Qui Nguyen takes massive lead on to final day of 2016 WSOP Main Event final table



The second day of the 2016 World Series of Poker Final Table got underway with 5 remaining players and the objective to get down to 3. All were guaranteed over $1.9 million at the time, and the pay jumps got bigger every step of the way.

It wouldn’t be short-stacked Michael Ruane first to go. Instead, Vojtěch Růžička saw a big three-barrel bluff fail and would go out in 5th place. Michael Ruane followed a little over three hours later and play was halted some 12 hands later to make it one of the shorter days in WSOP Main Event history.

Qui Nguyen is the runaway chip leader after another action-packed day. A field of 6,737 has been whittled down to just three players who’ll return on Monday, November 1st, to battle it out for the $8 million first-place prize and coveted WSOP bracelet.

Seat Player Country Chip Count Big Blinds
1 Qui Nguyen United States 197,600,000 165
2 Cliff Josephy United States 50,000,000 42
3 Gordon Vayo United States 89,000,000 74

Michael Ruane started out as the shortest player battling it out, but that would soon all change. In the 4th hand of the day, Ruane found a double through start of day chip leaderQui Nguyen. The two got it in before the flop in a button (Nguyen) versus big blind (Ruane) situation with the former holding pocket sixes while the latter had pocket eights. A board full of blanks later had Ruane double his chips to get right back in it.

Vojtěch Růžička Eliminated in 5th Place ($1,935,288)

While the chips were a bit more evenly divided after the double-up of Ruane, the action wouldn’t slow down one bit after that. In fact, one of the biggest hands of the tournament found place three hands later as Vojtěch Růžička three-bet and three-barreled a board he entirely missed holding ace-king. Gordon Vayo had been the initial raiser and he called all three streets with a flopped set of eights as well to score a full double.

Růžička was down to under a single big blind after that 108-million pot and hit the rail the next hand. He got it in with ace-seven against the ace-queen of Qui Nguyen and while he picked up a ton of outs along the way, Růžička ultimately ended up short and made his exit in 5th place for $1,935,288.

Růžička said he was happy with his play on the final table and gracefully accepted praise on his reads on Day 1, though he jokingly admitted they didn’t work all that much on the second day of play. Růžička told he was planning on playing a lot more tournaments going forward with, amongst others, plans to go to the WSOP Circuit at King’s Casino Rozvadov as his first destination after returning home. “That would be nice” he smiled as someone predicted he would win the WSOP Europe at that very same King’s Casino next year.

Michael Ruane Eliminated in 4th Place ($2,576,003)

With Růžička out, the four remaining players didn’t put on the brakes. If anything, they fired up the engine a bit more and big pots were seen just about every other hand. On top of that, the action was as quick as on Day 1, making for a very entertaining final table to watch, according to many of the railbirds tweeting along with the action.

Having doubled early on, Michael Ruane would still be the next to go. After failing to improve in a big hand where he flopped a pair, gutshot and flush draw against a leading Cliff Josephy, Ruane was down to just 25 big blinds. He never got things going after that, eventually moving in with king-queen suited. Qui Nguyen called with ace-jack and the board brought nothing but blanks for Ruane to see him go out in 4th place.

While the initial plan was to halt play once down to three players, the three remaining players did continue on for some twelve more hands before play was done for the day. Qui Nguyen, Gordon Vayo, and Cliff Josephy return tomorrow, November 1st, at 4 p.m. local time to play down to a winner.

Position Player Country Prize
1 $8,005,310
2 $4,661,228
3 $3,453,035
4 Michael Ruane United States $2,576,003
5 Vojtěch Růžička Czech Republic $1,935,288
6 Kenny Hallaert Belgium $1,464,258
7 Griffin Benger Canada $1,250,190
8 Jerry Wong United States $1,100,076
9 Fernando Pons Spain $1,000,000

* Photo courtesy of Jayne Furman, WSOP.com