Bryan Piccioli returned to Day 5 of the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event as the chip leader. After a series of unfortunate events, Piccioli busted midday in 84th place. The deep run a year ago has Piccioli prepared in way beyond his years.

“It’s a lot different ,” Piccioli said. “I’m kind of just floating middle of the pack, where last year I was chip leader. I don’t think it affected me mentally – the way I played or anything. I felt like I was at the top and I had to keep maintaining and things didn’t go my way.”

“It stinks to go out before the end of the day when you start as chip leader, but that happens sometimes,” he said. “I’m trying not to do that today.”

Having a whole year to replay a few hands in his head is inescapable, but Piccioli is doing his best to put it behind him. “There were a couple hands I was kind of skeptical of, but it’s easier to say after you lost that you could have done something different.”

“This event is such a marathon,” said Piccioli. “I’m just taking one hand at a time and I know everybody says that, but you can just wait for hours for a good hand if your card dead. You can just fold and fold.”

Bryan Piccioli at the Feature Table in 2016. (Photo: PokerPhotoArchive.com)
Piccioli credits his run last year to his mental state this year. “Last year was my first time getting really deep – I had a min-cash the year before,” he said. “It’s just a different atmosphere in the Main Event – everyone is trying so hard and having fun. Last year definitely helped for sure.”

At this stage of the event, when players break from a table, it’s removed from the room. “They’ve been sweeping this row out,” he said. “I went on break and the physical table was gone. I was like, ‘Whoa, we’re really getting down there.’”

He’s also an advocate of playing out the event in July. “I love it,” he said. “Not as much coaching goes on, you’re more in the moment. They do give a two-day break and if I’m fortunate enough to make it, I’ll fly all my friends and family out. Let’s hope that’s a thing.”