WSOPE - Meet your final table
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Two opening days, three further days and a total of more than 36 hours of poker grinding are behind the nine finalists of the World Series of Poker Europe £10,350 No Limit Hold ‘em Championship. Each of them has bluffed, coolered and lucked out on their way to the coveted final table spot where they are guaranteed a take-home of £69,754.
Screw that – who cares about seventy grand? The first prize, which is currently being piled atop a table behind the televised final table, is a whopping £830,401 – which makes us wonder if the solitary pound coin will be placed atop the huge pile of cash wads like a little golden crown. In addition to the six-figure paydays guaranteed for our top five finishers, the winner will be taking home the most valuable piece of jewellery in the poker business – a World Series of Poker gold bracelet.
Seat 1: Roland de Wolfe (1,377,000) is undoubtedly the most experienced and well-known poker professional at this table. A former poker journalist (we’re the best players, obviously), Roland turned pro after a huge score at the Grand Prix de Paris for $750,000. Since then he became the first person to win an EPT and WPT event and then the second person to win the ‘Triple Crown’ of a WPT, EPT and WSOP. Add in the possible WSOPE title and there’s poker’s first Quadruple Crown.
Seat 2: Marc Inizan (349,000) is the shortstack today and got lucky to be here after David Peters busted before he did at the hands of Roland de Wolfe. He has big final table experience behind him after a third place finish at the EPT Berlin for €350,000. He has over half a million dollars in live tournament earnings and will be hoping to increase that exponentially – but he has work to do.
Seat 3: Nicolas Levi (428,000) is a fairly well-known French player who has accumulated almost three-quarters of a million dollars in earnings since the start of his gambling career a few years back. His largest tournament score is a final table at the $5,000 NLHE Shootout alongside Neil Channing and Stuart Rutter. He finished fifth for almost $100,000; a cash he has already beaten just by being here.
Seat 4: Fabrizio Baldassari (677,000) wins the ‘Most Stereotypically Italian Name’ award and has already accumulated over $100,000 in tournament earnings. Of course, even the minimum £69,754 payout from this final table will double that. On his permanent poker record already are two cashes in the EPT and an IPT final table.
Seat 5: Brian Powell (842,000) is, according to the Hendon Mob database, 28 years old which shocked us as he looks like a 20-year-old stoner/surfer fresh out of college. Of course, given that he cashed for $90,000 in the WSOP Main Event two years ago that is impossible. Powell had a short stack throughout Day 4 but played it well to secure his final table spot.
Seat 6: Dan Steinberg (1,520,000) is one set of poker’s third most famous siblings (the others being of course the Boatman brothers and Di “Urindanger” Dang and his brother Hac “trex313” Dang) as he and his twin brother Max are well-known on the online circuit as two tough heads-up mid-to-high-stakes players. Dan was one of the only players on Day 4 not afraid to tangle with Viktor Blom and his aggressive play has been rewarded, especially on the final table bubble. Brother Max has been on the rail throughout the tournament since his bust-out – hey, if Dan gets tired they could switch clothes and Max could take over, right?
Seat 7: Bord, James Bord (1,331,000) (we’ll never get tired of that joke) is a professional poker player from London and a former banker (we’ll refrain from that joke). He’s no stranger to World Series of Poker final tables, having finished sixth in the 2-7 Draw event at the 2010 WSOP for around $13,000. He also has a runner-up finish at the Deepstack Extravaganza for a little under $30,000.
Seat 8: Ronald Lee (1,899,000) is right behind Fleyshman – the mortal enemy of the rail for eliminating poker’s favourite son, Phil Ivey, Lee is a relative unknown in the field but his Hold ‘em chops are not to be underestimated; after all, he has made it to the final table of perhaps the toughest event in the poker calendar. Lee has cashes in major tournaments under his belt already, but none like the money on offer here – so far his biggest cash is a 40th place in the EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final for €40,000; effectively a min-cash.
Seat 9: Dan Fleyshman (1,946,000), Victory Poker CEO and entrepreneur, is leading the field after a roaring Day 4 that saw him accumulate over 2,000,000 in chips before dropping down to his current total of 1,946,000 – still good enough for the chip lead at the final table. The average stack among the competitors is 1,153,000 which is almost 60 big blinds at this point – no shove-fests at this well-structured and elite tournament.