The World series of Poker has made many poker legends in the past. With the biggest tournament in the world holding court each year in July, nine players ultimately survive the field of thousands and make it to the final table of the main event.
This year, the main event accounted for the third largest tournament in the history of the WSOP. Almost 7,000 players entered the tournament, and only nine would realize their dream of making it to the final table and representing their hometowns in the most prestigious tournament in the world.
The field was flooded this year with players from all across the world, and that is represented in the November Nine. Of the nine finalists, seven different countries are represented. After making the final table, the players were subjected to a break of over three months. During that time, the players returned home to a heroes welcome.
Eoghan O’Dea returned to Europe, where he has cashed in many tournaments. His father was a well-respected player, winning a WSOP bracelet back in 1998. If O’Dea wins, the twenty-six year old will take the main event bracelet off American soil. The pride of Ireland is currently in second place with over thirty-three million chips.
Martin Staszko, from the Czech Republic, is the current chip leader with just over forty million chips. Even should Staszko completely fall apart when the final table resumes, he will be guaranteed no less than $782,115, the prize money for whoever finishes the tournament in ninth place.
Unlike in past years. the November Nine will not have the same marketing opportunities as players who reached this stage in the past. PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker have been two major sponsors that have signed players on in the past, but both have pulled away from offering sponsorships after Black Friday in the US.
The main event resumes on November 5th at the Rio in Las Vegas. Ben Lamb can wrap up the Player of the year honors with a strong finish at the main event. Of the nearly 7,000 players that entered the main event, eighty-five nations were represented, with the champion taking home over $8 million in prize money.