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Previewing the 2012 WSOP Final Table

After a three month interlude the October Nine are ready to resume their battle for the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event title. At 8 PM EST the final nine competitors that began their journeys back in July will sit down under the bright lights of the Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio All Suites in Las Vegas, Nevada with poker immortality and a potential prize increase of nearly $8 million on the line.

Here is a glimpse at the seating assignments and chip counts of the October Nine:

  • Seat 1 – Russell Thomas with 24,800,000 chips
  • Seat 2 – Jacob Balsinger with 13,115,000 chips
  • Seat 3 – Jeremy Ausmus with 9,805,000 chips
  • Seat 4 – Steven Gee with 16,860,000 chips
  • Seat 5 – Greg Merson with 28,725,000 chips
  • Seat 6 – Jesse Sylvia with 43,875,000 chips
  • Seat 7 – Robert Salaburu with 15,155,000 chips
  • Seat 8 – Andras Koroknai with 29,375,000 chips
  • Seat 9 – Michael Esposito with 16,260,000 chips

Like last year, the final table will be shown virtually live (on a 15-minute delay) on both ESPN 2 as well as online at ESPN.go, allowing the poker world to follow right along with the action as the Main Event final table unfolds. When six players have been eliminated the remaining three players will bag-up their chips for the night, returning at 8 PM EST Tuesday night to play down to the winner, this time with the action shown live on ESPN, and once again online at ESPN.go.

So what are the storylines to watch? So far the talk has been about how “uninteresting” this final table compared to year’s past, but there are definitely some angles that could make for must-see-TV:

Will a new superstar be crowned?

With a slew of cash-game grinders at the final table there is a very good chance that the winner of the 2012 WSOP Main Event could become one of the “Next Big Thing’s” in poker. Jacob Balsinger, Greg Merson, Jesse Sylvia, Russell Thomas, or Jeremy Ausmus all have the potential to be the next poker superstar if they can show a little personality, and of course win the Main Event!

Jacob Balsinger’s quest to become the Youngest Champion

Balsinger has the possibility of breaking Joe Cada’s record as the youngest WSOP Main Event Champion. While the past few WSOP champions have all been in their early 20’s, Balsinger has a chance to be the first 21 year-old to win the title.

Eight Americans and a lone Hungarian

Andras Koroknai will be representing the world at the final table as he squares off against eight US poker players, harking back to the days before online poker, when US players dominated the tournament. In the past few years the final table has been very international, but this year it is the Americans who dominated… unless of course Koroknai can channel his fictitious countryman Kaiser Sose and outwit them all –go watch The Usual Suspects if you don’t get the reference!

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