Antoine Saout and Ben Lamb both made their second WSOP Main Event final tables tonight in Las Vegas while Michael Ruane came close to going back-to-back.
Ruane finished 4th in last year's Main Event but had to settle for 10th this year, narrowly missing consecutive final tables in the year's biggest poker tournament.
Ruane's run was ended in large part by his friend Bryan Piccioli when the two got in a big pre-flop all-in flip when the event got ten-handed.
Ruane's ace-king didn't improve against Piccioli's pocket tens and he was left with just 1.5 big blinds. He was all-in just a couple hands later with ace-six against Damian Salas from Argentina who had pocket jacks.
Ruane was eliminated in 10th and received $825,001.
Saout and Lamb Repeat
Saout and Lamb both previously finished third in the Main Event, in 2009 and 2011 respectively. They'll have a chance to improve on that result although both find themselves near the bottom of the chip counts.
Leading the final nine is Scott Blumstein, a poker pro from New Jersey who plays online under the screen-name SBlast2711
John Hesp and Kara Scott.
He's followed closely by fan favorite John Hesp, a 64-year-old recreational player in Vegas to cross playing the Main Event off his bucket list.
Hesp told PokerListings the biggest tournament he'd played before this Main Event had a buy-in of just $250.
Hesp's flashy fashion and friendly personality quickly got the poker community's attention when he appeared on the live broadcast. And the more we learned about Hesp, the happier we were that he was able to make the final table.
Blumstein and Hesp both have considerably more chips than their nearest competitors - roughly half the chips in play between them.
Click here for bios on all nine final-table players. Here are the official final-table chip counts:
- Scott Blumstein – 97,250,000
- John Hesp – 85,700,000
- Benjamin Pollack – 35,175,000
- Bryan Piccioli – 33,800,000
- Dan Ott – 26,475,000
- Damian Salas – 22,175,000
- Antoine Saout – 21,750,000
- Jack Sinclair – 20,200,000
- Ben Lamb – 18,050,000
Damian Salas scored today's final elimination.
Final Table Plays Out July 20-22
Unlike every year since 2007, the WSOP Main Event will not have a three-month delay before playing out the final table.
The final nine players get just two days off before returning to the Brazilia Room at the Rio Hotel and Casino to play down to a winner over the course of three days.
Action will be broadcast live on ESPN and PokerGO with hole-cards on a 30-minute delay.
This year sees an especially international final nine with Americans out-numbered by two Brits, two players from France and an Argentinian.
The group represents diverse nationalities but almost everyone who made it plays poker professionally. John Hesp is the only player that doesn't call himself a poker pro, although Damian Salas is a lawyer in addition to playing cards to earn a living.
Everyone who made it to the final table is guaranteed at least $1 million dollars with $8.15 million waiting for he eventual champion. Here are the final-table payouts:
- 1st place - $8,150,000
- 2nd place - $4,700,000
- 3rd place - $3,500,000
- 4th place - 2,600,000
- 5th place - 2,000,000
- 6th place - $1,675,000
- 7th place - $1,425,000
- 8th place - $1,200,000
- 9th place - $1,000,000