Who Will Win? It has been three and a half months since 6,844 poker players played down to nine to set the most anticipated and talked about Final Table in poker history.
The time has come for play to resume and the World Series of Poker Presented by Milwaukee’s Best Light to award its highly-coveted bracelet to a new, history-making champion.
The November Nine (the nine players competing at the World Series of Poker Final Table on November 9) – reconvene in the Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio® All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas this Sunday (November 9 at 10 AM) and Monday (November 10 at 10 PM) to battle it out for a first place prize of $9.1 million and the title of World Champion.
Will the winner be the chip leader, Dennis “Fordman” Phillips, who at age 53 would become the oldest Main Event champion in nine years? (Noel Furlong in 1999 at age 61)
Or will the youngest ever Main Event champion be crowned? Both Craig Marquis, 23 and Peter Eastgate, 22, have the opportunity to best Phil Hellmuth’s record age of 24, set when Phil won the 1989 Main Event. Eastgate also has the opportunity to become the first Main Event champion from Denmark to take home poker’s most- coveted prize.
Or will one of two remaining Canadian players do what last year’s runner-up Tuan Lam just missed doing – taking the bracelet back to Canada?
Darus Suharto, 39, from Toronto can become the first accountant since Chris Moneymaker to win the title, while fellow Canuck Scott Montgomery, 26, has promised to get a tattoo of the winning hand if he wins the tournament – something that may, or may not, increase his fan following.
Can Ivan “Drago” Demidov, the 27-year-old Russian sensation become the first Russian Main Event champion ever? Demidov enters the tournament off an incredible run, having finishing third in the Main Event of the World Series of Poker Europe last month.
Or is this the year of the pro? Will David “Chino” Rheem, 28, become the first pro to win the Main Event since Carlos Mortensen seven years ago? Considered the most tournament-savvy poker player at the table, Rheem is also one of the most unpredictable, seemingly willing to play any hand in any position.
Will former chess champion turned poker player Ylon Schwartz, 38, be able to out-maneuver his competitors and use his patience and persistence to hang in there long enough to bring New York a championship?
Last but not least is Kelly Kim, the 31-year-old poker pro from Whittier, California who looks to go from last in chips to holding them all at the end. Clearly a difficult challenge, but one not out of the realm of possibility for a player like Kim, a very determined and clever player who seems to play his best while short-stacked.
Who Will Win? To find out, the general public can attend the proceedings in person at the Rio’s Penn & Teller Theater, or watch ESPN’s primetime telecast on Tuesday, November 11 at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT.
Up for grabs is $32,731,625 in prize money and the coveted WSOP Main Event bracelet. From an initial 6,844 players that created a prize pool of $64,431,779 – the second largest ever in poker history – the final eight will all become instant millionaires, pocketing a minimum of $1,288,217 for their effort.
Net Prize Pool: $64,431,779 (2007: $59,784,954)
# of Entries: 6,844 (2007: 6,358)
Players Paid: 666
1st Place: $9,152,416 (2007: $8,250,000)
9th Place: $900,670
666th Place: $21,230
Defending Champ: Jerry Yang