Given that there will be several thousand entries, it's extremely unlikely that any of these players will win and quite possible that none will even make the money.
Having said all that, I've chosen five players I think would come out extremely profitable, if they played the Main Event over a decent sample size. (This is actually one of the reasons why a friend of mine, a successful professional player, won't play the Main Event: he recognizes that he would be +EV against the field but believes that a sample size over a lifetime is just too small for you to ever see that profit.)
I decided not to pick too many of the most obvious names, simply because that would become boring. Also, I've tried not to solely focus on online or live players, but instead incorporate a mix of both.
5) Dag Martin Mikkelsen: "dmmikkel" was one of the chip leaders after the Day 1's last year. He's your typical Norwegian - fearless, aggressive, looks about 12. But he went very deep in what was his first-ever Main Event, eventually finishing 42nd, which shows a lot of promise. If he gets chips again, expect the same outcome, or better.
4) John Phan: The man is in form, so he has to be someone to pick. He already has two bracelets this year, and wants more. When interviewed after winning his bracelet, he stated that nothing would mean more to him than winning the Main Event at the World Series, and for a man who loves to gamble, that's a statement you can really bet on.
3) Scott "SCTrojans" Freeman: Another one of the online crowd, like Mikkelsen he went deep in the Main Event last year, eventually finishing 19th. His online record is excellent with wins in the PokerStars $200 rebuy and having won the $1,000 event on Full Tilt also. We also haven't seen online players make many big runs yet in any of the competitions, so sooner or later this should really happen ...
2) Bill Edler: At the start of last year most people probably wouldn't have known who Bill Edler was, but then he went on probably the rush to end all rushes. He won the $5,000 six-max event at the 2007 WSOP, came 33rd in the Main Event, won a WPT, final-tabled in a second and bubbled the final of a third. He's not really had anything much to shout about in 2008, but surely it's only a matter of time. He's also one of the nicest guys on the circuit.
1) Allen Cunningham: The easiest pick I'll ever have to make. While Ivey, Negreanu and Lindgren get all the headlines, Allen Cunningham trundles quietly along with no one watching. He's already won a circuit event this year over at Caesar's and made the final of the Mixed Pot-Limit Hold'em/Omaha event, plus cashed a couple more times. The real reason though that he's my pick is that he's just incredibly consistent and rarely makes any rash plays. Of my five picks, I would definitely back Cunningham to make the most money.