Monday, November 7, 2011 :  NINE POTENTIAL POKER MULTI-MILLIONAIRES
 
A tough final table will end this year's World Series of Poker
 
Nine determined men will take their main event final table seats Sunday at the 2011 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Each has paid $10 000 for the privilege of competing in poker's biggest tournament, generating a total prize pool of $64,540,858….and they have come out on top of an initial entry field of 6,865 players to go after the really big money available to the finalists.
 
The last nine players left in this tournament will be paid on a sliding scale determined by their positions.
 
The winner will take home $8,715,638, and the runner up $5,433,086. The third placing is worth $4,021,138, and the fourth $3,012,700. The fifth to ninth placings pay out as follows:
 
5th – $2,269,599
6th – $1,720,831
7th – $1,314,097
8th – $1,010,015
9th – $782,115
 
Here’s a brief look at this year’s main event contestants:
 
Martin Staszko (35) is the chip leader when final table action starts on Sunday, holding 40,175,000 in chips. He hails from Trinec in the Czech Republic – the first main event final tabler from that nation – and is a professional poker player.
 
Matt Giannetti (26) starts the final table with 24,750,000 in chips. He is a professional poker player from Las Vegas who studied at the University of Texas prior to going pro.    
 
Badih Bou-Nahra at 49 is the oldest player at the table, and the only amateur player, although this is his fourth World Series of Poker. He's a grocery wholesaler in Belize City, Belize and holds 19,700,000 in chips. He is the first Belize player to make it to a WSOP final table.
 
Eoghan O’Dea (26) is the son of famous Irish poker professional Donnacha O'Dea, and lives in Dublin, Ireland. One of the bigger stacks – he has 33,925,000 in chips – he is likely to prove a formidable contestant, having five WSOP cashes to his credit, along with several more in other top live tourneys.
 
Phil Collins (26) is another very capable professional player from Las Vegas, prior to which he was enrolled at the University of South Carolina. Collins has built a solid reputation as a tough and successful online player and goes into the final table with 23,875,000 in chips
 
Anton Makiievskyi (21) is still in the early days of  his professional poker career and comes from Dnepropetrovsk in Ukraine. This is his first ever WSOP and he has done well to make the final table – the first Ukrainian to do so. At 13,825,000 in chips he is one of the low stacks on the table.
 
There has been much British enthusiasm over the success of online player Sam Holden (22) in this year's World Series of Poker, although he is the low man in chip counts on the table at 12,375,000. He's a professional player with a wealth of online poker experience, and comes from Sussex in the UK.
 
Pius Heinz (22) is a professional player from Cologne in Germany, and this is his first World Series of Poker experience – a steep learning curve exacerbated by making it to the final table with a relatively low  chip count of 16,425,000.  Nevertheless, he has an impressive reputation as a controlled but aggressive and very competent player who should do well. He is the first German to play at a WSOP final table, and starts seventh on the chip count list.
 
Ben Lamb (26) has had a storming year as a professional player, and has done particularly well at this year's WSOP, where he leads the 2011 Player of the Year listings. From Tulsa, Oklahoma  he has a gold bracelet win, a second place finish, and eighth- and twelfth-place showings in his four cashes – and has now made the final table in the Main Event, currently ranking fifth in chips on 20,875,000.  He has to be one of the favourites for this year's main event gold bracelet.