After just over 10 hours of play at the GGPoker $10,000 World Series of Poker Championship Main Event, the participants for its nine-man finals table have been determined. The global, star-studded lineup will boast players from nine different countries.
The finalists emerged from a pool of 674 entries and will compete for a $6,474,400 tournament purse slice. However, every finalist is already guaranteed $75,400 in winnings (since that’s the payout for finishing in 9th). The live format final table is slated to take place on December 15 at the King’s Resort in Rozvadov, Chech Republic.
The Players Leading the Pack
The scramble to clinch a finals spot heated up earlier this week, and, following a late resurgence, Brazilian Brunno Botteon created separation from the rest of the pack – amassing 10,317,743 chips in the process.
In second place with 6,213,759 chips is the emerging Portuguese poker prodigy Manuel “robocup” Ruivo. 2017 WSOP Main Event finalist, Damian Salas, rounds off the top three with a total chip count of 5,653,528. Remarkably, the top three finalists are the only ones above the current chip average. Also, there is a gap of around 8.2 million between Botteon and ninth place Stoyan Obreshkov (with 2,119,610).
Unsurprisingly, there’s an unknown finalist in the mix. Known by the username “fullbabyfull”, he uses the Liechtenstein flag as his avatar on the GGPoker platform. He (or she) comes in at fourth place with a chip stack of 4,232,560.
Events Leading up to the Finals
The final table bubble was intense. The action included several double-ups and concluded at the end of level 34, with 100,000/200,000 blinds. Come December 15, the final table will pick up from this point with a running ante of 20,000.
Ahead of the guaranteed money spots, the pack, which initially consisted of 179 players, was gradually reduced over three days of play (December 5, 6, and 7). Day 2 (December 7) has just concluded, and a few notable past finalists were among the players that didn’t make the cut.
Chief among these names is former WSOP Main Event finalist Antione Labat who crashed out without ensuring a money spot. Former WSOP bracelet winners like Simon Lofberg, Alex Papazian, and Barak Wisbrod also left before cashing out a payday.
Leaderboard Changes Galore
Through play, players who were once in the money kept relinquishing their position either through bad plays or unfortunate situations. Antoine Saout, Severin Schleser, and Christopher Frank all disappeared from their positions atop the chip rankings. The Norwegian Ruben Gravlien topped the pack for an extended period but slid quickly down to elimination.
After what can be described as an unpredictable merry-go-round of action over three days, the 10th place Thomas Macdonald and 11th place Senthuran Vijayaratnam (chip leader for Day 1C) were both eliminated to give way for the planned nine-hand final table.
Looking Ahead to the Finals
It’s sure to be an entertaining watch. In fourth place, Damian Salas indeed has a point to prove after his disappointing finish at the 2017 event. Meanwhile, pack leader Botteon will look to cruise to a victory if he can continue to play to his strengths.
Either way, the winner of the Main Event final table will go home with $1,550,969, the second-place finisher will get $1,062,723, and the third-place finisher will pocket a cool $728,177.