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Meet the Final 9 of the 2017 WSOP Main Event: 3 to be Eliminated Thursday

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Jul/20/2017

WSOP.com presents a look at each of the nine finalists at this year’s World Series of Poker Main Event.  The Final kicks off Thursday evening in Las Vegas with three players to be eliminated in the new format that will continue through Saturday.

2017 WSOP Main Event Finalists

Scott Blumstein | 97,250,000 chips

AGE 25

PREVIOUS WSOP CASHES 0

PREVIOUS WSOP BRACELETS 0

PREVIOUS EARNINGS $0

USA

Scott Blumstein picked an opportune time to pick up his first World Series of Poker cash. In his first-ever Main Event, the New Jersey native comes into the final table as the chip leader. He earned scores across the New Jersey area, including some WSOP Circuit cashes, but never secured an in-the-money finish in a WSOP event until his run to the 2017 WSOP Main Event final table.

Blumstein spends a lot of time playing on the New Jersey online sites and is just the latest New Jersey success at this year’s WSOP. He’s a regular on the New Jersey online felt and joins the likes of Tom Cannuli and William Tonking as New Jersey online regulars to make appearances in the Main Event.

By Blumstein’s own admission, he considers New Jersey one of the toughest places to play poker in the country and credits his time spent grinding in the Garden State as one of the main reasons he’s still alive vying for the $8.15 million first place money.

John Hesp | 85,700,000 chips

AGE 64

PREVIOUS WSOP CASHES 0

PREVIOUS WSOP BRACELETS 0

PREVIOUS EARNINGS $0

UK

Hesp is admittedly and proudly not a poker professional, unlike his final-table competitors. As he said to an online poker portal during his Main Event run, “I am to poker what Donald Trump is to politics – an amateur.”

Hesp lives in Bridlington, a seashore community on England's northeastern coast. He's a semi-retired owner of a company that offers caravan-vacation rentals, is married, and has four children and seven grandchildren.

Hesp has played poker recreationally for more than two decades, and his only recorded tourney cashes to date have occurred in small tourneys in the English city of Hull, nearby to Bridlington. This is Hesp's first visit to the World Series of Poker, and it will result in his first-ever WSOP cash. Hesh's lucky jacket, loaned to him by a friend, helped endear him to TV and online audiences.

Of note, Hesp owns a Delorean, the 1980's-vintage car made famous in the “Back to the Future” movies.

Benjamin Pollak | 35,175,000 chips

AGE 34

PREVIOUS WSOP CASHES 16

PREVIOUS WSOP BRACELETS 0

PREVIOUS EARNINGS $532,038

France

Pollak is a native of Paris, but now spends his time living in London. He’s one of the more accomplished players at the final table, having already won several million in live tournaments, mostly across Europe.

This is Pollak’s fourth career WSOP final table, but he is still searching for his first bracelet. His best finish in a WSOP event came in 2015 with a sixth-place finish in the $3,250 Pot-Limit Omaha eight-max event, but he’s no stranger to getting deep in the Main Event.

In 2013, Pollak picked up $285,408 for a 27th place finish in this event. It was his biggest cash in a WSOP event to date, but that will be dwarfed by whatever he ends up leaving this year’s Main Event with.

Bryan Piccioli | 33,800,000 chips

AGE 28

PREVIOUS WSOP CASHES 26

PREVIOUS WSOP BRACELETS 1

PREVIOUS EARNINGS $542,208

USA flag

With a final table that seems split between first-timers and established professionals, Piccioli falls into the ladder of the two groups. The 28-year-old poker pro made several millions online before Black Friday and continued took to crushing live tournaments after his online career came to an end.

Piccioli earned a bracelet at the 2013 WSOP Asia Pacific series and comes into the final table with some serious momentum. After spending most of Day 7 around the bottom of the chip counts, Piccioli won several big pots down the stretch, including a flip to basically eliminate his good friend Michael Ruane. Now, he comes into the final table fourth in chips.

Dan Ott | 26,475,000 chips

AGE 25

PREVIOUS WSOP CASHES 2

PREVIOUS WSOP BRACELETS 0

PREVIOUS EARNINGS $3,656

USA

Dan Ott is making a big splash in his first-ever World Series of Poker Main Event. The 25-year-old from Pennsylvania was in middle school during Moneymaker’s run to poker fame, but even at such a young age, Ott was hooked on the game.

He has been playing online and just recently decided to try and make his mark in live tournaments. He’s got a similar story to Sinclair in that he picked up two small cashes before playing his first main event in his mid-20’s. His cashes in the Monster Stack and the $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em were not only his first two WSOP cashes, but his first recorded live cashes to his name.

Despite his inexperience in live tournaments, he’s claimed that he comes into every day without thinking about the money and just concentrating on making the right decision.

Damian Salas | 22,175,000 chips

AGE 42

PREVIOUS WSOP CASHES 13

PREVIOUS WSOP BRACELETS 0

PREVIOUS EARNINGS $177,983

Argentina

Argentina's Damian Salas is an attorney-turned-poker pro who led the Main Event after Day 4. Salas watched other players surge past him on Days 5 and 6, and he started Day 7 in 26th place out of 27 players, only to climb back to a final-table spot.

Salas, a native of Chascomas, Argentina who now lives in Buenos Aires, has been recognized as one of South America's top online players for several years. He's earned more than $3 million in recorded Internet tourney winnings and is widely known under his “pampa27” handle. Salas has made visits to the WSOP most years since 2009, with better and better results: He's cashed three times each in the 2016 and 2017 WSOPs, and his showing in this year's Main Event is easily the best live result of his tourney career.

