They’re all millionaires now.
After seven days of competitive play, the World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event has been narrowed down to nine players — a distinction that routinely separates the lucky from the talented. For the first time since 2008, we won’t have to wait months for the “November Nine,” and the players will return on Thursday (July 20) to battle it out for an $8.15 million top prize.
The remaining nine are all that’s left standing of a 7,221-player entry pool, and they are all guaranteed a payout of at least $1 million each. Two are final-table veterans, but another has only $2,207 in live tournament earnings to his name. After bluffing his way through last year’s final table, 2016-winner Qui Nguyen was eliminated on the second day of the tournament.
The remaining competitors are:
Seat 1: John Hesp, United Kingdom – 85,700,000 chips
Seat 2: Scott Blumstein, United States – 97,250,000 chips
Seat 3: Antoine Saout, France – 21,750,000 chips
Seat 4: Benjamin Pollak, France – 35,175,000 chips
Seat 5: Jack Sinclair, United Kingdom – 20,200,000 chips
Seat 6: Damian Salas, Argentina – 22,175,000 chips
Seat 7: Ben Lamb, United States – 18,050,000 chips
Seat 8: Bryan Piccioli, United States – 33,800,000 chips
Seat 9: Dan Ott, United States – 26,475,000 chips
Leading the way after the seventh day is Scott Blumstein, a New Jersey-based American who has never placed higher than 10th in a WSOP event.
“I feel amazing, I can’t believe it’s real,” Blumstein told PokerNews after the final table was set. “I have a great group of guys and we’re going to get to work and prepare for Thursday. This is one of the biggest moments of my life. And I’m super excited.”
The last day of regular play started with Christian Pham, an American from Minnesota, in the lead. He was eliminated early on and sparked a domino effect — the short stacks continued to fall until the final 13 had each secured themselves at least $500,000.
Scott Stewart, who ordered a beer and chugged it in front of the ESPN cameras, was the next to fall in 13th place when his A-9 fell to the K-Q of Blumstein as the latter hit a flush on the river. Richard Dubini, an Argentinian, fell in 12th place and was followed by Portugal’s Pedro Oliveira in 11th to merge the final two tables.
It was here that heartbreak ensued for Michael Ruane, a final-table veteran who was eyeing his second straight appearance. After a hard-fought battle, the deciding hand put Ruane’s A-K against the pocket tens of Bryan Piccioli. Neither hand hit on the board and Ruane was left with a miserably short stack. Two hands later, his A-6 fell to pocket jacks and he earned $825,001 as the final table bubble boy.
Play resumes at 5:30 p.m. local time on Thursday, July 20, and will continue until six players remain. A winner will be crowned Saturday.
Keep checking back here for more information on the “November Niners” as the final days of play approach.
Final day results:
10. Michael Ruane, United States – $825,001
11. Pedro Oliveira, Portugal – $675,000
12. Richard Dubini, Argentina – $535,000
13. Scott Stewart, United States – $535,000
14. Karen Sarkisyan, Russia – $450,000
15. Valentin Messina, France – $450,000
16. Alexandre Reard, France – $340,000
17. Michael Krasienko, United States – $340,000
18. Richard Gryko, United Kingdom – $340,000
19. Christian Pham, United States – $263,532
20. Randy Pisane, United States – $263,532
21. Jonas Mackoff, Canada – $263,532
22. David Guay, Canada – $263,532
23. Marcel Luske, Netherlands – $263,532
24. Florian Lohnert, Germany – $263,532
25. Jake Bazeley, United States – $263,532
26. Michael Sklenicka, Czech Republic – $263,532
27. Robin Hegele, Germany – $263,532
Photo credit: Jamie Thomson, via WSOP.com tournament images
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