2011 WSOP Final Table Countdown: Who will win?

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Oct 30, 2011 Posted in Op-Ed, WSOP News | No Comments »

We are now officially one week away from when the final nine players remaining in the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event will return to the felt at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino and battle for the nearly $9 million first prize.

So here is a look at my thoughts on how the final table will play out.

The trouble with being a well-known pro

Ben Lamb, Matt Gianetti, and Phil Collins will likely try to stay out of the fray early on, hoping their post-flop skills will carry them through, but as we’ve seen in the past mid-stacked poker pros tend to have a bit of a target on their backs, especially early on in the final table. A lot of the short-stacked players are willing to come over the top, knowing these players are good enough to raise light, and also good enough to fold a medium strength hand to a big raise. For the most part, with stacks like these three players possess, one stumble makes them a short-stack.

Chip-Leader, Schmip-Leader

Heading into the final table the chip-leader is Martin Staszco, who is a proficient online tournament player. But unlike other recent WSOP final tables Staszko’s chip-lead is not all that large. It would only take one decent sized pot for the entire table dynamic to change.

The Short-Stacks need to chip-up early and often

Going by precious WOP final tables most of the short-stacked pushes will go uncalled. So it’s imperative that players like Sam Holden, Anton Makiievsky, and Pius Heinz throw their chips around early on if they want to make a run at the final table.

Here are my predictions for the final table of the 2011 WSOP Main Event Final Table:

* Winner: Ben Lamb

* Runner-Up: Eoghan O’Dea

* 3rd Place: Phil Collins

* 4th Place: Anton Makiievsky

* 5th Place: Martin Staszko

* 6th Place: Badih Bou-Nahra

* 7th Place: Pius Heinz

* 8th Place: Matt Gianetti

* 9th Place: Sam Holden

It’s hard to bet against Ben Lamb this year. Not only is he running good, but his fearlessness should play very well in a tournament where the turn of a card could cost a player millions of dollars. I can also see Makiievsky doubling-up early on and surviving Filippo Candio style. Gianetti and Collins are interchangeable in my mind, I think one of them will survive their crucial all-in moment while the other will not.

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