People may say they play poker for the money and the bracelet, but when you break down the day to day of a poker tournament, really only one thing matters: chips. So, each day of this year's Main Event, we’re going to take a look at what’s going on strictly by the counts to see what history has taught us, what the future may hold, and how this year's event stacks up. Here are some of the big takeaways from the chip counts of our final 79 players:Comparing New Newhouse to Old NewhouseThe last time we’ve seen a player return to the Main Event final table for a second time was in 2009 when Jeff Shulman accomplished the feat nine years after his first final table appearance. The last time someone was able to make back-to-back final tables was 2003 and 2004 when Dan Harrington pulled off the feat. We’ve still got a ways to go before this year’s November Nine is set, but chip leader Mark Newhouse has us wondering if this might be the year we see it happen again. As chip leader, he actually has 50,000 more chips than when he made the final table as one of the short stacks last year. Looking at his chip counts from last year, he is actually in much better shape than when he came into Day 6 last year with less than a third of the chips he is currently sitting on. Take a look:2013 2014Day 1 – 77,075 Day 1 - 29,675 Day 2 – 110,500 Day 2 - 220,400Day 3 – 441,500 Day 3- 423,500Day 4 – 1,611,000 Day 4 - 1,301,000Day 5 – 2,035,000 Day 5 - 7,400,000Let’s Take a Second to Talk About SecondTwo years ago, Kyle Keranen came into this point of the 2012 Main Event in pole position with 6,935,000 and 97 players still in the hunt for the November Nine. This year, he is in a similar position, coming into today second in chips with 6,670,000 and even fewer players standing between him and a spot at the final table. Last time, Keranen failed to make it through the day, exiting in 38th place.
International RepresentationThe tag team of Raul Mestre and Andoni Larrabe have helped Spain to be consistently represented in the top ten counts despite having less than 30 players take part in this event. Meanwhile, the United States, which comprises around 74% of the field, is pretty accurately represented in the top ten with seven player, including the top three stacks. Of the Americans, three hail from Vegas, two call Florida home, one is from LA, and, making Norman Chad and Greg Merson proud, we have one player from Maryland, Scott Palmer.The other countries in the top ten are Brazil (Bruno Politano) and Great Britain (Iaran Lightbourne). AS for those hoping for Canada to bust their slump with a win in the big show, their hopes are down to just three players: Dong Guo (12th in chips), Chanracy Khun (53rd in chips), and Anh Van Nguyen (73rd in chips).Last LadyMaria Ho joins Marsha Wagonner and Annie Duke as just the third woman to be the last lady left in the WSOP Main Event field on more than one occasion. Ho finished in 38th in the 2007 Main Event the first time she accomplished the feat. Today, she comes in 79th out of the 79 players left in the field, while the second-to-last lady left in the field, exited in 83rd place. Ho has some work to do if she wants to match her ’07 finish. Save for Breeze Zuckerman’s 121st place finish in 2010, the ladies of the WSOP have never finished worse than 56th place at the Rio.
Following Up on the Day 4 Big Stacks
As we noted yesterday, typically only one November Niner is in the top ten of the start of Day 5 counts. This year, four of the start of Day 5 top ten failed to survive the day, including three of top five stacks (Zach Jiganti, Griffin Benger, and Michael Finstein). While Keranen, Dan Smith, Bruno Politano, and Andoni Larrabe managed to stay in the top ten, start of day chip leader Matthew Haugen is 71st of 79th in chips today and Michael Finstein isn’t in much better shape, coming in 43rd in the counts.A Milly, A Milly, A Milly
At this point in the tournament, you are in trouble if you aren’t in seven-figure territory. Average stack at this stage of the game is 2,613,797, which amounts to roughly 65 big blinds. If you are one of the 13 players with six-figure stacks, you are in 25 big blind territory. As for how the field sits according to average, it is actually pretty evenly split, with 33 players above average and 39 players with below average stacks.
Your Daily Dose of November Nine PrognosticatingAs we tend to do every day, let’s end with a glance at the counts to see just how they relate to the summer finish line: the November Nine. Since the inception of the November Nine in 2008, no more than three players from the top ten at the start of Day 6 have gone on to make the final table. That benchmark was hit in 2009, 2011 and 2013. In 2008, 2010, and 2012 though, only one of the top ten were still around come the end of Day 7.As for the winners, here’s a look at where they stood at this point in the event:Peter Eastgate – 12th out of 79 with 2,629,000Joe Cada – 104th out of 185 with 736,000Jonathan Duhamel – 77th out of 205 with 1,097,000Pius Heinz – 2nd out of 142 with 4,699,000Greg Merson – 77th out of 97 with 945,000Ryan Riess – 7th out of 68 with 5,570,000