PokerNews Staff Predictions for the 2014 World Series of Poker November Nine
The 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event final table is less than two weeks away. On Monday, Nov. 10, the cards will be in the air starting at 4:30 p.m. PT from the Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. That's when the November Nine will be back and gunning for poker's most prestigious title and the $10 million first-place prize.
Thirty minutes after the cards are in the air, delayed coverage will be shown on ESPN2, starting at 5 p.m.
In anticipation of the culmination of poker's greatest event, PokerNews staff and contributors have come together to predict the final table. Those participating were asked nine questions, and here's what they had to say:
1. What do you think is the best storyline at the final table that the audience should pay attention to?
Donnie Peters, Editor-in-Chief: If you're in tune with poker in any way, you know how amazing Mark Newhouse's accomplishment of back-to-back WSOP Main Event final tables is, but I'm not sure the magnitude of this feat will resonate as much as it should with the common viewing audience. Newhouse was one of the final nine from a field of 6,352 in 2013 and did it again in 2014 in a field of 6,683 players. The chances of that are an astounding 1 in 524,079.
Brett Collson, Managing Editor: Newhouse's feat of back-to-back appearances in November is one of the most impressive accomplishments in the storied history of this tournament. If he goes on to win, it could be the greatest Main Event feat ever.
Sarah Grant, Producer: There are two storylines that I see which will garner the attention of the audience, and they couldn’t be more different. On one hand, Newhouse making back-to-back final tables is such an incredible accomplishment. He is a professional poker player, and his confidence and demeanour say as much. The media started contemplating a possible 2013-2014 Main Event final table player days before it was all set, and much to our surprise and happiness, Newhouse made that story a reality.
The other storyline is equally as interesting, but on the other end of the spectrum. William "Billy Pappas" Pappaconstantinou is the every man. He comes from the Midwest, is very down to Earth, and exudes a likable playfulness at the table. The audience will be rooting for him like they would their own buddy.
Giovanni Angioni, PokerNews European Editor: I vote for Newhouse, and it’s not only for the impressive back-to-back, but also for the way he managed to get back on his feet after some troubles he went through in recent years. When I look at Newhouse and I think about his back-to-back run, I get the feeling that dedication and hard work really pay.
Frank Op de Woerd, NL PokerNews Editor: The mandatory answer is of course Newhouse. Making back-to-back final tables in fields this big is something truly unique. It's a great accomplishment and an insane peak in variance — great story, but I'll go with Jorryt van Hoof making the final table as chip leader.
Van Hoof was the first high-stakes player from the Netherlands that I railed. back in the day when the $25/$50 tables were the highest there were. I remember him winning the inaugural $5,000 winner-take-all tournament on PokerStars for $100,000 like it was yesterday. I watched it all.
Matthew Pitt, UK PokerNews Editor: The most obvious storyline is Newhouse reaching back-to-back WSOP Main Event final tables. Although those of us within poker realize that there is a certain amount of luck that has allowed this to happen, it should be an angle of attack for those wanting to show that poker is a skill game.
Chad Holloway, Senior Editor: The best storyline is Newhouse making back-to-back November Nine final tables. In 2013, he was the first to fall, but this year he has the chips and experience to go even deeper. Redemption is a great story, and Newhouse has a real shot of walking away with the $10 million first-place prize.
Martin Harris, Strategy Editor: No contest — Newhouse's return to the final table. And that story will start to overwhelm all other final table narratives the deeper Newhouse gets.
Pamela Maldonado, Social Media Manager: Pappas! As the only true amateur of the table, he has the ability to draw in more recreational players. It would be an even bigger achievement if he isn't playing any poker before the final table to prepare.
Rich Ryan, Podcast Producer: Felix Stephensen fighting for the legitimacy of poker in Norway. Bruno Politano garnering support from Brazilian superstars like Neymar. Martin Jacobson trying to seal the deal for Team Media in the 25K Fantasy League — we can still win, right?
Jason Glatzer, Staff Writer: The best storyline for the November Nine is Newhouse making the final table in back-to-back years. This could be something that we never see again in our lifetimes due to the field sizes.
Remko Rinkema, Contributor: The best storyline at the final table is without a doubt Politano and the entire Brazilian nation that supports him. It’s easy to say that it’s Newhouse, but he was the storyline for all the months between, as making back-to-back final tables is a huge accomplishment. Right now, with his short stack, Politano can really make poker explode to the fullest extent if he makes the top three, but first he needs to find himself a double up in the early going. If Neymar and Kaka support you, you know something big can happen.
