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WSOP Main Event Final Table Preview

WSOP Main Event Final Table Preview
Thursday,July 20,2017

It’s one of the most talked about WSOP Main Event Final Tables in history, and with the changes in structure this year, rather than months of delay, the final nine get it on early Friday and play for the $8.15million first prize.


Yorkshire Grandad John Hesp is already the people’s champion, but can he go on to become the actual champion, and complete an absolute fairytale?


Will former WSOP Player of the Year Ben Lamb, or his fellow former November Niner Antoine Saout, win the title at the second Main Event Final attempt?


Or can chip leader Scott Blumstein complete a wire-to-wire win and force the action all the way?


Answer these questions and many more in our exclusive WSOP Final Table Predictor Pool, where we ask you to use your knowledge and maybe a bit of luck to predict what will happen.


You can enter for £2, £10 or £25, and the person who scores the most points will win the biggest share of the prizepool, which is divvied up much like a poker prizepool! Here a look at how the players stack up and which way you might go in our pool:


Hesp has been the talk of the poker world. He plays £10 tournaments in his local casino in Bridlington, and had cashed for a total of just over $2,000 in his poker career before this. Having flown to Vegas to enter the $10k buy in WSOP Main Event, 64 year old Hesp has now locked up at least $1million, and standing second in chips, has a real chance of glory.


There’s another Brit at the final too, Jack Sinclair. He was big in the run up to the final, but the online specialist, who counts hugely successful poker stars Phil Gruissem and Anton Morgenstern among his mentors, overdid the aggression late on day seven and bluffed a load off. He goes into the final, 8th out of 9 with just over 20m chips, 25 big blinds.


The only shorter stack is the hugely successful Lamb, one of two bracelet holders, though he’s not perilously short, 18m chips being 23 big blinds.


With Sinclair and Lamb among the most accomplished players at the table, the fact they are starting shortest should level the playing field nicely.


The other former bracelet winner in the final nine is Bryan Piccioli, who was one card away from elimination late on day seven before a two outer 8 saved him and cost Saout a massive pot. Piccioli starts with 34m in chips, while Saout, who also made the final in 2009, has 22m. Another Frenchman Benjamin Pollak, starts in third place, with just over 35m, and Dan Ott, one of just four Americans at this multi national final, has 26m, 33 big blinds.


Q1. Will chip leader Scott Blumstein reach HEADS UP?

With 97m chips, he has more than a quarter of the chips in play, so must be a favourite to make it to the final two. But rather than having the weaker players at the bottom of the standings, it’s quite the opposite at this final, with Lamb and Sinclair both capable of putting a run together and mounting a challenge. If that does happen, expect a shake up in the standings, and having dusted off a big stack with two tables left before getting them back and more, I’m backing a Blumstein blow up and fail to make it heads up.



Q2. Will either Jack Sinclair or Ben Lamb be the FIRST player eliminated from the final table?

Of course they’re both going to have to gamble at some point, but they’re both top quality players, and neither is desperately short. I fancy them both to get going in the final, with no one knocked out in the first session.



 Q3. Will Benjamin Pollak LAST LONGER than Bryan Piccioli?

Pollak played really patiently as the chips flew around on day 7. He’s a very experienced pro, with just under $3million earnings. He has enough chips to pick and choose his moments, and I fancy him to outlast Piccioli.


Q4. Which player will WIN the WSOP Main Event 2017?

With such a big stack, Blumstein has a great chance, but at just a 1x multiplier, doesn’t provide much value. On the flip side, top players Lamb and Sinclair, the two schortstacks, are only x4, and again seem less likely than that to run over the table. The value must be somewhere in between in that case, and having said Pollak has the game and stack to go all the way, he is also nicely priced at x3. And don’t forget fan favourite Hesp. He might not have the experience, but we all saw how the unorthodox play of Qui Nguyen shot him to success last year, and Hesp would be one of the most popular champs of all time.

VERDICT: Benjamin Pollak


Q5. Where will British hero John Hesp finish?

Realistically the man fulfilling a bucket list job by playing should finish last, but you could probably have said that after day one, and he’s outlasted over 7,000 punters so far (including me!) so now is the time to believe! If he keeps on playing his own game, and why would he not now there’s only a two day delay before the final, he can go all the way. Realistically I fancy he’ll fall a bit short, but I’d love it if he didn’t.



Q6. Which player will come THIRD at the final table?

Because I fancy Blumstein to just come up short of making it to heads-up, I’ve gone for him to come third, but really this is a bit of a finger in the air job.

VERDICT: Scott Blumstein


Q7. How many chips will the chip leader take into heads up play?

Another where a bit of luck is needed, but make sure your answers tally. If you think Blumstein is going to make it to heads up, then it’s likely he’ll run over the table and take a huge stack through. If you think it’ll be a bit of an attritional battle then go for smaller stack here.

VERDICT: 230-250m


Q8.What will the FINAL winning hand be?

Of course anything can happen, but it must be huge odds on that this will be one of a high card, or one pair. The multipliers are tempting, but not big enough for me to err away from one of those two.



Q9. How many total hands will be played at the Final Table?

Another finger in the air job. Last year’s final seemed to go on forever, so I’m going under the 364 of 2016. Pick a number in the mid 200s.



Coverage is on BT Sport starting early Friday, and continues over the weekend. This could be one of the best WSOP Main Event Finals in history, and it’s more fun with a bit of money on it to add to the sweat.


Don’t forget you can enter our Prediction Pools as many times as you want for £2, £10 or £25. Jump in and enjoy the action!


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