The 2012 WSOP Main Event attracted 6,598 players and became the fifth-largest Main Event in history. Nearly 2 weeks and more than half a million hands after that the $10,000 buy-in event kicked off, only 9 players remain with the chance of winning the gold coveted bracelet that comes along with the $8.5 million first prize! Here you can read about 4 of the finalists (ranked according to stack size).
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) either.
Russel Thomas (24.80 million)
Russel Thomas is 24-year-old actuary by trade from Hartford, Conn. 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. However, he said that he will be working very hard on his tournament game until it's time for the big final table.
Check back tomorrow for some brief information about the other 5 players.