Aaron Hendrix, Contributor: The easy answer is Newhouse and the back-to-back November Nines, but I think the Pappas story is also compelling. Foosball world champ becomes poker world champ? What's not to like about that storyline?
Mo Nuwwarah, Contributor: The best storyline is definitely Newhouse's seemingly impossible back-to-back final table run. This feat has been rightfully lauded by the poker community, and now all eyes should be on Newhouse as he tries to improve upon last year's finish.
2. Who do you think would make the best poker ambassador if he were to win?
Peters: The best ambassador for the game with be Politano, hands down — no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Politano has been the most active on a global scale during the off months, travelling both to Europe and to Australia to play big poker events and do what he can to be a face of poker. Politano also has the support of huge superstar athletes such as Neymar and Kaka, and that will certainly help keep Politano in the spotlight for a long time to come.
Collson: Donnie Peters says we need to bring the fun back into poker. Enter Politano, who has turned the WSOP Main Event into the Carnival of Brazil. With a big smile and even bigger heart, Politano would change the landscape of poker in Latin America as the world champ.
Grant: I’m going to have to go with Politano on this one. From my experience on the poker circuit, a great ambassador needs to be several things: friendly, accessible to fans, available to media, willing to travel, and outgoing. Politano is all of that and more.
I think Jacobson is a great poker ambassador to poker players. He is always grinding the circuit and also has impressive results online. He dresses well and is very polite. Unfortunately, I think he lacks the charisma to bring in your average person.
Since van Hoof has disappeared from the poker world before, I wouldn’t count on him to continue to attend tons of events. However, he has been lately in preparation for the final table. He will be a fantastic ambassador for Holland, though, and with the strong poker community there, I’m thrilled to see him leading the way. His video doing the Ice Bucket Challenge definitely warmed me up to him.
Angioni: Politano. Now that I think about it, he may as well be the best poker ambassador even if he does not win. I don’t know if those in the US see it in the same way we do in Europe, but what Politano did when he brought guys like Neymar, Pato, and Kaka to support him was really enormous. He can really make a difference here, not only in Brazil. And, I'm telling you, if he wins we are going to see poker at Carnival.
Op de Woerd: Van Hoof is cool, calm, and collected. He's well-mannered, smart, and already has experience with being an ambassador as a Full Tilt Red Pro and the face of his own training site, Nederpoker.com.
Politano would also be great. The rail went mental when he made the November Nine, showing how big it was for a Brazilian to make the final table. I think Politano winning would be great for poker, and I think that he (with the limited interactions I had with him) would make for a great ambassador.
Pitt: The only finalist that I know enough about is Jacobson, but he would be my choice regardless. In all my time in poker, I have never seen him step out of line at or away from the table. He’s the consummate professional and is likely to fly poker’s flag on the poker circuit even with $10 million in his back pocket.
Holloway: Politano. Even as the short stack, he's done a great job of being a poker ambassador. He was the only November Niner to travel to the WSOP Asia-Pacific, and he's been a very public figure in his native Brazil. There's a huge poker market there, and Politano is doing a great job in cultivating it. If he were to win, the possibilities would be endless.
Pappas is super friendly and approachable, but I don’t think he will be grinding the circuit hard either. Newhouse, William Tonking, and Dan Sindelar are mostly cash-game players, so I don’t see them representing the poker community in a public way, and they can come off a tad dry for the average person.
Harris: Tough to say, but Politano has both a great following and obvious enthusiasm about the game, making him a good candidate.
Maldonado: Politano. His social media presence is already top notch, compared to the rest of the November Nine. He's constantly posting and engaging. He's vocal, sociable, and outgoing. It would be huge for Brazil.
Ryan: Politano. The Main Event would have 20,000 entrants in 2015.
Glatzer: I do not believe there is any one perfect spokesperson. I believe Jacobson would make an excellent poker ambassador for European players. Likewise, I believe Politano would make an excellent ambassador for South American players.
Rinkema: The best poker ambassador would be a toss up between Andoni Larrabe and Politano. Both guys are well spoken, jovial, and extremely friendly people with a passion for the game. Because of the countries they are from, I believe that they would be the best ambassadors out of this bunch. The US doesn’t need any more ambassadors, and I can see other players like van Hoof, Stephensen, and Jacobson focus predominantly on playing the highest stakes. So those three will be ambassadors of the game from that perspective.
Hendrix: Jacobson. He's a successful pro who loves the game. I believe he'd do everything he could to help promote the game more so than anyone else at the final table.
Nuwwarah: Politano would be a good winner for the game because he could continue to help grow the game in the emerging market of Brazil. Poker needs to keep growing internationally, especially as US legislation remains stagnant.
