Hey High Rollers, biggest night in poker as the November Nine resumes, fans will be watching with bated breath, one of the biggest spectacles and richest prizes in sport. Is poker a sport? We’ll save that for another day, but it is the World Series Of Poker final table, nine players vying for the world championship – and the money doesn’t lie, a whopping $7.7 million to the winner.
These nine have outlasted more than 6400 others, each have already been paid ninth place money, more than a million dollars. The cards fly in just a few hours, 8pm at the Penn and Teller theatre at the RIO in Las Vegas. And yes, you can wager on it! Chip leader Joseph McKeehan is the overwhelming 7-5 favourite, massive chip lead with more than 63 million to play with. His chip count, more than double that of 2nd place Zvi Stern, from isreal, who’s listed at 7-2. McKeehen, by the way, a native of North Wales, Pa, is a two-time WSOP circuit winner, he almost captured a bracelet last year finishing runner-up in the inaugural Monster Stack event. Tidbit: McKeehan won the world Risk championship in 2010. Third in chips, is San Fransisco’s Neil Blumenfield, 61, who has 22 million chips and is pegged at 6-to-1. Same odds for the oldest player left, 72 year old Belgian Pierre Neuville and what a story that would be. Neuville will unbag 21 million chips in 4th Place. And then there’s Max Steinberg, a little more than 20 million, listed at 7-to-1, and this is our betting favourite. Great story too; he won his $10,000 seat into the main event through an NBA satellite on DraftKings. Yes, this guy used to play poker for a living, he owns a WSOP bracelet already, and what a parlay! He tturned that $27 satellite, into a $10,000 entry fee, now has a $1 million and a chance at the whole enchilada. This guy’s good, he’s underrated and you know he’s riding high, so watch out – Max J Steinberg at 7-to-1…that’s where our money’s going. The remaining 4 players, all between the tender ages of 23 and 25, are long shots. Young gun’s Thomas Cannuli and Joshua Beckley, both from New Jersey, and both listed at (12/1). Brooklyn’s Patrick Chan and Italy’s Federico Butteroni are (25/1) dogs. Chan and Butteroni have less than 1/10 the amount of chips as McKeehen, the leader. Watch for it folks, live ESPN tonight, when they’ll play down from 9 players to 4, then tomorrow November 9th, from four players down to 2, and poker’s world champ will be crowned Tuesday November 10th.
Did you know? The $7.7 million first place prize money is more than Wimbledon, The Masters, and the Indianapolis 500 awards to its winners – combined! The largest ever prize at the WSOP ME was 2006 when Jamie Gold collected $12 million for winning the main event. The richest first place prize in poker history was the Big One for One Drop – $18 million – won by Antonio Esfandiari.
Have fun watching tonight…good luck to all…let’s hope for drama folks.