So after 12 days (including the day off yesterday) and the elimination of 8,763 players it has come down to the final 9. From carplayer.com comes the final table seat assignments and chip counts:
Seat 1 - Richard Lee - $11,820,000 Seat 2 - Erik Friberg - $9,605,000 Seat 3 - Paul Wasicka - $7,970,000 Seat 4 - Dan Nassif - $2,600,000 Seat 5 - Allen Cunningham - $17,770,000 Seat 6 - Michael Binger - $3,140,000 Seat 7 - Doug Kim - $6,770,000 Seat 8 - Jamie Gold - $26,650,000 Seat 9 - Rhett Butler - $4,815,000
Gold has a large chip lead going into the final table but he has to be uncomfortable that a player of Cunningham's caliber is in there with the second biggest stack. Only good thing for Gold is that Cunningham is on his right this time, as opposed to yesterday when Cunningham was on his immediate left. Possible dark horse to watch for is Doug Kim, an extremely solid online player right on Gold's right. If anyone is going to be well positioned to trap Gold and take a bite out of his stack it will be Kim.
The payout structure for the final 9...everyone still left is a millionaire, as were the last 3 knocked out on Tuesday. 1 $12,000,000 2 $6,102,499 3 $4,123,310 4 $3,628,513 5 $3,216,182 6 $2,803,851 7 $2,391,520 8 $1,979,189 9 $1,566,858
Quite the jump between first and second. On some of the poker boards there are rumors that a deal was made last year, when the disparity wasn't nearly as great. Of course, not only is there the nearly $6 million difference, but the gigantic amount to be made in endorsements. Poker insiders estimate that Joe Hachem made more in non-poker income due to his Main Event win in 2005 than he made from getting the 7.5 million prize last year.
Of interest this year to the hardcore poker geeks is that ESPN is going to be doing a live broadcast of the final table both over regular PPV and online. No commercials, no interruptions, and no hole cameras. It'll be just like railbirding. Commentary by Phil Gordon and Ali Nejad. Apparently Norman Chad can't speak on poker without 4 months to come up with jokes about ex-wives. Also, Sirius Radio will be doing a brodcast, with promised guests including Hellmuth, Matusow, and Negraneau. I'm debating getting the ESPN broadcast as it could be interesting. But then I'm not sure I want to sit up until 5 AM to watch someone else get rich. Anyone else thinking of doing that?
Predictions anyone? I'm going to say this is the year a pro finally takes it back in the Main Event, and Allen Cunningham takes his rightful place among the best players in the world.
I'm hoping Cunningham wins also, but also look out for Friberg, who heads the big swedish contention that won a LOT of money this year on the WSOP. I'm looking online if someone is gonna do the live broadcast for free like they did on Real.com last year. If someone finds one let us know!
Puerto Rico...fighting for 3rd place on the World Baseball Classic!
I'm with Medalla. All of these cinderella stories are nice, but I'd like to see the WSOP title go to a guy that's actually been around for a few years and has won a few bracelets already. So I'm with Cunningham.
Scene: Mark DeRosa's brain. The year is 2005. Part of Mark DeRosa's brain: Come on, another position change? One day it's second base, the next day right field, now it's third? Why, I oughta go into Buck's office and throw his talking fish on the floor! Other part of Mark DeRosa's brain: Hold on, other part of the brain. We're making $500,000 this year. Last year we made $725,000. All for playing a damn kids' game. This is, as they say in Brainland, a no-"us"-er. We're not going to complain. Part of Mark DeRosa's brain: You're right, dude. Let's go back to looking at this crazy porn Teixeira gave us!
Good God anyone but Matusow. Not only would he be insufferable as the WSOP champion, but really, the tv that will ensue when he gets sucked out on at the final table will be the sort of stuff you keep on the Tivo forever.