The dream of becoming a November Niner is closer to becoming a reality than ever before for most of the remaining field in the Main Event. As Day 5 comes to a close, there are only 79 players that still have chips sitting in front of them, that is just a hair over one percent of the starting field of 6,683. Becoming a November Niner is now in sight and is a real possibility for all of the players remaining. Players only need to survive two more days to reach the final table in poker's more prestigious tournament. The tension in the Amazon room will only continue to rise as the final table inches closer.
Mark Newhouse has already lived the reality of being a November Niner and is trying to become the first player in history to become a November Niner for a second time. Newhouse finished 9th in last years Main Event and is looking for an even better finish this year. It would be quite the impressive feat to navigate through such massive fields and make final tables in back-to-back years. It could be considered one of the most impressive Main Event feats of all-time if he were to do it. Newhouse sure put himself in a nice position to make that happen as he had a monster Day 5. He started the day 27th in chips and rocketed up the leaderboard quickly throughout the day. Late into the day Newhouse took a hold of the chip lead and was able to hold it all the way till the end. Newhouse will be returning for Day 6 with 7,400,000 chips, almost a million more than his nearest competitor.
Newhouse wasn't the only one to have big day. Dan Smith continued to surge ahead and continues to remain at the top of the chip counts. He finished the day sixth in chips with 5,360,000. Smith had a successful day despite having one of the more unfavorable seat draws on the day. Shortly before the dinner break, Griffin Benger sat down two seats to the left of Smith with one of the bigger stacks in the room at the time. Benger was not as fortunate as Smith though and never was able to get anything going once he got to Smith's table. Benger ended up busting late into the day in 90th place. Some of the notables to survive the day include Brian Hastings, Leif Force, Craig McCorkell, Bryan Devonshire, Martin Jacobson, Matt Waxman, Isaac Baron and Vitaly Lunkin.
Maria Ho is the last woman standing in the field after Mikiyo Aoki busted in the last hand of the night. This is the second time that Ho has received the title of being the last woman standing in the Main Event. She finished in 38th place in the 2007 Main Event to earn the title. However, she is not too concerned with earning the last woman standing title again and has her real focus on making the November Nine. If she were to make the final table, she would be the first woman to ever become a November Niner. Galle Bauman just missed out making the November Nine when she finished in 10th place in 2012. Ho sits last in chips with 435,000 and has her work cut out for her if she wants to make it through Day 6.
The road has come to end for some. Although it stings a little extra to come so close to the final table and miss out, the players that busted still walked away with a nice payday. The last player to bust on the day was Michael Aron and he received $85,812 for his 80th place finish. Some of the notables that did not survive Day 5 include Day 2AB chip leader Tim Stansifer (289th), Mike Sowers (286th), Kory Kilpatrick (249th), Kevin MacPhee (242nd), Jared Bleznick (217th), Kevin Eyster (204th), Jeff Madsen (188th), John Kabbaj (179th), Rep Porter (174th) and Mukul Pahuja (101st). Pahuja found himself on the wrong end of a cooler when he got all of his chips in on the flop holding an inferior two pair to his opponent. Pahuja did not find the luck he needed to catch up on the turn or river and was eliminated from play. It was still a strong showing for him and his brother Vinny, who finished in 575th place for a min cash.
Day 6 will start up at noon in the Amazon Room, and play will last until only 27 players remain. Here are the top ten chip counts heading into Day 6:
1. Mark Newhouse - 7,400,000
2. Kyle Keranen - 6,670,000
3. Scott Palmer - 6,595,000
4. Bruno Politano - 5,475,000
5. Andoni Larrabe - 5,470,000
6. Dan Smith - 5,360,000
7. Dan Sindelar - 5,240,000
8. Tony Ruberto - 5,235,000
9. Iaron Lightbourne - 4,975,000
10. Leif Force - 4,745,000