The World Series of Poker is preparing to wrap up its Main Event, as the November Nine final table is actually set to begin on October 30. Due to the United States presidential election on the Tuesday on which it would normally be scheduled, the action is moved up so ESPN does not have to compete with live election coverage.
That means the WSOP final table is just days away from resuming with just nine players. As shown on ESPN, the Main Event began in July and played down from 6,737 players to just nine, and the top payouts from the $63.3 million prize pool await those final table competitors. They are, in order of chip counts:
- Cliff Josephy (New York, USA) – 74,500,000
- Qui Nguyen (Nevada, USA) – 67,925,000
- Gordon Vayo (California, USA) – 49,375,000
- Kenny Hallaert (Hansbeke, Belgium) – 43,325,000
- Michael Ruane (New Jersey, USA) – 31,600,000
- Vojtech Ruzicka (Prague, Czech Republic) – 27,300,000
- Griffin Benger (Ontario, Canada) – 26,175,000
- Jerry Wong (New York, USA) – 10,175,000
- Fernando Pons (Palma, Spain) – 6,150,000
And the payouts, which have been updated to include interest on the prize money held in an account since July, are:
1st place: $8,000,000
2nd place: $4,658,452
3rd place: $3,451,175
4th place: $2,574,808
5th place: $1,934,579
6th place: $1,463,906
7th place: $1,250,000
8th place: $1,100,000
9th place: $1,000,000
The players and their family and friends will soon head to Las Vegas to settle in at the Rio Hotel and Casino. They will then gather in the Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio to resume play on Sunday, October 30 to play from 8:30pm ET until there are four players remaining. On October 31, the final four will begin play at 8pm ET and compete until only two remain. And that final heads-up battle will take place on Tuesday, November 1 beginning at 9pm ET until one player wins.
Watch It Live in Las Vegas
While the action will be televised on ESPN and ESPN2 on a short delay all three nights, poker fans do have the opportunity to see if play out live. There are no tickets required to get into the Penn & Teller Theater to watch the action, but there are some tips that spectators should consider.
Arrive early on October 30
The first night of action is always the most crowded, as each player is likely to bring a group of family and friends who are given priority seating in the theater. Other spectators are welcome, but they must stand in line to enter. People often start lining up outside the theater early in the day, so the best bet is to go with a group so some people can hold the place in line while others take food and bathroom breaks throughout the day.
Bring clothing layers
Not only is the casino always fairly cool, but the temperature inside the theater is cool as well. It is smart to bring a sweater, sweatshirt, or jacket just in case.
Wear comfortable shoes
There are plenty of breaks in the action for television commercials, commentary, and other production reasons. However, some of those breaks are only a few minutes long. In order to get to the bathroom or the bar in the lobby and back to the seat without missing anything, it often requires a hurried pace.
The bar in the lobby of the Penn & Teller Theater may sell small snacks like bags of chips, but even that is not guaranteed. It is smart to eat a meal before the action begins each night, as play has the potential to go on for more than a few hours.
Be prepared for boredom
Keep in mind that spectators are not allowed to see hole cards on the television screens in the theater, so they are essentially watching live poker. They will not hear the side commentary or bust-out interviews, and they may not even hear the table talk depending upon how the microphones are set up. That means there will be downtime and some boring moments. Bring headphones or an earpiece for the mobile device in order to listen to music or do something to stave off the boredom. But stick around, as the exciting hands and eliminations are worth the wait.
A backup cell phone battery is very helpful. For any fan who is following along online as they watch in the theater, or for those who check social media throughout the night, the mobile device will use substantial battery life.
Watch alcohol intake
Every year, there are fans who come to the theater after already having consumed a considerable number of drinks, and a few more from the lobby bar put them over the edge. They get rowdy and loud, and security personnel eject them from the theater. Don’t be that person! There is plenty of time to drink, and a little moderation can keep you from being thrown out or passing out.