WSOP Main Event Countdown: 1 Week to go

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Oct 22, 2012 Posted in Op-Ed, WSOP News | No Comments »

On October 28, 2012 the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event final table will resume at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. On the line for the nine remaining poker players is a payday of over $8.5 million for the winner and poker immortality as a World Series of Poker Main Event champion. But this year may be different.

Since the World Series of Poker switched to the November/October Nine format back in 2009, the poker world has eagerly anticipated the resumption of the final table after a multi-month hiatus. This has not been the case this year, as a fairly anonymous and uninteresting (for lack of a better word) final table lineup hasn’t sparked the same kind of interest that we have in seen in recent years when players like Phil Ivey, Mike Mizrachi, and Ben Lamb had the poker community buzzing and fans waiting to see the results.

This year’s lineup looks more like a AAA baseball team’s, with very little star-power and little appeal to the casual fan, even though the players are pretty accomplished and terrific poker players skill-wise. The 2012 WSOP is not only lacking a super-star, but it’s also lacking that “Every Man” story we often see at WSOP final tables: Darvin Moon, Dennis Phillips, Jerry Yang, Martin Staszko, and Steve Dannenmann.

As one fellow poker player told me, “Greg Merson, okay, it vaguely rings a bell. Jeremy Ausmus…. Twitter says I am suppose to care about him, but considering I have been around poker since forever and have been on forums and in poker media for a while now and have literally never heard the name I just don’t care.” Finishing his thoughts with, “The real problem here is that it seems this FT is lacking something that every main event final table forever has had, someone who will have a positive impact on poker just by being there.”

This is perhaps the best summary on this year’s final table I have seen. As much as I want to care about the 2012 WSOP Main Event, I simply don’t, and it’s not that the players are boring, or uninteresting people, the issue is that there is nothing in their story that says they shouldn’t be a WSOP Main Event contender.

• Seat 1: Russell Thomas – 24,800,000

• Seat 2: Jacob Balsiger – 13,115,000

• Seat 3: Jeremy Ausmus – 9,805,000

• Seat 4: Steven Gee – 16,860,000

• Seat 5: Greg Merson – 28,725,000

• Seat 6: Jesse Sylvia – 43,875,000

• Seat 7: Robert Salaburu – 15,155,000

• Seat 8: Andras Koroknai – 29,375,000

• Seat 9: Michael Esposito – 16,260,000

For the first time I can recall there isn’t a player I’m pulling for (either personally or professionally) and there isn’t a long-shot to be happy for. In 2009 I was hoping for an Ivey win, since the articles would write themselves for months! In 2010 there was Mike Mizrachi, but also Jason Senti, Joe Cheong, or John Racener, plus the long-shot Soi Nguyen. In 2011 We had a trio of pros in Phil Collins, Ben Lamb, and Matt Giannetti, along with the legacy Eoghan O’Dea and the “happy to be there” Martin Staszko.

Unfortunately, this year we have what amounts to a typical final table you’d find at any Heartland Poker Tour or WSOP Circuit event.

 

 

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