Dylan Moran —
When it comes to the world’s premier poker contests, nothing trumps the World Series of Poker (WSOP). This is the richest, most prestigious and most anticipated poker contest of all time. Players from all four corners of the globe converge to lock horns in an epic and grueling series of poker tournaments culminating in the Main Event. The 47th WSOP attracted over 107,000 players from 107 countries.
The total prize pool exceeded $221 million in entry fees alone. Some 69 tournaments were hosted, and it all boils down to the Main Event NLH championship. In July 2016, some 6,737 players from 79 countries coughed up $10,000 in entry fees to play in the Main Event. In addition to a multi-million-dollar payday, and major poker endorsements, is a gold encrusted diamond bracelet. But the dealmaker is the $63,327,800 in cash prizes.
The final nine players will return to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino on Sunday, 30 October 2016 with a will to lock horns for an incredible $25 million prize pool. The winner will pocket $8 million and each of the other 8 players will make a minimum guaranteed sum of $1 million. This contest will see each player in the November Nine with an equal shot at poker glory. It all depends on what cards are dealt and how they’re played.
Get Ready to Meet the Final 9
- Cliff Josephy hails from New York with a chip stack of 74,600,000. At 51 years old, he is the patriarch of the final nine. Cliff Josephy also pocketed $2.6 million in live poker tournaments, along with 2 gold bracelets.
- Qui Nguyen is a Vegas native and he has 67,925,000 chips and he is a hot favourite to win.
- Gordon Vayo is just 27 years old with 49,375,000 chips. His career cashes amount to almost $1 million to date.
- Kenny Hallaert is from Belgium with 43,325,000 chips he has finished in the Main Events twice before at the WSOP.
- Michael Ruane is at #5 on the leaderboard with 31,600,000 chips. At just 28 years old, he has won $44,962 in live poker tournaments.
- Vojtech Ruzicka is from the Czech Republic and he is on 27,300,000 chips. At just 30 years old, he has cashed 17 times at the World Series of Poker and pocketed more than $1.1 million.
- Griffin Benger is the lone Canadian on 26,175,000 chips. But his poker pedigree is superb with more than $2.3 million in live poker tournaments as well as a $1 million payday at the Shark Tank in London.
- Jerry Wong is another New Yorker at the Main Event. He has 10,175,000 chips, and is not favored to win but may surprise everyone because he also has over $1.3 million in live poker tournament winnings and $725,000 in the 2013 PCA that was held in the Bahamas.
- Fernando Pons is last on the leaderboard for the Main Event. This is the first time he has cashed at the World Series of Poker, and despite an inauspicious start to high-level poker, Fernando Pons in the hunt for a $25 million payday.
Poker Sharks are Eager to Make it a November to Remember
Coverage of the 3-night Main Event showdown will be broadcast by ESPN from Sunday, 30 October 2016 through Tuesday, 1 November 2016. The leaderboard certainly shows who has the good fortune and the poker savvy to steamroll the competition and walk away a multimillionaire. New York native, Josephy is under the spotlight as the chip leader and the oldest man on deck. Will he be able to walk away with $8 million? One thing is certain: when there are chips up for grabs, there are always poker sharks circling.