The nine finalists of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2014 Main Event are from six different countries across the world—Felix Stephensen from Norway, Jorryt Van Hoof from the Netherlands, Martin Jacobson from Sweden, Andoni Larrabe from Spain, Bruno Politano from Brazil, and William Tonking, Billy Pappaconstantinou, and Dan Sindelar from the US.
Brazilian poker player Bruno Politano became the chip leader on Day 4 when he won a large pot of 4,930,000 from Zach Jiganti. Dutch pro Van Hoof shot into the chip lead on Day 7 when he was playing against Zichenko, making him the second player from the Netherlands to become a WSOP Main Event finalist. While Jacobson, Politano, Van Hoof, Newhouse, Larrabe, and Stephensen are full-time professional poker players, Sindelar plays circuits regularly and Tonking has finished in the cash at several tournaments. Pappaconstantinou, called Pappas for short, is a professional football player who is taking part in the WSOP Main Event for the first time. This is the first time Pappas is taking part in a tournament that has a buy-in bigger than $500, but one can expect him to take part in many big buy-in poker tournaments in future.
Newhouse has become the first poker player to reach the WSOP Main Event final table twice after Dan Harrington did it in 2004. Last year, Newhouse began the final table with the shortest stack and was the first to be eliminated. He later told a reporter, “I would rather finish 10th than ninth. Ninth is brutal, man. Coming back four months later and getting no money—I told myself I wasn’t going to be disappointed, but it was very disappointing.”
Unsurprisingly, all the nine are men as 96 percent of the starting field was male. However, many had hoped that successful female poker players such as Liv Boeree, Vanessa Selbst, Vanessa Rousso, and Annette Obrestad, along with bracelet winners such as Allyn Shulman, Jennifer Harman, and Kathy Liebert might make it to the final table.
On November 10 – 11, the nine finalists will meet again at the ESPN Thunderdome of Rio Casino to win their share of $28,480,121. The champion will receive the first-place prize of $10 million.
By that time, new basketball, hockey, and football seasons will have begun and baseball World Series will be in progress. In the meantime, attempts to legalize America’s national card game at the federal as well as state levels will continue.