The final nine players in the 2012 World Series of poker Main Event Championship were determined late on Monday night, and the final table bubble produced some heart-wrenching moments, as it always seems to do. With 11 players remaining two women were still vying for one of the coveted spots at the official final table of nine players, and it seemed like the entire poker world was sitting on the edge of their seats, hoping that for the first time during the Poker Boom a woman would be featured in the biggest poker tournament in the world.
Alas, both Elisabeth Hille and Gaelle Baumann fell in 11th and 10th respectively, leaving nine men to battle for the World Series of Poker Main Event crown for the 17th straight year. Baumann’s 10th place is the best since Annie Duke accomplished the same feat at the 2000 WSOP Main Event, making the unofficial final table, but failing to reach the final nine.
With poker in a state of flux (some would say in absolute shambles) after Black Friday, the game needed a really good story to spike interest in the general public once again. With Black Friday, Full Tilt Poker, and the Epic Poker League leaving poker with multiple black-eyes, a truly positive story was needed. But as the big names fell on Day 6 the weight of the poker world fell on Hille’s and Baumann’s shoulders, as the only remaining story that would capture national attention would be a woman at the final table.
The final table will feature eight US players, including two bracelet winners in Greg Merson and Steven Gee, as well as Jeremy Ausmus who is working on his ninth cash of the 2012 WSOP tournament series. The lone international player is Andras Koroknai, the 2012 WPT LA Poker Classic champion.
Here is a look at the final nine players that will reconvene at the Rio in October to play for the 2012 WSOP Main Event title and the $8.5 million first-place prize:
- 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
Each player walked away from the Rio last night with 9th place prize-money, $754,798, and will now have a couple months to perfect their poker game and study-up on their opponents.
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