Of all of the contests in the annual World Series of Poker there’s one that always stands out above all others – the rightly named Main Event of WSOP 2016.
This year the 888poker sponsored World Series has seen all kinds of records set – from the overall attendance of an incredible 107,833 players who entered to the $221,211,336 in prize money – and the Main Event has been no exception. It started with a record-breaking field of 6,737 players of every conceivable standard who had bought-in to the event with the requisite $10,000 to create a total prize fund of $63,327,800 – a far cry from the first ever tournament in 1970 which only had glory as the prize for the winner chosen by secret ballot.
As keen poker fans will know, the modern format of the Main Event is a series of 7 days’ play with more and more players being eliminated each day. Then, at the end of day 7 there are 9 players remaining. The lucky and skillful finalists then have to cool their heels for a couple of months before going into the final table. This year it will be held between October 30th and November 1st at the Penn and Teller Theatre in the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino. At the end of the three days the overall winner will carry off the $8 million prize and every single one of the finalists is guaranteed at least a $1 million payout.
Leading the nine who will battle it out on the final table is the famed New York poker professional Cliff Josephy who has already amassed a huge 74.6 million chips, slightly ahead of his closest rival Qui Nguyen with 67.925 million and way in front of the bottom of the nine, Spaniard Fernando Pons with just 6.15 million.
Josephy has had a long and successful run in tournaments and is the only one of the finalists to have won a bracelet. So even though he kept a relatively low profile throughout the 7 days of the Main Event his previous form suggested that he could well be a front runner.
But, given the tough competition and the sheer numbers of others he had to beat to win through, even he was surprised it came so easily. He told an interviewer, “The experience was fantastic. For me to cruise along and not hit any speed bumps — I didn’t even lose a medium-sized pot today! It’s really unheard of.”
As to whether he’ll have such an easy ride in the final we’ll have to wait and see. But the success of this year’s WSOP has already started to generate interest in players keen to qualify for the 2017 event. Perhaps it’s even time for you to look into booking your flight to Vegas.