After four months, the wait is over. It’s time for the final table of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event, and it starts tonight.
In early July, 6683 players entered the Main Event. They played for seven days, and thousands of players lost all their chips. Eventually, just before 1 a.m. on Day 7, Luis Velador was eliminated in 10th place, leaving only 9 players still standing—the 2014 November Nine.
The tournament clock has been paused ever since for the now traditional four-month hiatus. Now, the players have all returned to Las Vegas, and tonight at 4:30 p.m., they’ll take their seats at the table in the Penn and Teller Theater in the Rio. The tournament will air live (on a 30-minute delay) on ESPN2 starting at 5 p.m. PT. They’ll play until only two players are left, then pause for the night. They’ll return Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. PT to determine a winner. The heads-up match will be broadcast live on ESPN.
The eventual victor will earn a WSOP gold bracelet, $10,000,000, and a place among the poker immortals alongside legends like previous Main Event winners Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, Bobby Baldwin, Phil Hellmuth, Dan Harrington, Carlos Mortensen, and Greg Merson. The $10,000,000 first-place prize celebrates the tenth year the WSOP has been held at the Rio. It is the second-largest Main Event prize in World Series history, behind only the $12,000,000 won by Jamie Gold in 2006.
Early indications are the award for most boisterous rail will go to Bruno Politano, the first ever Brazilian to the make the Main Event Final table. When ten players remained back in July, Politano had the loudest supporters, including a friend in a Scooby Doo costume in stands. He recently released a youtube video featuring messages of support from a variety of Brazilian celebrities, including Xuxa (Olympic swimmer), Thiago Camilo (race car driver), and soccer stars Neymar, Júlio César, and Kaká.
Another crowd favorite is William Pappaconstantinou, better known as Billy Pappas. Pappas is a professional foosball player. He’s won multiple world championships, and countless other competitions. He’s also one of the few true amateur poker players left in the field.
As the field dwindled down to the final nine, one of the biggest stories was Mark Newhouse’s deep run. Newhouse made the November Nine last year, eventually bowing out in 9th place. Now, he’s worked his way back to the final table, the first player ever to make the November Nine in back-to-back years. Before the inception of the November Nine, the last person to make the Main Event final table in consecutive years was Dan Harrington, who accomplished the feat in 2003 and 2004. (Harrington also won the Main Event in 1995.)
The chip leader as the final tables gets underway is Jorryt van Hoof, who has just under 100 big blinds in his stack. Van Hoof hails from the Netherlands, and this is the second consecutive year a Dutchman has made the November Nine. Last year, Michiel Brummelhuis finished in seventh place.
Here are the players’ seats and chip counts:
Seat 1: Billy Pappaconstantinou – 17,500,000 (44 BBs)
Seat 2: Felix Stephensen – 32,725,000 (82 BBs)
Seat 3: Jorryt van Hoof – 38,375,000 (96 BBs)
Seat 4: Mark Newhouse – 26,000,000 (65 BBs)
Seat 5: Andoni Larrabe – 15,050,000 (38 BBs)
Seat 6: William Tonking – 20,050,000 (50 BBs)
Seat 7: Dan Sindelar – 21,200,000 (53 BBs)
Seat 8: Martin Jacobson – 14,900,000 (37 BBs)
Seat 9: Bruno Politano – 12,125,000 (30 BBs)
When play resumes, there will be 1:35:24 remaining in Level 35, with blinds at 200,000-400,000 and a 50,000 ante. Newhouse has the button, and Larrabe and Tonking will be in the blinds.
Action begins at 4:30 p.m. local time. Join us for the live broadcast on ESPN2 at 5:00.