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WSOP November 9's Thomas Cannuli: “My Rail Will be Biggest, Loudest”
With friends Jeff Gross, Brian Rast and Antonio Esfandiari cheering him on, Thomas Cannuli is expecting an epic rail when he plays the WSOP Main Event final table in November.
“Let me tell you something right now,” said Cannuli. “My rail is going to be the biggest and loudest rail so get ready for it.”
Cannuli said he's working on year seven of his pro poker career and this is by far his biggest poker score.
He's guaranteed $1 million already and he's got a shot at up to $7.68 million in a few months' time. It's a contrast for Cannuli because he said his poker career has been anything but smooth.
The 23-year-old from Cape May, New Jersey, plays live cash poker on the East Coast and he's got the respect of some big players.
“I've 100 per cent paid my dues,” said Cannuli.
“I've put in time and I've been present. I'm not a new face. I might be a new face for tournament poker but for cash games I've been around for a long time and I've left my mark everywhere I go.”
Gross, Rast, Esfandiari, Mizzi Among Cannuli's Supporters
Cannuli said he's been friends with Jeff Gross for a long time and he's become close with other big-name pros through him in the last few years.
“It's amazing the support I have with my circle of friends,” said Cannuli.
“Jeff Gross, Brian Rast, Sorel Mizzi, these guys have been amazing. They've been there for me and they've stuck it out.”
With 10 players left in the 2015 WSOP Main Event, Cannuli was on the biggest bubble of his life. The pay jump from 10th to 9th was almost a quarter of a million dollars, not to mention the opportunities that come with being part of the November Nine.
Gross, Rast, Mizzi and Antonio Esfandiari were cheering Cannuli on the entire time.
Daniel Negreanu tragically busted in 11th place but even he came back and joined Cannuli's rail for a short time during the bubble.
“Their support is through the roof,” said Cannuli.
“Their energy is always positive and strong. They're there for me and I'm very grateful to have these guys because they're the best in the business.”
N9 Payday “Big Step” Forward for Cannuli
Cannuli said he's had hard times in his career and that the money he's guaranteed for making the November Nine, and the potential of millions more, represents a reprieve from worrying about more hard times to come.
“Just to be able to have a bankroll and to be able to maintain it is one step forward,” he said. “There are more steps to come but that's a big one.”
Cannuli said that money is a necessary resource if you're a pro poker player, but that this opportunity is about way more than just a big score.
“The only reason I'm still here is because I didn't quit,” he said. “I just kept fighting and that's what I am. I'm a fighter.
“Having my mom and dad there and my sister and my girlfriend, and they've seen the hard times, for me to be able to be there and shine means the world to me.”
Cannuli's biggest tournament score before this year's WSOP Main Event? An $18k min-cash in last year's WSOP Main Event. Cannuli barely squeaked into the money, finishing 691st when only 693 got paid.
For making the November Nine Cannuli's already taken home more than a million dollars. If he can outlast eight more people at the final table this fall, he'll leave Las Vegas with $6.68 million more.
Check out Thomas Cannuli's full WSOP November Nine bio here and watch the video interview from Las Vegas below.