The Final Table:
SEAT 1: Nick Binger
HOMETOWN: Las Vegas, NV
CHIP COUNT: 546,000
Nick Binger is a 26-year-old professional poker player. Prior to turning pro, he earned a degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina. The ex-Tar Heel has been playing poker seriously for about three years, the last 18 months spent primarily in tournaments. He has 18 major cashes and $393,000 in tournament winnings thus far. Binger finished in-the-money in the 2007 WSOP main event. His highest finish up to this point was third-place at the Bellagio Cup in 2007.
SEAT 2: Scott Blackman
HOMETOWN: Rochester, NY
CHIP COUNT: 391,000
Scott Blackman is a 25-year-old professional poker player. He played ice hockey at Penn State University. In fact, he was an All-American in 2003. Blackman earned his degree in electrical engineering. His best tournament cash thus far was 9th place at the Borgata Winter Open two months ago, where he earned $98,000. Blackman says his favorite hobbies are ice hockey, playing guitar, golf, pool, and women – not necessarily in that order.
SEAT 3: Eric “Sheets” Haber
HOMETOWN: Syosset, Long Island (NY)
CHIP COUNT: 927,000
Eric “Sheets” Haber is a 41-year-old hedge fund manager. He is married and has two children. Haber is a lead instructor at a popular website called pokerxfactor.com, which is a site dedicated to helping poker players improve their game. Haber has 14 cashes in his resume, and $240,000 in tournament winnings. He has earned considerably more money and has won many more events playing online. His best finish in a live tournament was 2nd place in a no-limit hold’em event at the 2006 United States Poker Championships.
SEAT 4: Soheil Shamseddin
HOMETOWN: Houston, TX
CHIP COUNT: 855,000
Soheil Shamseddin is a 51-year-old President of a company called GolfQ, which sells and markets golf packages and promotes tour events. He has three major tournament cashes and $98,000 in winnings over the past year. He finished in-the-money twice at last year’s WSOP in Las Vegas and also took seventh place at a Caesars Atlantic City series event last week. Shamseddin also loves to play golf and chess and he wants to say hello to his granddaughter Sarah, who is watching back at home.
SEAT 5: Sumeet Batra
HOMETOWN: Lubbock, TX
CHIP COUNT: 579,000
Sumeet Batra is a 24-year-old financial analyst and hedge-fund trader originally from India. He earned a college degree in biochemistry from Texas Tech University and attended medical school for two years. He plans on attending law school at some point and will soon be working for a hedge-fund trading firm based in New York. Batra also played tennis competitively before becoming interested in poker. He finished in seventh place in the 2006 Aruba Classic and he has lifetime tournament earnings of $55,000, not counting some big cashes in online play.
SEAT 6: Steven Merrifield
HOMETOWN: Fairmont, WV
CHIP COUNT: 624,000
Steve Merrifield is a 22-year-old professional poker player, who has mostly been concentrating on cash games although he is now starting to play in tournaments. He graduated from West Virginia University last May with a degree in finance. The Mountaineer resigned from his job two months ago to take up poker full-time. He took seventh place in an event here at Caesars just two days ago. This is his first time ever to play in a tournament with a buy-in of $1,000 or more, and here he is sitting at the final table.
SEAT 7: Marc “Clark Kent” Morris
HOMETOWN: Woolwich Township, NJ
CHIP COUNT: 185,000
Marc Morris is a 39-year-old project manager. He is married and has a 14-year-old daughter. Together with his wife, Morris started an annual charity event which raises money for the American Brain Tumor Association. He wants to announce that the fourth annual event will take place this coming April 19th. Morris cashed at the Borgata Winter Open two months ago, but this is now his highest tournament finish ever. Morris’ nickname is “Clark Kent,” but he will have to turn into Superman today as he starts with the lowest stack at this final table.
SEAT 8: Steven Greenberg
HOMETOWN: Flanders, NY
CHIP COUNT: 251,000
Steven Greenberg is a 43-year-old telecommunications specialist. He is married to his wife Esther, and has two daughters. Greenberg says that he is not a good golfer, but he once made a hole-in-one. He also says that he does not have many chips, but he feels lucky to have made it this far in the tournament. Greenberg finished in 18th place at the US Poker Championship four years ago. He also finished in-the-money at the 2004 WSOP.
SEAT 9: Dan Hicks
HOMETOWN: Tampa, FL
CHIP COUNT: 1,182,000
Dan Hicks is a 36-year-old investor and poker player. He enjoys spending time with his loving wife Jan and their children. Hicks has three WSOP cashes in Las Vegas and $143,000 in tournament winnings. This is also his third time to cash in a WSOP Circuit event. So far, Hicks has been the dominant force in this tournament. He was the chip leader after day one. And sure, enough, he is at the final table as the chip leader and is the man to beat today.
Note: Play will continue on Saturday afternoon at 2 pm EST at Caesars Atlantic City. Play resumes at Level 20 with blinds at 12,000-24,000 and a 3,000 ante. There is 40:38 left in this round.
Prize Money Payouts:
1st $431,136 (plus $WSOP main event entry)
10th Joseph Siegel 16,167
11th Seth Akash 16,167
12th Nick Olivieri 16,167
13th Young Phan 13,473
14th Hevad Khan 13,473
15th Richard Kirsch 13,473
16th Ed Pham 10,778
17th Tiffany Williamson 10,778
18th Mark Roland 10,778
19th Charles Hook 8,084
20th Scott Glazer 8,084
21st Ylon Schwartz 8,084
22nd Adrian Velez 8,084
23rd Patrick Madden 8,084
24th Steven Cho 8,084
25th Allie Prescott 8,084
26th Bryce Carroll-Coe 8,084
27th Sheree Bykofsky 8,084
For more information, please contact:
Nolan Dalla -- WSOP Media Director at (702) 358-4642
Or visit our official website: www.worldseriesofpoker.com
Jeffrey Pollack – Commissioner, WSOP
Ty Stewart – Director, Sponsorship and Licensing, WSOP
Craig Abrahams – Director, Broadcasting and New Media, WSOP
Seth Palansky – Communications Director, WSOP
Executive Staff, World Series of Poker Circuit – Caesars Atlantic City
Vice President of Table Games – Fred Niceta
Director of Table Games – Paul A. Natello
Table Games Manager (Poker) – Thomas McDonough III
Poker Pit Manager – Jake Devries