Meet the 2017 WSOP Main Event Final Table: Player Bios

Published On: 18 July 2017 / Modified: 9 July 2018
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Posted in: WSOP Blog
WSOP 2017 Main Event final table

The 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event final table is set and — for the first time in over a decade — the winner will be decided in just a few days time.

The so-called November Nine, which featured a 3+ month delay between the 10th elimination and the final table, was finally shuttered by the WSOP this year and replaced with a modest two-day break.

That means media will have just two days to highlight the final nine players before they play to a winner.

Fortunately it’s a compelling crop this year with not one but two former November Niners at the final table in Antoine Saout and Ben Lamb.

Coincidentally Saout (2009) and Lamb (2011) both finished third at their respective final tables but will get another chance to claim poker's most prestigious title.

It’s the first time in the modern era of the WSOP Main Event that two former November Niners have made the final table.

Incredibly the final table almost included Michael Ruane, who finished fourth in last year’s Main Event for $2.5m, but he ended up falling in 10th place for $825,001.

American pro Scott Blumstein captured the final-table chip lead with 96.950 million but 64-year-old retiree John Hesp captured everyone’s hearts while accumulating 85.7 million chips.

A self-described amateur Hesp had the time of his life competing with elite opponents in the playdown and will get a legit shot at taking down this year’s $8m first-place prize thanks to his immense stack.

The rest of the final table includes Bryan Piccioli, returning to avenge his 84th-place finish from last year's Main Event.

There are also a large number of non-Americans with Benjamin Pollak (France), Damian Salas (Argentina) and Jack Sinclair (U.K.) looking to take the title of poker world champion.

Don’t count out American online poker pro Dan Ott either as he’s already bested his lifetime live tournament earnings of $3,655 by a large margin. Here’s a look at each player at the 2017 WSOP Main Event final table.

Scott Blumstein - 96,950,000 chips

scott blumstein wsop

Chip Count: 96,950,000 (1st)
Nationality: US
Age: 25
Hometown: Morristown, New Jersey
Occupation: Poker pro
Career Live Tournament Earnings: $312,142
WSOP Cashes: 3 (Circuit)
Online Nickname: SBlast2711
Twitter Handle: @Sblum2711

  • Has $147k in lifetime online earnings
  • Plays online under nicknames SBlast2711, 2Due4U, TooDue4U
  • Main Event and Chris Moneymaker are “why he’s in poker”
  • Says there’s no tougher place to play poker than on East Coast

John Hesp - 85,700,000 chips

john hesp wsop

Chip Count: 85,700,000 (2nd)
Nationality: UK
Age: 64
Hometown: Bridlington, England
Occupation: Semi-retired; owns company that rents out RVs
Career Live Tournament Earnings: $2,207
WSOP Cashes: 1

  • “Not about the money, it’s the challenge”
  • Fan favorite for his colorful shirts and jacket, borrowed from a friend after Hesp said he liked them
  • Fourth time in Vegas, first time playing Main Event
  • Asked if he would get to meet Daniel Negreanu immediately after making the final table

Benjamin Pollak - 35,175,000 chips

benjamin pollak wsop

Chip Count: 35,175,000 (3rd)
Nationality: French
Age: 33
Hometown: Paris, France
Occupation: Poker pro
Career Live Tournament Earnings: $2,967,782
WSOP Cashes: 16
Online Nickname: MagicDeal
Twitter Handle: @PollakB

  • BetClic ambassador
  • Multiple EPT side event winner
  • Now lives in London, England
  • Was down to 12 BBs at start of Day 5 before doubling up twice early on
  • Had a monster Day 7 that saw him soar up the chip counts

Bryan Piccioli - 33,800,000

bryan piccioli wsop

Chip Count: 33,800,000 (4th out of nine)
Nationality: American
Age: 28
Hometown: Allegany, New York
Occupation: Poker pro
Career Live Tournament Earnings: $1,909,374
WSOP Cashes: 26
Online Nickname: theczar19, enterthewu19, RAMAGED31
Twitter Handle: @theczar19

  • $6.3m in career online cashes
  • Former #1 in Pocket 5s world ranking
  • Won a WSOP bracelet in 2011 at WSOP Asia-Pacific
  • Chip leader on Day 4 of 2016 WSOP, busted in 84th
  • Learned poker from his father, Dan, who had an unfortunate accident last year and is now a quadriplegic

Dan Ott - 26,375,000 chips

dan ott wsop

Chip Count: 26,375,000 (5th out of nine)
Nationality: US
Age: 26
Hometown: Altoona, Pennsylvania
Occupation: Poker pro
Career Live Tournament Earnings: $3,656
WSOP Cashes: 2
Online Nickname: ShippItTY
Twitter Handle: @danott11

  • First summer at WSOP
  • Started watching poker in 2003 when he was 12 and Moneymaker won
  • $104,923 in lifetime online earnings

Damian Salas - 25,750,000 chips

damian salas wsop

Chip Count: 25,750,000 (6th)
Nationality: Argentinean
Age: 42
Hometown: Chascomus
Occupation: Attorney/poker pro
Career Live Tournament Earnings: $919,525
WSOP Cashes: 13
Online Nickname: Pampa27
Twitter Handle: N/A

  • Day 4 chip leader with 4.5 million chips
  • Considers online poker tougher than live
  • Likes to fish in his spare time
  • Sponsored by Aconcagua Poker
  • First player from Argentina to make the ME final table

Antoine Saout - 21,750,000 chips

antoine saout wsop

Chip Count: 21,750,000 (7th)
Nationality: French
Age: 33
Hometown: Morlaix
Occupation: Poker pro
Career Live Tournament Earnings: $5,551,412
WSOP Cashes: 13
Online Nickname: tonio292
Twitter Handle: @tonio292

  • Finished third in the 2009 WSOP Main Event for $3.4m
  • Made the WSOPE Final Table in 2009 while on hiatus from November Nine
  • Finished 25th in the 2016 Main Event
  • Has never won a major title despite $5.5m+ in earnings
  • Now lives in London, England

Jack Sinclair - 20,200,000 chips

jack sinclair wsop

Chip Count: 20,200,000 (8th)
Nationality: U.K.
Age: 26
Hometown: London, England
Occupation: Poker pro
Career Live Tournament Earnings: $13,500
WSOP Cashes: 2
Online Nickname: N/A
Twitter Handle: @jacksincredible

  • Primarily an online poker
  • Roommates with Phil Gruissem and Anton Morgenstern
  • Shot up the chip counts on Day 6
  • Sinclair’s lifetime live tournament earnings prior to making the final table were only $13,500

Ben Lamb - 17,950,000 chips

ben lamb poker

Chip Count: 17,950,000 (9th)
Nationality: American
Age: 32
Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Occupation: Poker pro
Career Live Tournament Earnings: $7,207,830
WSOP Cashes: 14
Online Nickname: Benba
Twitter Handle: @BenbaLamb

  • High-stakes cash game player
  • Lives in Las Vegas
  • Finished third in the 2011 WSOP November Nine for $4m.
  • Won 2011 WSOP Player of the Year

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