After a wait of over three months, the most prestigious prize in poker will be awarded next week. The final table of the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event begins Sunday evening in the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Nine players are in contention, and winner will be crowned poker’s World Champion, a title that comes with the WSOP Main Event bracelet and $8,000,000.
The final table will be played out under the bright lights of ESPN’s cameras, and every hand will be broadcast virtually live on ESPN or ESPN2. (See schedule below.)
In early July, the 2016 WSOP Main Event started with 6,737 players. Over the course of seven days of poker, almost all of them were eliminated. Just before midnight on July 18 , Joshua Weiss was eliminated in 10th place, and the 2016 November was officially set.
Since then, ESPN has shown much of the Main Event action in its weekly episodes, creating a few stars in the process. Perhaps the most famous player in this year’s Main Event is now Will Kassouf, who became a polarizing figure known for his table talk, or “speech play” as he prefers to call it. Kassouf gained legions of fans and supporters who love his entertaining table presence, and seemingly just as many detractors who felt his tactics crossed the line. His opponents found their champion in Griffin Benger, who eliminated Kassouf in a tense, trash-talk-filled hand that one pundit called more entertaining than the NFL.
Benger went on the make the November Nine, and will be seventh in chips when play resumes. Along with most of the remaining players, he’s looking to catch Cliff Josephy, the current chip leader. Josephy is an icon in the poker world, having first made a name for himself as one of the original superstars of online poker. He’s since gone on to win two WSOP bracelets, and now has a chance to win his third on poker’s biggest stage.
When Play Resumes:
When the first hand is dealt on Sunday, the Main Event will continue in the middle of Level 35 (there’s 32:50 left on the clock), with blinds at 250,000/500,000 and a 75,000 ante.
Here are the current seats and chip counts:
The 2016 Main Event final table will be televised virtually live in primetime on ESPN and ESPN. (The action will be shown on a 30-minute delay in accordance with state gaming laws.)
|Sunday, October 30||ESPN||8:30 PM|
|Monday, October 31||ESPN2||8:00 PM|
|Tuesday, November 1||ESPN||9:00 PM|
Info for Spectators
The event is free and open to the public for spectators. No tickets are required, and no advance reservations are allowed. Simply show up to the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio Hotel and Casino. It’s first-come, first-served, so you may wish to arrive early. Based on past years, Sunday will likely be the busiest day, and theater very well may fill up. More available seating is expected on Monday and Tuesday.
|Date||Doors Open to Player Guests||General Admission|
|Sunday, October 30||3:00 PM||3:30 PM|
|Monday, October 31||3:00 PM||3:15 PM|
|Tuesday, November 1||4:00 PM||4:30 PM|