In my last post, I discussed how the final nine players who made it to the WSOP final table really don’t have a whole lot of name recognition. Probably the most popular player going into the final table that begins play on November 9th is David “Chino” Rheem who placed 5th in an earlier WSOP event. Besides him, the list of people from what has been dubbed “The November Nine” ranges from semi-professional players to college students and accountants.
But with three and a half months remaining before the final table festivities kick off, everyone knew we were going to get to know the November Nine sooner or later. And already the human interest stories are starting to come forth as I just caught one today on the chip leader Dennis Phillips.
The Illinois native’s story began when he took a St. Louis baseball cap out to get signed by various star players only to have the tables turn when he became the chip leader when the Main Event play commenced. Then Phillips was the one signing autographs as everyone wanted a piece of the little known truck sales manager. Now, interestingly enough, Phillips is one of the more experienced players at the table.
Especially considering the fact that people like college student Craig Marquis are at the table. Marquis hasn’t even been playing poker for two years yet he’s primed to make at least $900,000 even if he busts out first. Russian player Ivan Demidov doesn’t have a whole lot more experience than Marquis as he’s been playing for just over two years.
With some of the players that are still alive in the field, it almost seems to me as if the WSOP Main Event is edging its way to being more of a $10,000 quasi-lottery – with a lot better odds. Sure you certainly have to possess some sort of poker skill to make it this far but with almost 7,000 players in the field, it’s difficult for any of the best Texas Hold’em players to make it to the final table.
Regardless of my opinions on the overall skill level of the final table participants, I still will be very interested to see how the final table finishes out and will definitely be tuning in.