Salas has maintained a part-time legal career in combination with sporadic live-tournament appearances around the globe. He earned a Master's degree in business law degree from Argentina's National University of La Plata. He and his wife, Sylvania, have three children, aged 10, 6 and 3.

Antoine Saout | 21,750,000 chips

AGE 33

PREVIOUS WSOP CASHES 11

PREVIOUS WSOP BRACELETS 0

PREVIOUS EARNINGS $3,803,107

France

French poker pro Antoine Saout is making his second appearance at the WSOP Main Event's final table. Saout was a member of 2009's November Nine, ultimately finishing third for $3,479,669. He entered that 2009 Main Event via a $50 online-satellite win, collected what remains the largest cash in WSOP Main Event history for a French player, and he's never looked back.

Saout also made a deep run in the 2016 WSOP Main Event, where he earned $269,430 for his 25th-place finish.

The 33-year-old was born in Morlaix, France and now lives in London, England. This former engineering student has long credited his math and analytical skils for his success in the game.

Saout has amassed more than $5.5 million in recorded live-tourney earnings in less than a decade. This is his third final-table appearance of the 2017 WSOP. He remains France's all-time earnings leader at the WSOP, and will pad those earnings once this year's Main Event is complete.

Jack Sinclair | 20,200,000 chips

AGE 26

PREVIOUS WSOP CASHES 2

PREVIOUS WSOP BRACELETS 0

PREVIOUS EARNINGS $4,088

UK

Jack Sinclair comes to the final table with minimal live results, but has a ton of experience grinding on the virtual felt. The 26-year-old is an online pro living in London, which makes him unknown to many of the viewers at home. If you judge him based on his group of friends, however, you won’t underestimate his ability.

He’s friends with some of Europe’s best players, including Philipp Gruissem and Anton Morgenstern, who were the main motivators in getting Sinclair off his computer and onto the live felt.

It wasn’t until this year that Sinclair recorded any live cashes. He earned his first two WSOP results earlier this summer with a cash in the Crazy Eights no-limit hold’em and a cash in a $1,500 no-limit hold’em. The guaranteed million-dollar payday will be by far his biggest score, but given the company he keeps and his pedigree, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him make a serious run at his first bracelet.

Ben Lamb | 18,050,000 chips

AGE 32

PREVIOUS WSOP CASHES 14

PREVIOUS WSOP BRACELETS 1

PREVIOUS EARNINGS $6,209,724

USA

Former bracelet winner Lamb brought some of the most impressive credentials to Day 7. He led all of the day's final 27 players in prior WSOP career earnings, at more than $6.2 million, including a bracelet and over $810,000 in the 2011 WSOP's $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship. The bulk of that $6.2 million, though, came from Lamb's third-place run in the 2011 WSOP Main Event, worth $4,021,138.

Lamb was the WSOP's 2011 Player of the Year on the back of those two showings, plus three more WSOP cashes that summer, two of which were also for more than $200,000. Yet Lamb endured a WSOP dry spell that lasted until this year, with his first cash of the summer coming in last month's $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship, the same event he won six years earlier.

Lamb, who lives in Las Vegas, became a professional player in 2004 after learning the game the up-close way, being a dealer at an Oklahoma casino. Lamb grew up in the Tulsa area and briefly attended Texas's Trinity University before settling on poker as a career.Lamb's total live earnings were more than $7 million entering the 2017 Main Event, and he's earned at least another $1.4 million in online tournaments as well.

2017 WSOP Main Event Final Table Details

When play resumes Thursday, the players will pick up with 1 hour, 7 minutes and 1 second remaining in Level 37. The antes will be 100,000 and blinds will stand at 400,000 and 800,000. The WSOP Main Event Final table television coverage will begin airing Thursday on ESPN2. Action is on a 30-minute delay to conform to gaming regulations.

TV coverage is as follows:

    Thursday, July 20 – 6:00pm in Las Vegas (Playing from 9 players to 6 players) – ESPN2

    Friday, July 21 – 6:00pm in Las Vegas (Playing from 6 players to 3 players) – ESPN

    Saturday, July 22 – 6:00pm in Las Vegas (Playing from 3 players to a winner) – ESPN

The 2017 Main Event capped the largest-ever WSOP in terms of entrants in the 48-year history of the event. A total of 120,995 players from 111 countries entered the 74 events on this summer’s WSOP schedule, generating a total prize pool of $231,010,874.

The 2017 Main Event was the third-largest in the tournament’s illustrious 48-year history, drawing 7,221 players from 83 nations, trailing only the 2006 and 2010 editions. The average age of entrants in the event was 40.59 years old, with the oldest entrant, Carmel, New York resident William Wachter age 96, and the youngest, Alex Conklin, from Webster, New York, who turned 21 years old the day he began play on July 9. 272 females comprised this year’s field. Yuan Li from Ottawa, Ontaria, Canada was the last female standing, finishing in 105th place good for $53,247.

2017 ESPN Schedule

DATE      DAY        START     NETWORK    

20-JUL-17     THU        6:00P            2017 World Series of Poker: Final Table Live

21-JUL-17     FRI 6:00P            2017 World Series of Poker: Final Table Live

22-JUL-17 SAT   6:00P                  2017 World Series of Poker: Final Table Live

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