2012 WSOP (World Series of Poker) Main Event Final Table


It is that time of the year again. The time one player rises to claim the World Series of Poker Main Event Championship, along with the prestige and riches that come along with it. Traditionally a summer event, in 2008 the final table of the tournament was moved to the first week of November. However this year, to avoid a clash with another high stakes competition – the US Presidential election – the final table will commence play today, October 29th.

In July, 6,598 players from 82 countries chipped in the $10,000 entry ante with the dream to become the next world champion of poker. Of those, nine remain with a shot at the $8,527,982 first place prize. Here is how things stand before play begins:

Player
Country
Chips (% of total)
Wins
Cashes
Winnings
Jesse Sylvia
USA
43,875,000 (22.2%)
0
2
$36,372
Andras Koroknai
Hungary
29,375,000 (14.8%)
0
2
$39, 371
Greg Merson
USA
28,725,000 (14.5%)
1
5
$1,253,501
Russell Thomas
USA
24,800,000 (12.5%)
0
3
$126,796
Steven Gee
USA
16,860,000 (8.5%)
1
4
$480,822)
Michael Esposito
USA
16,260,000 (8.2%)
0
3
$27,311
Robert Salaburu
USA
15,155,000 (7.7%)
0
0
0
Jacob Balsiger
USA
13,115,000 (6.6%)
0
1
$3,531
Jeremy Ausmus
USA
9,805,000 (5.0%)
0
13
$114,623

 

2012 WSOP final table

There aren’t really any household poker names on the final table. Andras Koroknai, the first Hungarian to play at the final table of the WSOP Main Event, is arguably the most experienced player. He won the 2010 WPT LA Poker Classic, netting an impressive $1,788,040. He will need to finish 5thor better to improve on that haul.

Andras also had the most controversial path to the final table. With about 150 players left, he was in the small blind. Frenchwoman Gaelle Baumann raised from an early position and action folded to Koronkai. Not seeing Baumann’s raise, he shoved all-in and then mucked his hand, thinking he had won. Seeing the raise, he tried to recover his cards from the pile. However, the ruling on the floor was that he had to pay the 60,000 raise, but after that his hand is dead and he was not forced to go all-in. Not a bad thing for him as Baumann had pocket kings. In an ironic twist of events, it was Koronkai who eliminated Baumann in the bubble for the last hand before the final table.

The rest of the field is comprised by 8 Americans, who will be trying to bring the title back to the US after European players have won the last two Main Events. Jesse Sylvia, a 26-year live cash game player from Las Vegas is in the chip lead with almost 44 million chips. He had two cashes at the 2011 WSOP, the more significant coming in Event  #26, NLHE Six Handed, where he finished 11thfor $33,418. Even if he squanders his chips at the final table and finishes 9th, he is guaranteed over three-quarters of a million, so the improvement is obvious.

2012 WSOP bracelet

Below Sylvia and Koronkai in the chip rank sits Greg Merson, who already had a big WSOP breakout. He won his first bracelet in Event #57, $10,000 buy-in NLHE Six Handed for the respectable $1,136,197 in cash. As a short-handed play specialist, if he maintains a good position in the early going, he will likely be a force to be reckoned with as players start to drop.

The only other player with a bracelet is Steve Gee, who won the 2010 $1000 buy-in NLHE event. The rest of the guys will have to hope their first win comes in the most important poker tournament. Whatever happens, the October Nine is sure to present us with some real poker drama, as the final table of the World Series always does. May the best player win.

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