The World Series of Poker version of the TV show “Who wants to be a millionaire” is finally ready for the grand finale. And who could have guessed that, in order to take down the big prize, the winner would have to survive a huge field consisting of 7,977 entries?
The organizers certainly didn’t anticipate that, tagging Event #8: Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold’Em as a regular three-day event. But the heavy action showed them that this tournament is not an ordinary one and it would actually need four days for the champion to arise.
So far, after three long days, nine grinders remain, most of them being low stakes players with a once in a lifetime opportunity to win a seven-figure prize. Chip leader Stephen Graner (photo) is one of them; according to Hendon Mob Poker DB, Graner’s biggest cash of his career has actually five-digits ($65,840) and was taken down this February in a $1,600 NLHE event in Las Vegas. Throughout his poker career, Graner cashed in over $340,000 and now he is ready to boost his bankroll with at least a six-figure prize.
Second stack James Duke is even more excited as he has won only $29,000 in his entire live tournament career. The same can be said about Andrew Dick, Bradley Anderson, Jonathan Dimmig, Jeffrey Coburn, and Jason Johnson. They all have reached an entirely new level, far from what they have typically been accustomed to prior to this event.
Maurice Hawkins is the only final table participant who has passed the one-million-dollar mark in tournament earnings and will definitely want to double up that number. Brit Andrew Teng is the other name worth mentioning with over $700,000 in live earnings.
But those nine are not the only ones who look for a life-changing cash. Another low stakes tourney – Event #9: $1,000 NLHE – is ready to conclude later today with Frank Patti having the most chips out of the remaining 12-player field. Patti has already min-cashed in the $1,500 NLHE Shootout, but this time he has his eyes set on a gold bracelet plus a hefty $323,125 prize.
Jorge Vergara will follow him closely although he is very much a rookie in terms of live poker results. He has only two cashes so far in his career, one of them in last year’s Millionaire Maker event.
And if the two WSOP tournaments weren’t enough, yet another $1,500 NLHE kicked off yesterday in the Sin City. This time, however, we are talking about a six-handed event with lots of online players ready to pick up their aggression and build up massive stacks.
As expected, the pace was furious in Day 1 with no less than 1,453 coming in and out of the tourney. The play will resume today with 134 having already secured a min-cash.
But do not go yet. Yes, the low-stakes players are a big part of the poker community, but what about the high rollers? If you are wondering where they went, we have the answer for you: they are currently enjoying the swings in Event #10 – $10,000 Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split-8-or-Better. A full 18 of them are preparing themselves for the final battle ahead.
Russian Viatcheslav Ortynskiy is their leader, followed by two-time bracelet winner Eli Elezra, and 2010 WSOP Seven Card Stud winner Richard Ashby. Online legend Doug ‘WCGRider’ Polk is also in the mix, cashing in for the fourth time in his career at the World Series of Poker. Can he also win his first ever gold bracelet?
Be sure to check PokerUpdate to find out the answer.