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Time is a capricious Master and none as elusive as slippery Victory!
As a nation of over 1.2 billion watched with bated breath, rooting for India’s favorite and pioneering poker player – Aditya Agarwal, who played brilliantly on Day 5 of the WSOP $10,000 Main Event, the aforementioned words echoed with great resonance!
After wading through a battle-field of 6,420 entries and enduring five days of intense play against some of the world’s best, Aditya was ultimately eliminated at 71st place today for $96,445, his career’s best and arguably finest live cash!
It was a heartbreak moment for Indian fans, thrilled at watching Aditya in this great moment, even as his hopes for securing the bracelet will have to wait another year.
The only other surviving Indian player, Phani Ramineni busted at 185th place for $40,433, while Indian-origin player Vivek Rajkumar fell at 197th place for the same amount, with several other Indian-origin players hitting the rails today.
Amar Anand is now the only player, with Indian roots in contention for the title. He is 23rd in the counts with 3.6 Million in chips.
Day 5 began with 237 runners and ended with just 69 remaining at the end of play. Pierre Neuville will lead these 69 at the start of Day 6 tomorrow with a stack of 7.105 million.
After Akash Malik’s elimination on Day 4 at 357th place for $24,622, the only Indians remaining in play for Day 5 were Aditya and Phani.
It was tumultuous time for the lakhs of Indian fans rooting for Aditya, dreaming his dreams of bringing back the very-first bracelet for India. Aditya’s deep run at 71st place for $96,445 broke hearts, but also brought pride to the country, especially after the kind of game he displayed these past few days.
Aditya has broken his own records of previous Main Event finishes, where he had made a best of $51,466 for a 96th place finish in the 2008 Main Event, which was also his best career tournament cash so far.
An excellent combination of skill at both online and live tournaments, Aditya has been at the forefront of poker, even at a time the game had no takers in India. Among his several achievements, he can be credited with bringing poker-fame to the country with his immense portfolio of tournaments played internationally.
In recent times, Aditya also gained the honor of becoming the first and as yet only Indian Team PokerStars Pro.
Aditya began the day with a stack of 958,000 and, built it up to cross the 1 million mark, before a hand saw him come crashing down to below 450K in chips. Flirting with danger and on the brink of elimination, Aditya managed to make two quick double-ups to soar, before having his dream run cut short at 71st place.
In an early setback for Aditya, Robert Mitchell doubled up through him, bringing him under 20 big blinds. Aditya raised from the middle position to 65,000 and action came around to Mitchell in the small blind. Mitchell went all in, sliding his remaining chips into the middle with both hands.The dealer counted down the stack of 355,000 and Aditya called.
Mitchell tried to ease the tension by joking, “Royal flush blocker.”
The board rolled out and Mitchell’s queens stood him in good stead, giving him the required double. Aditya was left with just 420,000 chips after this hand.
A couple of hours later saw Aditya catching a lucky break and doubling up through Patrick Chan. Action came around to Chan in the hijack and he opened with a raise to 70,000. Aditya called from the big blind.The dealer spread out the flop and Aditya checked to Chan, who continued for 65,000. Agarwal check-shoved for 305,000 and Chan called.
Chan was ahead until the turns brought forth . Aditya now had two-pairs and Chan was lagging. The on the river was a blank and Aditya got a double-up, boosting his stack to 800,000.
Aditya once again found another double up from Gabi Livshitz. Livshitz opened from middle position and Aditya from the hijack, moved all-in for just over 600,000. The rest of the table folded back to Livshitz, who was playing with just over 2,100,000. He called, putting Aditya at risk, but needed to hit to score the knockout as he held against Aditya`s dominant . The board ran out :13h with Livshitz flopping a pair and turning two pair as the turn opened the , only to see Aditya turn the nut flush. It was not over yet, but with the completing the board, Aditya got a double that raised his stack to 1.35 million.
Just when it was looking like Aditya would glide through to Day 6, Brian Hastings eliminated him, in the last four hands of the day. Hastings raised with Aditya moving all in. Hastings called with against Aditya’s . Aditya was once again flipping for his tournament life but Hastings found kings up on the board and Aditya was eliminated.
Aditya made his live best cash of $96,445 for his yet deepest run in the WSOP Main Event at 71st place.
Tweeting constantly throughout the Day, Aditya kept his rail back home informed about his progress:
Hyderabad-based player Phani Ramineni, also lost his tournament life at 185th place for $40,433.
With Aditya’s elimination, only Amar Anand remains in the field for Day 6 with 3.6 million in chips.
Feared Indian-origin player Vivek Rajkumar had the room sighing with relief when he busted at 197th place for $40,433. His bust out hand saw the board reading . Shay Zurr bet 53,000 in and Rajkumar moved all in for his last 354,000.Zurr paused for six minutes before dropping chips in, to find Rajkumar open up against the of Zurr. Rajkumar shook Zurr’s hand and said, “good call,” before heading to the rail.
Day 5 began with Joseph McKeehan leading the chip counts and at the end of play it was Pier Neuville who took that lead with 69 players left and a count of 7.105 million.
Brian Hastings, who has been playing aggressively past few days, is at 10th place in counts with 4,740,000. Daniel Negreanu is perhaps the most prominent name left in the fray at 22nd place, just ahead of Anand with 3.62 million.
The day saw several big-name eliminations, such as Antonio Esfandiari, Jared Jafee, Matt Glantz and the only surviving Main Event champion Jim Bechtel.
The race to name the November Nine is just two days away from the finish line, so stay with us, as we bring you all the updates right here.