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Less Than 100 Players Remain After Day 5 In World Series Of Poker Main Event

Many Big Names Still In Contention For $8.5 Million

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Paul VolpeLess than 100 players remain out of the 6,598 who ponied up $10,000 to try to win the World Series of Poker Main Event — the tournament that grabs the most attention every year.

All remaining players are inching closer to the $8.5 million top prize and a bracelet.

Paul Volpe ended day 4 with the chip lead and slipped on the leader board on day 5, but with 3.25 million he’s still a force in the event.

Volpe, a online pro, was one of many players affected by the major online poker sites leaving the U.S on April 15, 2011 as part of the game’s Black Friday.

“Black Friday hurt, but I’m still here,” the 30-year-old said. “I survived it.”

Volpe said he has a lot of money on Full Tilt Poker, but fortunately he had a large chunk on PokerStars as well. PokerStars cashed out its U.S. customers while Full Tilt Poker has been accused of running an international Ponzi scheme.

Volpe added that he won a Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS) leader board competition and was set to get free buy-ins to the next series, but he lost the package valued at about $20,000 when the site when down. He said he’s angry about what has come out about the company.

Taylor Paur, who won Card Player’s Online Player of the Year title in 2010, thrived on day 5, amassing 5.82 million, despite being seated at one of the toughest tables ever assembled for such a late stage in the Main Event.

Joining Paur were online veterans Volpe, David Randall, Joseph Cheong and Craig McCorkell (who both didn’t survive the day). “It reminded me of the old days,” Paur said.

Also still alive are former finalists Eric Buchman and Sam Holden. Holden called it “ridiculous” that he has a shot at back-to-back final tables. He credits his patience to being able to survive.

“I’m pretty good with the stamina part of the game,” Holden said. “Some people lose their head a little when they go card dead for awhile.”

Other notables left include Amnon Filippi, Roland Israelashvili, David “ODB” Baker, Dung Nguyen, who won a bracelet less than a month ago, Jason Somerville, Amit Makhija, Erik Cajelais, Vanessa Selbst, Isaac Baron, Leo Wolpert, Danny Wong and Gavin Smith.

Everyone is trying to catch Kyle Keranen, who has just under 7 million in chips.

For a full look at the chip counts click here.

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus