2010 Main Event Final Table for Dummies

Tomorrow at noon at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas one of poker’s most important competitions will reconvene. The WSOP Main Event’s November Nine will meet again for the first time since July to determine which players were a fluke and who really has what it takes to go the whole way and become the 2010 WSOP Main Event Champion.

The nine finalists are competing for more than $29 million in cash plus the game’s most coveted piece of jewelry. This year’s top prize of $8,944,410 is the second largest in the event’s 40+ year history. In case you’ve been living in a cave for the last four months, here’s what you need to know about this year’s Main Event final table…

The nine players that were skilled enough (and lucky enough) to survive the initial rounds of the competition and outlast the other 7,310 hopefuls are, in alphabetical order: Filippo Candio, Joseph Cheong, John Dolan, Jonathan Duhamel, Matthew Jarvis, Michael Mizrachi, Cuong Nguyen, John Racener, and Jason Senti.

At 37, Nguyen is the oldest player at the table, but he’s also one of the most inexperienced, and for the record is of no relation to 1998 Main Event winner Scotty Nguyen. Jonathan Duhamel is the youngest finalist at just 23, and though he has only two live tournament cashes to date he’s been doing his fair share of winning online. Duhamel also comes to the table with almost 20,000,000 more chips than the second largest stack which will be sitting in front of fellow young gun John Dolan.

When it comes to experience, two players are strongly favored by those in the know. Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi is the man the pros will be rooting for despite his 7th place stack. With 23 WSOP cashes and a bracelet already under his belt, Mizrachi is by far the most seasoned live tournament player left in the competition. Of course we can’t forget that last year’s pro favorite Phil Ivey also came to the final table in 7th place and finished there too. Also heavily favored by those who follow the game is John Racener who’s proven to be one to watch in top competition despite a relatively short career.

Joseph Cheong comes to the final table at the end of a very good year with two other 2010 WSOP cashes and a No Hold’em tournament win at Harrah’s. His momentum combined with the fact that he holds the third largest stack could make him the most formidable underdog. This year there’s only one European represented at the final table, and it’s the virtually unknown Italian pro Filippo Candio. In the middle of the pack is Matthew Jarvis whose only big win was a $4000 cash at the WSOPE. Finally, limping in with the 9th place stack is the sole Midwestern player, Jason Senti, whose WSOP experience is comprised of a single cash in 2009.

While Duhamel’s massive stack makes him an early favorite and Mizrachi’s unparalleled experience might help him to overcome his short stack, if previous Main Events have taught us something it’s that anything is possible at the final table. Heads-up action will start at 8pm on Monday. You can follow the final table action in real-time on Twitter or watch ESPN’s live coverage at 10pm on Tuesday.

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