And Your 2011 WSOP Main Event Champion Is
The long-awaited 2011 WSOP Main Event final table kicks off on Sunday at the Rio in Las Vegas and Poker Junkie blogger Compncards knows exactly how's it going to play out.
Or he has some predictions, anyway.
Bounahra Falls Early - Heinz Flames Out
As a whole, this is one of the stronger final tables since the November Nine format started and one double-up can easily put any of the short stacks back into contention.
Badih Bounahra is going to have the toughest time at the final table.
While he's better than your typical amateur, I feel that the only reason he is here is due to running well on the final day of play.
While he'll start 6th in chips, I wouldn't be surprised to see him out 8th or even plummeting to 9th.
Pius Heinz, a newly appointed PokerStars pro, is the type of player that could either skyrocket to the chip lead early or flame out and bust in 9th.
My gut tells me he will flame out in 9th.
Anton Makievskyii could become the youngest player to win the WSOP Main Event, but he won't. Nothing about his play was terribly impressive to me and I see him finishing 7th.
888 Poker pro Sam Holden will likely be patient early, but will not wait to blind himself out. I don't see him making a huge comeback, but he won't bust 9th either.
Holden has never even hit six-figures in a single score until this event, so I see him milking it to around a 6th-place finish.
Staszko Falters - Lamb Treads Water
Ben Lamb had a tremendous run at the 2011 WSOP this past summer, but it seems that run may be over.
Lamb will be respected early, but I feel that the time off will have given his opponents enough time to study up on him and prepare.
I feel the delay will hurt Lamb the most and it will result with him finishing the final table where he starts it - in 5th place.
Martin Staszko will start the final table as the chip leader, but his true lack of experience in live play will hurt him.
Most of his live experience came in the month prior to the Main Event.
Whether he actually ran well the final days or was the beneficiary of players not having a read on him is debatable.
Players should have a better read on him now, and unless he fools me, I think the better players will carve up his stack like a Christmas turkey.
Staszko finishes in 4th place.
Gianetti, Collins, and O'Dea Make Solid Final Three
Matt Giannetti, Phil Collins and Eoghan O'Dea I think will make the final three of the November Nine.
Giannetti took down the WPT Malta Event in September and may have gotten past any "big stage jitters."
This has been Phil Collins' coming-out party as far as live tournament play is concerned.
Anyone that follows the online poker world knows that "USCphildo" is a force at the tables.
O'Dea was fairly steady the last couple of days and has a great pedigree with his father Donnacha O'Dea being a superstar of the pre-poker boom days.
I hate to go on superstition, but it has seemed that anyone who has made the November Nine and done well in tournaments during the delay has failed to win the championship.
I see Giannetti continuing this trend and finishing third.
Eoghan O'Dea Wins the 2011 WSOP Main Event
Personally, I will be rooting for Phil Collins to win the Main Event, but I think that O'Dea's experience and steady play will probably net him a solid chip lead going into heads-up play.
The headlines will eventually read "Like Father, Like Son. Eoghan O'Dea Takes WSOP Gold."
Eoghan O'Dea will win the 2011 WSOP Main Event, the World Championship bracelet and $8.7 million in prize money.
Action kicks off Sunday at 3:30 p.m. EST on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.
Pokerjunkie.com will also bring you blogs and recaps from the event.