FORTY-SEVENTH WORLD POKER SERIES FINAL TABLE HAS STARTED (Update)
 
And the first casualties have already occurred.
 
Its been more than three months since the nine survivors of the original 6,737 entrants in this years World Series of Poker Main Event took a compulsory break before the start of the final table action, but on Sunday evening they were back at the Rio in Las Vegas with the prospect of earning at least a million dollars apiece…and the chance to win a first prize of $8 million.
 
Unfortunately for Spanish player Fernando Pons, the low stack on the table, he has lost that chance after being eliminated just sixteen hands in to final table action, although he walked away from the table with the lowest cash of a million dollars.
 
Cliff Josephy, who started final table action with the chip lead, was responsible for ousting the Spaniard.
 
These are the pay-outs scheduled for remaining players:
 
 1. $8,000,000
 2. $4,658,452
 3. $3,451,175
 4. $2,574,808
 5. $1,934,579
 6. $1,463,906
 7. $1,250,000
 8. $1,100,000
 
Poker fans are well-served in terms of television and live stream coverage as the final table battle rages….ESPN, ESPN 2 and the WatchESPN app are broadcasting on a slight delay, with expert commentary and opinion from a host of big-name poker pros that includes Antonio Esfandiari, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth.
 
Sunday evenings start saw average stacks at just over 37 million, worth 74 big blinds as the Shuffle Up and Deal call was made by Poker Hall of Fame inductees Todd Brunson and Carlos Mortensen.
 
The action was at once aggressive as Qui Nguyen and Cliff Josephy competed furiously, and the unfortunate Pons was soon dispatched.
 
Pons was followed some time later and after three hours of final table action by Jerry Wong, eliminated at eighth for $1,100,076 by Vojtech Ruzicka.
 
Mere minutes later, Canadian player Griffin Benger – low stacked following some weak cards – tangled with Gordon Vayo and headed for the exit and a seventh place pay check for $1,250,190.
 
As we went to press Monday morning another player has been eliminated; Belgian ace Kenny Hallaert was eliminated at hand 97 by Qui Nguyen, who moved into a massive chip lead by taking the pot. Hallaert leaves at sixth with a reward of $1,464,258.