The Final Table: 9 Players Remaining
SEAT 1: Ted McCollom, Jr.
HOMETOWN: Seabrook, TX
CHIP COUNT: 252,500
Ted McCollom is a 52-year-old land developer. He is currently traveling around the country with his son Clinton, playing in poker tournaments. In fact, son Clinton finished in 11th place in this same event. Ted’s best poker finish up to this point was 19th place in the six-handed world hold’em championships at the 2007 World Series of Poker, where he collected $22,000. Ted is a former city councilman in his hometown of Seabrook, Texas and says he is proud to have the great support of his wife Marilyn, and two sons – Theo and Clinton.
SEAT 2: Philip Sparta
HOMETOWN: Fairfax, VA
CHIP COUNT: 85,500
Philip Sparta is a 23-year-old professional poker player. He is one of only two players ever to have won multiple WSOP Circuit events here at Harrah’s New Orleans. He has cashed for over $100,000 in winnings this year alone on the Circuit. Philip has earned nearly $300,000 in tournament winnings during his short poker career, which is now entering just its second year. If recent history is any indication, Philip certainly has a very bright future ahead in tournament poker.
SEAT 3: Lou Esposito
HOMETOWN: Howard Beach, NY
CHIP COUNT: 20,500
Lou Esposito is the Bayou Poker Challenge defending champion. He won first place and $516,000 here at Harrah’s New Orleans last May. In fact, Lou is the first player ever in the four-year history of the WSOP Circuit to make it all the way to the final table after winning the same event the previous year. Lou is 32-years-old. He is a professional poker player. However, the pressure is on today as Lou does arrive at this finale table with the biggest challenge of anyone, as the player currently ranked lowest in chips.
SEAT 4: Bruce F. MacGregor
HOMETOWN: Port Orange, FL
CHIP COUNT: 123,500
Bruce F. MacGregor is a self-employed real estate developer. He is 59-years-old. Bruce is also a proud Vietnam veteran and we salute him for his service to our country and for his play in this tournament, so far. Bruce has two tournament in-the-money finishes on his poker resume, both of which took place in Costa Rica. Today, he is seeking his first-ever major tournament victory. Bruce arrives at this final table right in the middle of the pack, ranked in fifth place from the start.
SEAT 5: Nic “the Greek” Gellepis
HOMETOWN: Tallahassee, FL
CHIP COUNT: 65,000
Nic Gellepis is 30-years-old. He is a real estate investor and also spends a fair amount of his time playing poker and gambling, which is hardly a surprise given that he goes by “Nic the Greek.” Incredibly, Nic was down to just 400 in chips at one point in this tournament when the blinds were at 800-1600, and there was a 200 dollar ante. He not only survived as a lowest stack of any player in the tournament, but made it all the way to the final table and is now competing for a top prize of nearly a quarter million dollars in prize money.
SEAT 6: Andy Philachack
HOMETOWN: Garland, TX
CHIP COUNT: 35,000
Andy Philachack is a 33-year-old chiropractor. He suffered two backbreaking defeats in what has been a stellar career record to date – taking second place at the World Poker Open in 2005 and certainly his most memorable finish so far…..second place to none other than Phil Hellmuth, Jr. when he made poker history and won his 11th WSOP gold bracelet at this year’s World Series of Poker. They say that no one remembers who finishes second. Well, we do remember, Andy. Still, Andy has won nearly $600,000 in tournament poker during his lifetime, a figure that will certainly increase today with this final table appearance.
SEAT 7: Lenny Pruzansky
HOMETOWN: Richmond, TX
CHIP COUNT: 174,000
Lenny Pruzansky is the Chief Executive Officer of LTD Financial Services. He is 56-years-old. Lenny was a former New Jersey State Champion wrestler. In 1973, he graduated from the prestigious Wharton School of Business. Lenny is married and has four children. He has only one in-the-money tournament finish to date, but it was very impressive indeed. He took 75th place in this year’s championship event at the World Series of Poker, and collected $107,000.
SEAT 8: David Fox
HOMETOWN: Coram, NY
CHIP COUNT: 324,000
David Fox is a 31-year-old professional poker player. He took third place in this event at the 2007 Bayou Poker Challenge, which was the same tournament won by fellow New Yorker, Lou Esposito. David has numerous cashes and final table appearances on his record. He has accrued nearly $700,000 in tournament winnings during his lifetime. He also has two major tournament wins – which took place at Foxwoods in Connecticut, and the Venetian in Las Vegas. David starts off this final table in second place.
SEAT 9: Josh Arieh
HOMETOWN: Atlanta, GA
CHIP COUNT: 510,000
Josh Arieh is unquestionably the player to beat at today’s final table. He owns two World Series of Poker gold bracelets – for limit hold’em in 1999 and pot-limit Omaha in 2005. He also took third place in the main event at the 2004 WSOP, coming up just short to Greg Raymer and David Williams. Josh’s tournament winnings to date total nearly $4 million. Josh is married to Angela. He has three children – Sierra, Emily, and Maddy. He also wanted to point out that his closest friend was the very first player to bust out in this tournament, so it would certainly be ironic if Josh ended up as the winner of this event.
PRIZE MONEY PAYOUTS:
10th Carl Johnson Georgetown, TX 12,240
11th Clinton J. McCollom Seabrook, TX 12,240
12th Joel Font Orlando, FL 12,240
13th Kenny Milam La Place, LA 10,710
14th Will “the Thrill” Futhy NA 10,710
15th Robert Niehay Lake Jackson, TX 10,710
16th Larry Satterwhite Houston, TX 9,180
17th Tim Debenport Baton Rouge, LA 9,180
18th Rodney Shows Hattiesburg, MS 9,180