For the first time in history the WSOP Main Event final table nearly featured two women, but thanks to a cruel bubble it’s once again all men.
France's Gaëlle Baumann had the unfortunate distinction of being the final-table bubble girl when she moved her short stack all-in with ace-nine and Andras Koroknai called her down with ace-jack.
There were no surprises on the board and Baumann was sent home in 10th place, one painful place short of the final table.
Norwegian Elisabeth Hille was a strong favorite to make the final table as she had an above-average stack for most of the playdown but had a disastrous level late in the day that eventually led to her elimination.
In her final hand Hille lost a coinflip with ace-queen against Koroknai’s pocket sevens.
Jesse Sylvia Leads Final Table Dominated by Americans
Las Vegas resident and 888poker pro Jesse Sylvia finished as the chip leader with 43.8 million chips.
Sylvia won what will likely be remembered as one of the most pivotal hands of the tournament when he flopped a set of sevens against Scott Abrams who flopped top pair and a flush draw.
All the money went in the middle and Sylvia’s set ended up holding to bust Abrams and win a tournament-leading pot.
Second in chips at the final table is Hungarian Koroknai. He is the only player at the final table not from the U.S.
Koroknai was a bit of a lady-killer on Day 7 as he eliminated both Baumann and Hille. Koroknai finished with 29 million chips.
No stranger to high-stakes poker tournaments, Koroknai won the 2010 WPT Las Angeles Poker Classic for a staggering $1.7 million.
Even with a ninth-place finish Koroknai will become Hungary's all-time tournament money leader.
Greg Merson Gunning for Second Bracelet of the 2012 WSOP
Behind Koroknai is noted grinder Greg Merson, who won a bracelet earlier this summer, and is the only player that could potentially win two bracelets in the 2012 WSOP by taking the title in October.
Interestingly Merson has been forced to move out of the U.S. to play online poker and is currently living in Toronto. He will take 28 million chips to the final table.
Connecticut’s Russell Thomas is fourth in chips with 24 million. A part-time poker player, Thomas has a very decent shot at winning the $8.5 million first-place prize.
Steven Gee finds himself in fifth place with a stack of 16.8 million. The Sacramento-native is no stranger to the WSOP as he won a $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em event for $472,479 in 2010. He’s already locked up $754,798 in this year’s Main Event.
East coast grinder Michael Esposito rounds out the middle stacks with 16.2 million.
Robert Salaburu is seventh in chips with 15 million although he spent much of Day 7 as one of the chip leaders. The San Antonio, Texas, native is a full-time poker pro and it showed with his play today.
Jacob Balsiger Youngest Player at Final Table
Arizona-native Jacob Balsiger is barely old enough to buy a beer but he'll have a seat at the 2012 Main Event final table. Just 21 years old, Balsiger is currently attending Arizona State University and will enter the final table with 13.1 million chips.
Finally Jeremy Ausmus will head into the 2012 October Nine as the shortest stack with 9.8 million chips but shouldn’t be counted out as he’s a full-time poker pro.
The 2012 WSOP Main Event will now go on a 102-day hiatus as the final table is scheduled to resume Oct. 29-30, 2012, at the Rio in Las Vegas.
Here’s a look at the complete final table chip counts:
Jesse Sylvia – 43,875,000
Andras Koroknai – 29,375,000
Greg Merson – 28,725,000
Russell Thomas – 24,800,000
Steven Gee – 16,860,000
Michael Esposito – 16,260,000
Robert Salaburu – 15,155,000
Jacob Balsiger – 13,115,000
Jeremy Ausmus – 9,805,000