Championship Event: No Limit Hold 'em
Location: Showboat Atlantic City
Number of Entries: 96
Total Prize Money: $931,200
Seat 1: John Spadavecchia
Hometown: Lighthouse Point, FL
Chip Count: 81,200
John Spadavecchia is one of three players at this final table who has won a World Series of Poker gold bracelet. For Spadavecchia, that victory came back in 1990. He also won a WSOP Circuit gold ring earlier this year. But Spadavecchia is perhaps best known for making it to the final table in the 1994 world championship event -- which was won by Russ Hamilton. Now living in Florida and a regular player on the tournament circuit, Spadavecchia was described in the classic poker book "Big Deal" as follows: "Spadavecchia looks like he walked right off the set of wiseguy movie." Perhaps at today's final table, he'll make his opponents an offer they can't refuse.
Seat 2: Chris Reslock
Hometown: Atlantic City, NJ
Chip Count: 124,000
So far, if this tournament were a stage act, it would most certainly be called "The Chris Reslock Show." Reslock is a 52-year-old poker pro from right here in Atlantic City. He is married and has three children. He was the chip leader after Day One, and also the chip leader after Day Two. Eight years ago, Reslock decided to take a break from driving a cab for a living and try to play poker professionally. Reslock decided to take a chance. He made an investment in himself. Reslock vowed he could always go back and drive the taxi -- if he went broke. So far, so good. Now, after winning major events here in Atlantic City in recent years and coming to this final table with a decent stack size, it appears Reslock won't have to worry about hustling for fares. In fact, if anyone is interested in a 1992 Chevrolet Caprice with a dead battery and 230,000 miles on it, please contact Mr. Reslock immediately.
Seat 3: Daniel Shak
Hometown: Bryn Mawr, PA
Chip Count: 65,200
Daniel Shak is a 46-year-old hedge-fund manager from Bryn Mawr, PA. He is married and has five children. Shak previously appeared at the final table of an Omaha High-Low event at the 2005 WSOP, where he finished ninth. In addition to his final tale appearance at the Rio earlier this year, Daniel Shak also finished 183rd in the WSOP main event. Considering the field size was an all-time record of 5,619 players, that's quite an accomplishment. But the real question is -- who is the best poker player in the Shak family? Shak's wife finished in 8th place in the 2005 Ladies World Poker Championship. He'd better finish higher than eighth-place today, or he'll never hear the end of it.
Seat 4: John Juanda
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Chip Count: 213,200
Today's chip leader is a 34-year-old professional poker player from Las Vegas, NV. John Juanda was born in Indonesia. Today, he is one of tournament poker's most respected players, having won dozens of major tournaments and millions of dollars in prize money over the last ten years. Juanda has also won three WSOP gold bracelets. Much to his credit, Juanda is just as conscientious away from the table as when playing. He was once asked in an interview if he could change anything about the world, what would it be? His answer was: "To disallow use of weapons in war -- when two countries go to war, have the leaders (or representatives) of each country fight in a ring." Better yet, how about play a game of hold'em? If that's the case, let's hope Juanda is playing on the American side.
Seat 5: Chad Moore
Hometown: Frankfort, IN
Chip Count: 148,900
Chad Moore is a 38-year-old professional poker player from Frankfort, IN. Prior to turning pro, Moore sat on the other side of the table as a poker dealer. Moore has enjoyed great success in tournaments in recent years. He has finished high at final tables here in Atlantic City, Tunica, MS, and elsewhere. When asked in a pre-final table interview -- "what do you want the world to know about you?" - Moore politely responded, "I'm single." If he wins today's $335,000 in prize money, he might be able to get a date, or two.
Seat 6: Nick Schulman
Hometown: New York, NY
Chip Count: 152,100
Nick Schulman is poker's newest millionaire. He won the main event at the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut only three weeks ago. At age 21, Schulman is one of the youngest players ever to win a major poker tournament. Now, he is going for his first WSOP Circuit championship. Remarkably, Schulman is just as talented with a pool stick in his hands. Prior to turning to poker full-time, he made his living playing billiards. Schulman's poker career is off to a brilliant start. Today, we will see if he can rack up a win on green felt of a different kind.
Seat 7: Mickey Appleman
Hometown: Fort Lee, NJ
Chip Count: 9,000
Mickey Appleman is a living legend in the gambling world. He has won four WSOP gold bracelets. He won the Super Bowl of Poker in 1985. He has played against and beat the very best in the game -- including the late Stu Ungar, Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, and other great names known to every poker player. Appleman has gambled for sky-high amounts on the golf course and inside race and sportsbooks. He made his living for over ten years betting on sports. Appleman gravitated to poker quite by accident. He was once a dedicated social worker and was committed to helping those less fortunate, before he discovered his natural talent for poker and gambling for a living. Now, it is Appleman who is the "least fortunate" of all - coming to the final table with the shortest stack. Were Appleman to stage a remarkable comeback and win this event, it would undoubtedly be his finest tournament moment.
Seat 8: Julien Studley
Hometown: New York, NY
Chip Count: 38,800
Julien Studley has been a real survivor. He has managed to take a seat at today's final table, despite never having many chips in this tournament. Studley was born in Belgium and now lives with his wife in New York City. He has been playing poker for many years. However, his greatest success was building a successful business - appropriately named Studley Incorporated. Mr. Studley is also heavily involved in charity work and various philanthropic foundations. Blessed with good fortune, Mr. Studley very much believes in giving back something to others - except at the poker table.
Seat 9: Eracles (Eric) Panayiotou
Hometown: Toms River, NJ
Chip Count: 33,200
Eric Panayiotou is one of four foreign-born players at today's final table. He is originally from the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean. He now lives close to the New Jersey shore, in Toms River. Panayiotou, age 48, has a B.S. in accounting and is a business owner. He has made it to many final tables - including appearances at the World Series of Poker and the United States Poker Championship, right here in Atlantic City. Panayiotou was the third-place finisher at the USPC back in 2000. He faces a big challenge at today's final table as one of three short stacks.
Seat 10: Dan Tolly
Hometown: Lumberton, NJ
Chip Count: 94,400
Dan Tolly is an aviator. He was born on an air base in Okinawa, Japan and graduated from the Air Force Academy. After serving as an officer in the Air Force, Tolly later became an airline pilot. Tolly is just as proud of being a father and a grandfather. Tolly is certainly flying high today, with 94,400 in chips. He hopes to be the "Top Gun" in this tournament, collecting his biggest poker prize ever.
Prize money payouts are as follows:
Players will draw for the button. There is 1:19 (:45) remaining in the 1,000-2,000 level with antes of 300.
View Final Table Standings
Tournament reporting by Nolan Dalla / worldseriesofpoker.com