Sam Holden (U.K.), Niels van Alphen (Netherlands) and Nicolau Villa Lobos (Brazil) are the last players standing for their respective countries, and all are wearing the 888 patch.
Villa Lobos, son of Brazilian rock legend Dado Villa Lobos, was eliminated earlier today, but both Holden and van Alphen are still standing as of 8 pm (PST).
“This is the dream,” said van Alphen. “I got into poker watching players like Marcel Luske play the WSOP Main Event and now I’m here.”
van Alphen successfully qualified for the WSOP Main Event for only $100 on 888poker using the steps program.
The 23-year-old student plays poker part-time but has been a force in this year’s event with an aggressive style that has given other players fits.
Holden Looking to Go Back-to-Back
Holden is perhaps the best story for 888poker as he made the November Nine last year where he eventually finished ninth for $782,115.
He could become just the second player to make back-to-back final tables in the modern era of poker (2003-2012). Holden would join Dan Harrington, who made the final table in 2003 and 2004 when field sizes were not quite what they are today.
“I’ve had a pretty good WSOP so far,” he said. “I only came out here for two weeks leading up to the WSOP but I’m happy with that decision. I’m really confident.”
Holden finished 16th in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em tournament for $23,608 just before the Main Event began but he’s already locked up at least $128k in the Main Event.
It’s been an astonishing run for Holden as he’s already outlasted over 6,000 players for the second time in two years.
At the dinner break 58 players remained in the hunt for the $8.5 million first-place prize at the 2012 WSOP.