume on Tuesday with 83 minutes remaining in Level 26, the last of Day 5's originally scheduled levels. How and where Day 6 and Day 7 play schedules will be impacted has yet to be determined.
Day 5's casualty list included many more big names, as would be expected when the 310 players beginning the day were slashed by roughly 65 percent. Among those who earned solid cashes on Day 5 but were bounced during the day were Tom Cannuli, Barbara Enright, Bruno Politano, Chris Moorman, Daniel Alaei, Ludovic Geilich, Daniel Ospina, Martin Zamani, Chino Rheem, Michael Schneider, Joe Kuether, Ted Lawson, James Akenhead, Shankar Pillai, Kyle Julius, Roland Israelashvili, Adam "Roothless" Levy, Jonathan Hilton, Richard Gryko, Rocco Palumbo, Ben Yu, Paul Volpe, Ivan Demidov, Antonio Esfandiari, Scott Davies, and Josephy.
Josephy's exit came in unexpected fashion at one of the day's feature tables. He started the hand holding , while Dyer found , and Josephy's 3.8 million stack was all in before the flop. That flop came , keeping Josephy ahead, and the turn changed nothing, but the river sent Josephy packing and shipped the nearly eight-million pot Dyer's way.
As Dyer described it, "I beat Johnny Bax with ace-king versus kings. He had a ton of chips, I had a little more, and it didn't really matter if I lost. It isn't fun if I lose [there], but I still would've had about 2.5 [million]. He had too many chips where I could five-bet, and he could four-bet...” meaning that the chips were destined to go in. Dyer's already locked in a vast improvement over his sole prior Main Event experience, when he entered in 2016 but busted out on Day 1.
Another player with a great Day 5 was Belgium's Lybaert, who battled Dyer and Denmark's Frederik Jensen for the chip lead before Dyer and a few others pushed ahead late. Lybaert's had a strong WSOP to date with eight previous cashes this summer, including a third-place showing in Event #24, "The Marathon" - $2,620 No-Limit Hold'em. Lybaert said, "I came in here really motivated to Vegas to do the full grind."
There might also be a benefit to running deep in a deep-stacked, slow-playing event such as The Marathon as a precursor for the Main Event. As Lybaert said, "From that tournament I learned that you have a lot of time and don't need to rush things. Just take the easy spots -- I don't like to make myself get a headache! When I feel like a tough spot is coming on, I get out early. On to the next hand."
Denmark's Jensen dipped slightly over the last hour but still finished with 5,635,000, good for 15th. Jensen was another player who caught the fortunate end of an aces-versus-kings collision to build a chunk of his stack. And, like Dyer, Jensen cited the luck aspect first: "I got lucky as well. I had aces against kings for a huge pot, and after that the guy tried to bluff me, and I figured it out. I made the call after 15 minutes; I think the table counted it at 15 minutes. They didn't even call the clock. One guy said, 'There was such a huge pot, we could have waited 35 minutes.'" Jensen, though, chose his spots well. "The folds I made – I made a huge fold that let me keep the largest part of that [stack] in this tournament. I was pretty satisfied with that."
Jensen has several huge scores on the international scene but has yet to log that big score in Vegas. It's on his mind, though. "I think this is my 13th summer here playing. I love different poker tournaments. But I didn't do so good over here, so I hope it's time for redemption, and that I make a huge cash here."
Tomorrow's Day 6 still offers plenty of star power, however. A sampling of those still in the hunt for the $8.8 million winner's payday includes Benjamin Pollak, Barry Hutter, Jensen, Eric Froelich, Ivan Luca, 2009 Main Event winner Joe Cada, Shannon Shorr, Shaun Deeb, Yueqi Zhu, James Obst, and Kelly Minkin.
This year's Main Event drew 7,874 entrants and is the second-largest Main Event in WSOP. The majority of the event's $74,015,600 prize pool remains to be awarded among the remaining 109 players, or less than 1.5% of the starting field. That hefty $8.8 million payday awaits this event's winner when action concludes on Saturday, July 14.
Official top ten chip counts for Day 5:
1 -- Michael Dyer 12,180,000
2 -- Brian Yoon 8,395,000
3 -- Jeff Trudeau 8,305,000
4 -- Hari Bercovici 7,650,000
5 -- Bart Lybaert 7,530,000
6 -- Peter Campo 6,935,000
7 -- Konstantin Beylin 6,930,000
8 -- Paulo Goncalves 6,840,000
9 -- Alexander Gross 6,755,000
10 -- Artem Metalidi 6,525,000
Live Updates from Day 5
Chip Counts from Day 5