Although an interesting mix of players will compete for the title tomorrow, it became crystal clear from the word go Wednesday morning that the final six would not include the kind of marketable superstars the Michael Binger went broke 10th, doubling up with nines once, but failing to turn the same trick twice.
Two-time WSOP bracelet winner Mark Seif did make it through and the Absolute Poker pro will not only be the most recognizable player in the final six, he will be the most experienced. Sitting on $4.6 million and second in chips, he must be feeling like it's his tournament to win or lose.
A lot of the local hopes were placed on 2007 WSOP Stud event runner-up Nick Frangos, but while Frangos talked a good game all day, he never really picked up enough cards to play one, and busted too early to matter.
New Yorker John Myung, who clearly runs good based on the fact he left a job at the World Trade Center 10 days before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and won $1 million in a poker tournament a few years later, also disappointed the crowd by bubbling the final six when he shipped it with K-Qo into Rajkumar's queens.
Instead, local hopes will have to ride on Mt. Sinai, N.Y.'s Andrew Knee, who had the chip lead at one point in the late stages before playing aces so terribly he practically handed Mark Seif $2 million in chips. A rather shaky-looking Knee will come into the final six with $1.4 million, joining Floridian Jason Strochak and his $1.6 million as the short stacks.
Although Knee is a relatively unknown commodity, Strochak has bounced around the WPT the past few years, earning almost $200k along the way.
The bottom line is that both these guys will be looking to make a move early or perish when things get rolling under the lights tomorrow.
Dan Heimiller's got a list of cashes a mile long including everything from a win at the Gold Coast Open to one at this little tournament in Vegas they like to call the World Series of Poker. While he may not be a household name, he's been around long enough to know his way around a six-handed table.
He'll come into Thursday's run for the big dough on about $3.3 million, just a little more than our sixth final tablist, Virginia's Sang Kim.
Kim won a seat in a $1,000 satellite to get in, but hasn't looked the part of wide-eyed amateur for one second. He'll come into the final six with $3 million, looking to cement the idea that this is where he belongs.
The cameras will start rolling just after 4 p.m. EDT Thursday and, as always, PL.com will be here for it all. With skyrocketing blinds already so high the short stacks won't sleep very well tonight, it could happen fast, so we suggest you hit us up early and often. There's a $1.4 million first-place prize on the line here at the Borgata and you don't want to miss a thing.