After three months of waiting, the 2012 WSOP Main Event final table will finally begin today.
Set to take place over the next two days, the final table will get down to just three players today and tomorrow one player will earn the title of world champion and $8.5 million in cash.
Despite its relative lack of star power, this year’s final table has produced some compelling stories.
Greg Merson’s recovery from addiction and his quest for WSOP Player of the Year. Jesse Sylvia’s journey from Martha’s Vineyard to Main Event chip leader in Las Vegas. Russell Thomas and his team of high-end coaches led by Jason Somerville.
Unfortunately, in what could have been the biggest story, there will be no women represented at the final table this year as Elisabeth Hille and Gaëlle Baumann were eliminated in 11th and 10th respectively to set the final table.
Merson Has to Win to Catch Hellmuth
So what’s happened in the three months since the October Nine was set?
Will Phil Hellmuth win WSOP POY?
The 888poker-sponsored trio of Sylvia, Russell Thomas and Jake Balsiger have been busy making several stops in Europe including EPT Barcelona and the WSOPE in Cannes.
Steven Gee and Merson also made an appearance in Cannes but were both eliminated in the early stages of the WSOPE ME.
Thanks to Phil Hellmuth’s historic win in the WSOPE Main Event, Greg Merson will now have to win the WSOP Main Event to take down this year’s WSOP Player of the Year award.
Meanwhile darkhorse Robert Salaburu has actually been the most successful tournament player since making the final based on an eighth-place finish in an HPT event for $14k.
Jeremy Ausmus made a mino $4.5k cash at Festa Al Lago but has been busy with cash games. He also acquired sponsors HogWildPoker and TTAGIT.
Andras Koroknai and Michael Esposito have both opted to avoid the tournament circuit over the last few months.
The final table begins at 4:45 PST today and PokerListings will be on hand with live updates and news straight from the tournament floor. There will also be a live stream available in various locales.
Check this guide to see how you can watch the WSOP Main Event final table in your country.
Here’s a look at the chip counts to start the day:
- 1. Jesse Sylvia – 43,875,000
- 2. Andras Koroknai – 29,375,000
- 3. Greg Merson – 28,725,000
- 4. Russell Thomas – 24,800,000
- 5. Steven Gee – 16,860,000
- 6. Michael Esposito – 16,260,000
- 7. Robert Salaburu – 15,155,000
- 8. Jacob Balsiger – 13,115,000
- 9. Jeremy Ausmus – 9,805,000