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2012 WSOP Main Event: The Final Table Kicks Off Today!

Tags: 2012 wsop, andras koroknai, final table, jesse sylvia, main event, october nine.
Posted on 29 October 2012 by "T".

The 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event started on July 7, 2012 with 6,598 players each putting up $10,000 to create a $62,031,385 prize pool. Today, after about a 3 month break, the final nine players ("The October Nine") will meet again at the Rio in Las Vegas and fight for the remaining $27,285,025 in prize money and, of course, the world champion title!

Jesse Sylvia, from the U.S., will bring the largest stack of chips to the final table. With 43.8 million chips Sylvia has about 14 million more than his closest opponent Andras Koroknai - the only non-American on the final table. The final table begins in about 4 hours and the plan is to play until only 3 players remain. Below is the final table line up (ranked by stack size) and some brief information on all the players.

Jesse Sylvia (43.87 million) Jesse Sylvia, 26, had cashed just 1 time at the World Series of Poker ($1,500 6-Max NLH in 2011 for $2,954) before making it to the 2012 Main Event final table, where he's guaranteed at least $754,798! Sylvia is a full-time live cash game player and a member of 888poker. He's originally from Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, but now resides in Las Vegas and plays between 40-60 hours of poker every week.

Andras Koroknai (29.37 million) Andras Koroknai is 30-year-old professional poker player from Debrecen, Hungary. Koroknai is best known for his victory at the 2010 World Poker Tour LA Poker Classic for just over $1.7 million. He has 2 WSOP cashes under his belt including a 339th place in the 2010 Main Event for $36,463. Koroknai will bring the second largest stack to the October Nine final table, and he's the only non-U.S. player on the final table. In fact, he's the first Hungarian player in WSOP history to make a Main Event final table.

Gregory Merson (28.72 million) Greg Merson, 24, has been called the 2012 version of Ben Lamb thanks to his fantastic achievements at the 43rd Annual World Series of Poker. He entered a total of 7 events and cashed in four of them, including his win of Event #57 ($10k NLH Six-Handed) for amazing $1,136,197! He needs to finish 7th or better on the October Nine final table to beat that cash. But he probably won't cry out loud if he finishes 9th ($754k) or 8th ($971,252), though.

Russel Thomas (24.80 million) Russel Thomas is 24-year-old actuary by trade from Hartford, Connecticut. He finished 248th in the 2011 Main Event and also reached a final table at the 2010 WSOP. Thomas admitted in an interview that he hasn't played much since Black Friday and that his main focus always has been on playing cash-games. Let's hope that he's ready for the final table! 

Steven Gee (16.86 million) Steven Gee, 57, is the oldest member on the final table and he joins Greg Merson as the only WSOP bracelet winners who remain. Gee basically made it to the final table thanks to hand during Day 7 in which a lucky river card gave him a straight in a 3-way all-in with only 20 players left. It will be intersting to see if the poker gods will side with him tonight as well!  

Michael Esposito (16.26 million) Michael Esposito is a 43-year-old commodity broker from New York. He has lifetime tournament earnings of just over $170,000 heading into the 2012 Main Event final table, where he's now guaranteed to take home at least $754,798. This is not the first time he's been on the WSOP stage. In 2006, he finished 540th in the Main Event, and in 2009 he finished 142nd in a 6-handed $1,500 NLH event. However, his first tournament cash dates back to 2002 at in a Seven Card Stud event at the World Poker fInals at the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, Esposito. The very next year he finished 16 in another Foxwoods event. 

Robert Salaburu (15.15 million) Robert Salaburu, 27, from San Antonio, Texas, started playing poker at the age of 16. He started playing poker online during college and decided to drop out and try to make a living from it. He also played a lot of live cash games in the beginning of his career, but eventually he switched to online tournament. However, since Black Friday he has been forced to play live again. Besides poker, he is trying to start a car lot business to make some extra money. In total, he had less than $50,000 in live tournament earnings before entering the main event, so the prize money he will win on the final table will defiantly come in handy.

Jacob Balsiger (13.11 million) Jacob Balsiger is the 21-years-old student who used to play $5 tournaments back in middle school and get really happy when he won $30. Now he can win a bit more than that since he's already guaranteed $754,798 - with the chance of taking home the first place prize of amazing $8,527,982. Also, if he wins, he will become the youngest Main Event winner in WSOP history. No matter what happens on the final table, Balsinger will return to Arizona State University as one of the most popular kids.

