The penultimate day of the 2016 World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event ended with just 27 players left. After five levels of play Vojtech Ruzicka from Czech Republic claimed the overall chip lead. Only two Canadians remain in the hunt, Griffin Benger and Michael Niwinski.
Benger started the day top five in chips but seen his stack dwindle to 6,530,000 by the end of Day 6. It was the opposite for Burnaby, BC’s Michael Niwinski who seen his stack grow to 10,660,000. Niwinski scored a huge double up in the last level to shoot up the leaderboard. Holding pocket aces, Niwinski got his stack all-in preflop against Thomas Miller’s pocket kings.
Both Canadians are now guaranteed $269,430. This will be Niwinski’s third cash at the WSOP. Both of his previous two cashes are also from this year’s series with a 21st-place finish in Event #50: $1500 Shootout for $4,995 and 238th in Event #6: $1500 No-Limit Hold’em for $2,512. Benger is more seasoned at the World Series with 13 cashes to his name including a deep run in the 2014 WSOP Main Event where the former Counter Strike world champion finished 90th for $72,369. Benger has $231,201 in total WSOP earnings to date so will more than double that wherever he places this year.
There were 80 hopefuls return to the tables Sunday. When play was halted with the elimination of Elliott Peterman in 28th, Ruzicka bagged 26,415,000 to earn the top spot. Rounding out the top five stacks were Michael Ruane (24,565,000), Cliff Josephy (23,860,000), James Obst (19,560,000), and Myung Mike Shin (19,345,000). Other notables still in the mix include Valentin Vornicu, Tom Marchese, and 2009 November Niner Antoine Saout.
Canadian hopeful Ronald Giles had his dream run come to an end. The Airdrie, AB native earned his third and best cash at this year’s series banking $174,826 for a 41st-place effort. The cowboy hat touting Albertan also ran deep in the Monster Stack and Super Seniors event this year placing 240th for $5,542 and 26th for $6,955 respectively. Some familiar names also hitting the rail were Paul Volpe, Dan Colman, Max Silver, Jason Les, Chris Klodnicki, Tony Gregg, and Tom Middleton.
The remaining players will return at noon local time in Las Vegas on Monday. It is expected they will play down to the final table creating the 2016 WSOP November Nine.
The WSOP is now quickly coming to an end, but there is still hope for another Canadian bracelet. Good luck to all Griffin and Michael on their Main Event adventure in Las Vegas. Stay tuned to Canada Poker for up-to-date WSOP news and events. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for live updates over the series.