With the two belles of the ball, Elisabeth Hille and Gaelle Baumann, eliminated in 11th and 10th place respectively, the ‘Octo-Nine’, or October 9 if you prefer, has been set and, once again, it’s an all male affair, and damn near an all sherman affair too with 8 Americans making up the final WSOP October 9.
When play resumes on October 28th, 9 men with an average age of 31 will square off for the coveted Main Event gold bracelet and the $8.5 million first prize. With no big name players at the final table, pokerQ4 gives you the lowdown on the 2012 WSOP October 9, who they are, what they’ve won, and tries to pick a winner.
An online cash game player by day, our chip leader – a room mate of fellow WSOP October 9 member Russel Thomas at the 2010 series and good friend – has a few minor cashes to his name dating back to 2008. Can’t be discounted with that stack but may lack the live big game experience to translate those chips into the win.
A poker star in his native Hungary and the only non US player at the table. Winner of the $10,000 WPT L.A. Poker Classic in 2010 for $1.7m and 2 other WSOP cashes to his name. Reportedly made a few glaring howlers on Day 7 but has solid claims on the bracelet with almost 30 million chips in front of him.
An online superstar specialising in cash games, Merson has scores of live cashes to his name dating back to 2007. He has had an excellent series so far, cashing in 4 events out of 7 played, including taking down the $10,000 6-Handed Championship for a $1.1m payday. His phenomenal run at this year’s world series has drawn comparisons to Ben Lamb’s charge to WSOP Player of The Year last year by some poker commentators but, like Lamb, will he fall at the final hurdle?
An actuary by trade, specialising in cash games, and good friend of the chip leader. Three previous WSOP cashes to his name. Has admitted to not having actively played poker since Black Friday so could have it all to do on this, the biggest stage in poker.
The wise old man of the table, Gee was a bracelet winner at the 2010 Series in a $1,000 Hold’em Event. A total of 4 career WSOP cashes could mean that Gee, with 16 million chips, might just show the exuberance of youth something about the value of experience.
A commodity broker from New York with a wealth of offline poker experience. 4 career WSOP cashes, including 2 in the Main Event. Has the chips to provide an upset.
The most inexperienced player at the table by far, Salabru has no recorded career cashes. Described by his friends as a ‘solid payer’, you fear that may not be enough under the glare of the lights and with the entire poker world watching.
A political science major from Arizona State University, Balsiger has very little live poker experience. Balsiger would be the youngest Main Event champion in history if he was to prevail over his October 9 rivals, and in a year when history was made with the largest ever poker prize awarded in the One drop tourney and Hellmuth taking down his 12th bracelet, who would be willing to bet against another piece of history being made come October?
A professional poker player with multiple WSOP cashes to his name, including 9 at this year’s series alone, but seems to lack the necessary change of gears to translate cashes into final tables and wins. With his final table short stack seemingly indicative of this trait, you would think Ausmus will be snug and will do well to move up a couple of cash spots
The fact that there will be a lot of play in this year’s final table should make it hard to pick a winner here but, for me, there is really only one winner – Greg Merson. An online superstar for a few years now so the money won’t really phase him. A bracelet winner already this year, in a $10,000 Championship Event no less, and on a seemingly unstoppable run in 2012. Momentum, and the confidence that goes with that, and a decent stack should see him over the line. Anything at 6/1 or above when the markets open would represent real value for me.