Main Event Day 6: James Obst Climbs Higher, Vojtech Ruzicka takes the lead

It has been a long week of gruelling poker for those involved, and after starting proceedings with 6,737 players, the Main Event is now down to 27. The remaining players are competing for poker’s finest piece of jewellery, alongside $8 million. 80 started the day, with only one Asian player left standing and numerous interesting players still in contention. Going into day 7, Asian hopes and interesting stories remain undiminished.

Ka Kwan Lau

Ka Kwan Lou
Ka Kwan Lau (Photo Neil Stoddart – Courtesy of PokerStars)

Having been born in Hong Kong, Ka Kwan Lau has spent much of his life living in Spain, where he plays poker professionally. With his first WSOP cash arriving in 2014, Lau now has his chance to bag the biggest cash imaginable. While he has never looked like leading this tournament throughout, he has found a way to keep himself alive while accumulating chips, and on the dawn of day 7, he sits 12th in the chip counts with 15,110,000. Having taken 4th place in an EPT Main Event prior to this, Lau will have some taste of the pressure he might face at the final table if he were too get there, although nothing can ever truly prepare a player for something like this. If he were to win this tournament, he would bank a prize twenty times larger than his biggest ever cash.

James Obst and Cliff Josephy among the leaders

James Obst (Photo PokerStars)

It could be argued that James Obst is one of the most experienced player left in the field when it comes to the late stages of tournaments with huge money on the line. He has had many six figure scores online, but an upper seven figure score, along with the title of world champion is a new kind of pressure for Obst, and the entire field. The Australian has been gathering chips at a steady pace through this tournament, and currently sits with 19,560,000. That is good enough for 4th on the chip counts currently, and gives Obst a great chance to be the first Australian world champion since Joe Hachem.

Having led at the end of day 2AB and day 3 respectively, Valentin Vornicu and Kenny Hallaert have shown great resilience in making it to day 7. Chip leaders in the early days of the Main Event often come and go without threatening to make the final table, but these two are very much in the hunt, as they sit 6th and 9th spots on the leader board.

Currently leading the way is Czech player Vojtech Ruzicka. Having remained under the radar most of the way, he has now surged to the top of the counts with 26,415,000. He has 17 WSOP cashes to date, and will be looking to bring a strong stack into the final table once day 7 is done. Michael Ruane is close behind with 24,565,000, and two time bracelet winner Cliff Josephy is in 3rd with 23,860,000. Tom Marchese is another pro who has been amassing chips steadily through the tournament. He has had a runner up finish at the WSOP in the past, and if there is ever a time to win his first bracelet, it’s now.

Having taken 3rd place in the Main Event in 2009, Antoine Saout was threatening to build a big stack at times during day 6, but lost momentum during the final levels, and will only be bringing 5,525,000 to the table tomorrow. He certainly has the quality to turn this around though.


Among the fallers today, we saw Daniel Colman exit the tournament in 31st for $216,211. He was followed shortly after by Paul Volpe who took home the same prize for 29th place. Tony Gregg could only manage 50th for $142,477 and UK pro Tom Middleton picked up $116,963 for 56th place.

Tomorrow we will discover the identities of the final tablists who will come back in November to compete for this world championship.

Top 10 Chip Counts 

Player Stack
Vojtech Ruzicka 26,145,000
Michael Ruane 24,565,000
Cliff Josephy 23,860,000
James Obst 19,560,000
Mike Shin 19,345,000
Valentin Vornicu 17,450,000
Fernando Pons 17,270,000
Thomas Miller 17,185,000
Kenny Hallaert 15,465,000
Tom Marchese 15,420,000

Remaining players after Day 6: FULL LIST & CHIP COUNT

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