2011 WSOP Final Table Gets Underway In Las Vegas Today

Three and a half months of waiting is almost over as the nine finalists at this year’s World Series of Poker Main Event resume their struggle for poker supremacy today in Las Vegas.
Road To The November Nine
Back in June, the players had to battle their way through a 6,865 strong field over eight days and 84 gruelling hours of poker in order to become part of the 2011 November Nine celebrations.
All their hard efforts have payed off handsomely as each player is already guaranteed a minimum payout of $782,115 with a staggering $8,711,956 awaiting the eventual champion. Even John Hewitt, who was eliminated in 10th place with 33 versus the K-J of Eoghan O’Dea, picked-up $607,882 as ample compensation for his final table near-miss
The Final Table
This year, the Final Table has a distinct international air about it, in contrast to the traditionally American dominated finals of the past. One factor that does remain constant, however, is the youth of the players whose average age is just 28 years old.
With the blinds starting today at 250k/500k and a 50k ante, this is how the players stack-up:
1: Martin Staszko, 35, from the Czech Republic (40.175m)
2: Eoghan O’Dea, 26 of Ireland (33.925m)
3: Matt Giannetti, 26 of USA (24.85m)
4: Phil Collins, 26 of USA (21.425m)
5: Ben Lamb, 26 of USA (20.725m)
6: Badih Bounahra, 49 of Belize (19.95m)
7: Pius Heinz, 22 of Germany (16.475m)
8: Anton Makievskyi, 21 of Ukraine (15.325m)
9: Samuel Holden, 22 of England (13.725m)
Despite currently lying 5th in chips, much of the media focus will initially be on Ben Lamb as the player who has enjoyed an unprecedented run at this year’s WSOP.
So far, Lamb has already cashed 5 times at WSOP 2011, including victory at the $10,000 PLO Championship ($814,436), 2nd at the $3k PLO event ($259,918), 8th at the $50k Poker Players Championship ($201,338), 12th at the $10k NL Six Handed ($56,140). Adding the $782,115 for having now reached the WSOP Main Event Final Table, Ben Lamb has collected a total $2,113,947 at WSOP 2011, with a promise of more riches to come.
This Year’s Coverage And Schedule
Play gets underway Sunday at 3:30 p.m. EST (20:30 GMT) and will stop when the action becomes three-handed. The players will then return on Tuesday, Nov. 8th at 9 p.m. EST to decide the eventual winner.
Broadcasts will be available online at ESPN3.com and WSOP.com and in a departure from past years the player’s hole cards will now be shown. For the player’s protection there will also be a 15-minute delay although they will then be able to review their opponent’s play during breaks. As Caesars Interactive Entertainment VP Ty Stewart explains:
“It’s not something that’s lost on us that its a new dynamic. Some players think this will actually be a higher form of poker. You’re going to know and you’re going to be able to make ‘halftime adjustments’ or as I would call it, do your ‘Bill Bellichecking.’ All of this mental noise is going to be fascinating to watch.”

Other news:   Phil Ivey wins 11th WSOP bracelet

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