Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments Casino News Sports Betting Poker Strategy

WSOP: Main Event Day 5

Mark Ketteringham Takes the Chip Lead while Phil Hellmuth and Mike Matusow Grab the Attention


One hundred and eighty-nine players started day 5 at the World Series of Poker main event today, and when action came to a close at 11:30 p.m. only 79 remained. The major money is getting close now (everyone left in play will walk away with at least $77,200, while the winner gets $9,119,338), but the pace of play has not slowed down too much just yet. Among the big names still left in the field are Phil Hellmuth and Mike Matusow, as well as Brandon Cantu, Matt Matros, Victor Ramdin, David Benefield, Kido Pham, and Adam Levy.

Included among the 110 players that fell from grace during the day were Hoyt Corkins, Chip Jett, Gus Hansen, Jon Friedberg, Allen Cunningham, Jeff Madsen, Shawn Sheikhan, Alexander Kostritsyn, Mark Vos, and early chip leader, Jeremiah Smith.

Many players changed their fortunes on day 5 of the main event, but none more so than Mark Ketteringham, who is the new chip leader. He ended the day way out in front with 5,700,000, and his next closest competitor held 4,080,000 (Andrew Brokos). Tiffany Michele ended the evening in third place with 3,800,000. Here is a look at the leader board:

Mark Ketteringham: 5,700,000
Andrew Brokos: 4,100,000
Tiffany Michelle: 3,800,000
Jamal Kunbuz: 3,500,000
Albert Kim: 3,400,000
Nikolay Losev: 3,400,000
Alfred Fernandez: 3,100,000
Steve Lade: 3,000,000
Judet Cristian: 2,900,000
Aaron Gordon: 2,900,000

Average Stack: 1,732,658

Making the most noise of those left in the tournament today were none other than Matusow and Hellmuth, both with their mouths and on the felt. When Hellmuth’s table broke after the dinner break he was moved to the ESPN featured table and he took a seat to the left of Matusow as the crowd cheered his arrival. The two then bantered back and forth while the cameras rolled and the crowd enjoyed their table talk. Matusow ended the night with 1.1 million and Hellmuth finished with 721,000.

Here are the higlights from the day as featured in's live coverage of the main event:

Hellmuth Bluffed off a Pot, Not Happy

With the board reading Q 10 4 Q, Phil Hellmuth bet 140,000 and was called by David Saab in the cutoff position. Albert Kim folded and then the river was the 8. Hellmuth checked and Saab bet 200,000. Hellmuth quickly folded -- he later said he held pocket nines -- and Saab flipped over K 9. Hellmuth was especially exasperated after the hand, saying he couldn't believe how these players make it to day five. He told Saab, "I'd love to see the string of beats you put on people to make it here."

Hellmuth Gains Ground

Phil Hellmuth

Flops were hard to come by as play began in level 21, with Phil Hellmuth, Thomas Keller, and Santeri Valikoski all responding to initial raises from opponents by making large raises over the top that resulted in folds. The first hand that broke that stretch came when Geert Jans raised to 50,000, was raised to 140,000 by Alan Gould, and called. The flop came Q 7 7, and after Jans checked, Gould moved all-in and Jans folded.The next hand was when Hellmuth cashed in. Play was folded to Cort Kibler-Melby on the button, who raised to 40,000. Hellmuth was in the small blind and quickly called, and the big blind folded. The flop came 9 5 3, and both players checked. Once the A fell on the river, Hellmuth checked and Kibler-Melby bet 62,000. Hellmuth then check-raised, doubling the bet to 124,000, which Kibler-Melby called. The 9 on the river paired the board, and Hellmuth put out a bet of 200,000. Kibler-Melby elected to make the call, and Hellmuth showed him the bad news. His 3 3 was good for a set on the flop and a rivered full house to take down the monster pot.

Cunningham Knocked Out

Allen Cunningham, down to just 255,000, moved all in from late position and was called by Tim Loecke in the small blind. Cunningham held Q J, while Loecke held pocket aces. The board came 7-6-3-8-8, and the fourth-place finisher in 2006 was drawing dead by the turn.

Ketteringham Busts Barbero, Takes Chip Lead

Jose Barbero moved all in preflop and Mark Ketteringham made the call. Barbero was racing with his A Q against Ketteringham's 9 9. Barbero took the lead when the flop came A K 4. The turn brought the 5 and Barbero was one card away from doubling up. Instead, the 9 showed up on the river to spoil Barbero's double-up party as it gave Ketteringham a set and sent Barbero to the rail. Ketteringham took the chip lead as he stood with a little over 5 million in chips.Alexander Kostritsyn

Kostritsyn Rivered, Takes Big Hit

Moscow's Alexander Kostritsyn, winner of the 2008 Aussie Millions, bet 250,000 when action was checked to him on a board of A 6 2 9. Judet Cristian check-raised to 575,000 and Kostritsyn moved all in for 906,000. Cristian called and showed A 9 for top two pair and the flush draw. Kostritsyn showed 2 2 for a set of deuces and he was in the lead. But the 8 on the river gave Cristian the flush and the pot. Kostritsyn dropped to 820,000 after the hand, while Cristian doubled to nearly 3,000,000.

"Mikey! Mikey! Mikey!" Chants Fill The Area, Matusow Doubles

Mike Matusow Facing a raise to 75,000 from Sean Davis, Mike Matusow pushed all in for 545,000. Action folded back to Davis who made the call. Matusow showed 10 5 and said, "I found the ten-five, ladies and gentleman." Davis showed A K and was the favorite in the hand, but certainly not among the railbirds. The flop brought J 7 5, giving Matusow a pair to take the lead. "Mikey! Mikey! Mikey!" chants filled the area as the 8 hit on the turn. They continued as the 6 hit on the river, giving Matusow the pot to double up to around 1,100,000 in chips. Shortly after the big hand, Phil Hellmuth joined Matusow at the feature table. Can't wait for that ESPN broadcast.

Another decision to end early was made by the WSOP staff, and only one level was played after dinner. When the clcok stopped the players bagged up their chips and left to grab some rest before day 6, which starts tomorrow at noon. Check back in tomorrow to catch all of the coverage from Card Player's tournament coverage team as the field plays down to the final 27 players.



almost 14 years ago

Thanks for the update - good reporting.


almost 14 years ago

How about Tiffany Michelle? That's a big story in the making.

I am pulling for Mike though.