Yamada cashes at World Series of Poker main event

Blake Yamada of Wailuku secured a cash finish at the World Series of Poker main event on Friday before being eliminated in 487th place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Yamada earned $24,480.

“Of course you want to win, but it’s not very likely to happen,” the 28-year-old said. “You want to get in the money.”

The $10,000 buy-in, no-limit Texas Hold ’em main event offers payouts to the top 10 percent of the entrants. This year, that meant 648 players, a number that was reached after the first 18 players were eliminated Friday.

“It’s really heavy, really intense,” said Yamada, who was playing in a World Series event for the first time. “I kind of expected it, but once you get there, it’s nerve-racking.”

By late Friday, the fourth day of the event, 366 players remained. The leader was Max Steinberg of Oakland, Calif., with a chip count of $1,795,000.

Once the field is reduced to nine, play will be put on hold until November, when the final table will be shown live on ESPN. The winner receives $8.4 million.