Jeremy Ausmus (9.8 million) Jeremy Ausmus, 32, got "infected" by poker after high school, by seeing the cult movie 'Rounders'. He moved from Colorado to Las Vegas in 2005, where he's supporting his wife and two kids by playing live poker. In total, he had 9 cashes at the 2012 WSOP and 14 throughout his career. Although he has the smallest stack of all the finalists, he's one of the most experienced tournament players and not to count out as a potential winner! 

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10 comments on "2012 WSOP Main Event: The Final Table Kicks Off Today!"

 Fakiry29/10/2012 12:48:22 GMT
Andras Koroknai will have a lot to do if he wants to bring this title outside USA. Jesse Sylvia leads with a big advantage, and five of the nine players have less than 20 million chips. I don't know the value of the blinds, but bet can quickly put the game of any of these five last players in the ranking in question.
 SirPoncho29/10/2012 18:35:17 GMT
1 Jesse Sylvia 43,875,000
2 Hungary Andras Koroknai 29,375,000
3 Greg Merson 28,725,000
4 Russell Thomas 24,800,000
5 Steven Gee 16,860,000
6 Michael Esposito 16,260,000
7 Robert Salaburu 15,155,000
8 Jacob Balsiger 13,115,000
9 Jeremy Ausmus 9,805,000

Those are the seatings and chip counts.

the blinds gonna kick off at 150/300k with 40k ante and there is 1 hour and 9 mins left in this level.
After that 2 hour levels,so there is still a lot of play left, as there are nearly 700 bb on the table and even the short stack Jeremy ausmus got 33 BB left
 initiator29/10/2012 19:01:57 GMT
This may sound crazy but I´d like to save the 2$. has anyone paid the 2 $ to watch the livestreaming. If so please accept me Sidwild1 on your skype sothat I may watch it from your skype camera.
 SirPoncho29/10/2012 20:46:57 GMT
anybody got some news on backers for the final 9?
heard something that salaburu sold a lot of his procentages
 Sorin88829/10/2012 21:03:20 GMT
If you've managed to avoid any spoilers for this year's WSOP Main Event final then you can enjoy comprehensive coverage of the event across of variety of ESPN affiliate channels across the world.

The Main Event's broadcast directory has just been released and if you can’t manage to watch the event on your TV then you can watch from the comfort of your desktop at
 Macubaas30/10/2012 05:06:35 GMT
I think they marketed this final table really well compared to other events, i mean everyone in the poker world talks about it!

Since i do not have time to watch it live i will definately check it out once i'll have some spare time Big Smile
 Fakiry30/10/2012 13:53:33 GMT
Having the last one of the ranking starting with 30 bb is a good promise for a lot of action in this table still with all the nine. In the news and in the SirPoncho’s post we have the players listed by the chip rank, but their position at the table will also make a lot of difference in what concerns to the game, and the lower ones can take advantage of having bigger stacks behind them. If it was me, I would prefer to have chipleader talking first, this way I would know better about what to count from each hand.
 Sorin88830/10/2012 21:15:44 GMT
Tonight from 17.45 Las Vegas time (01.45 CET) the final three players remaining in the World Series of Poker Main Event will play down to a champion.

This news piece will be providing you all the updates and action from the Penn & Teller theater as well as pictures and interviews with the players and rail.
 TheMachineQC30/10/2012 22:01:31 GMT
Ewww, that Koroknai donk made it to final table... So lucky this guy. It was so ugly when he mucked his hand when he thought he won after shoving pre flop. Gaelle Baumann called his all-in with kings then he mucked his hand. In my opinion, this board should've been dealt. The guy moved all in THEN mucked after she called... just ridiculous.

Let's just muck our cards everytime we shove and someone insta calls... good strategy lol
 Sorin88831/10/2012 20:29:32 GMT
After 9 days of play (7 this summer and 2 this week), just one player was left standing at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas. He accumulated the entirety of the 197,970,000 chips in play and defeated a field of 6,598 players.

That player was Greg Merson, a 24-year-old American poker pro from Maryland.

For his accomplishment, Merson will receive a massive $8,531,853, the title of 2012 World Champion of Poker, his second WSOP bracelet.

On top of that, Merson has just edged out Phil Hellmuth in the WSOP Player of the Year race with this finish, so Hellmuth is finishing 2nd in that leaderboard for the 2nd consecutive year (last year he narrowly lost to Ben Lamb).

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