3. Who will be the first player eliminated and why?
Peters: Tonking will be the first to go. I think the bright lights and big stage will unnerve him following an early Politano double up and Jacobson also chipping up. Once Tonking falls to position of the shortest stack, he'll look for a double up at the wrong time.
Collson: Politano. He's the shortest stack. I'm just playing the numbers game here.
Grant: I hope it isn’t true, but I have to say Politano. He is the shortest stack, which means we will likely find him in a race situation early on, and in that situation it is up to Lady Luck. He is such a character and a charmer that it would be best for everyone if he and his rail managed to hang around as long as possible, but it will be up to the cards.
Angioni: I say Tonking. He starts with 15 million in chips, and he’s just not safe. Behind him are only Jacobson and Politano, but Jacobson is way too experienced to be the first one to bust out and well, since Politano is going to win this thing, I nominate Tonking.
Op de Woerd: Tonking. Why? No idea! Just guessing.
Pitt: I’m going to go with Politano. While it seems the obvious choice with him being the shortest stack, I just have the feeling the big stage will get to him, and that his flamboyant rail could be a hindrance. When he’s in push-or-fold mode, he has the two chip leaders to his direct left and that is never a good position to be in.
Holloway: Tonking. He's the third shortest stack, and, truth be told, I just like the play of the two below him better. Politano has been practicing his game in the interim, and Jacobson won't get his money in bad.
Harris: Pappas. Pick made purely for reverse jinx purposes, as the foosball champ — like pretty much everyone at the final table — is an easy one to root for.
Maldonado: Sindelar. He will get overly excited and overplay a hand. Home turf is not in his favor.
Ryan: I think Jacobson will be trying to chip up rather than ladder, and it could lead to his demise.
Rinkema: I’m afraid one of my favourites, Jacobson, will be gone first. Jacobson is one of the few players who I think won’t pass up on a good spot because of the pressure of the moment. Even though I’m convinced he’ll make the right decision, with regards to chip EV and ICM, I think that others will play very passive and tight to avoid being the first one out the door. I think if you run simulations, Jacobson will finish ninth a lot, but on the other hand I also think he has the best chance of winning besides the two biggest stacks.
Hendrix: I want to say Newhouse for the irony, but I'll go with Larrabe. I just think he'll make a mental mistake or move at the wrong time. I watched him play a bit on Day 3 and his play style was extremely volatile.
Nuwwarah: I think a player like Newhouse, who is clearly not afraid to put chips at risk, has a decent shot of going out first despite his stack.
4. Who will win, and what is the main reason you believe this player will win?
Peters: Van Hoof has the chips and a lot of poker experience. I think he'll pick off one or two players early to really pad his lead, and then from there it will continue to be aggressive, relentless poker whenever he's in a hand.
Collson: Newhouse has table position on chip leader van Hoof and Stephenson (second in chips). He's been in the spotlight before, winning a World Poker Tour title and reaching the November Nine last year. He only cares about the win, and I think he'll get it.
Grant: I believe Jacobson will win it. He is coming in short stacked, so he will have to make his decisions cautiously. But, he is only one double up away from having lots of room to play, and once he gets that watch out. I’ve personally seen him make some unbelievable plays at final tables with the best in the world, and he rarely makes mistakes. He still hasn’t managed to capture a major victory even with all the times he has come close, and it may just be because his first major victory will be the one everyone reaches for.
Angioni: It’s probably wishful thinking, but I say Politano, especially because I would love to see his rail go totally bananas at the end of it. He starts with the smallest stack, and he would be the first Brazilian to ever win the Main Event, but it would just be an amazing story.
Op de Woerd: Van Hoof. Him having the chip lead makes him the obvious answer. It's not like he's going to win 50 percent of the time or anything close, but he has the skill set to do it, and all things point in his favor at the moment.
Van Hoof has already done well for himself with poker, so some pay jumps might not be as big or life-changing for him as for others. It's still a lot of money, don't get me wrong, but he doesn't have to sit on his stack early on, trying to let other players do the work. These circumstances allow him to put pressure early on, which hopefully results in him busting some shorties and gathering even more chips.
He's aggressive, everyone can see that in the ESPN episodes. He's not afraid to gamble, he's a killer.
Pitt: While I would love Jacobson to win, I think the ball is firmly in van Hoof’s court. While he is not nailed in to win, having a big stack to start alleviates any early pressure, plus he’s been travelling the circuit recently, seemingly in preparation for the biggest day of his poker career.
Holloway: Stephensen. I get the sense he's underestimated, which shouldn't be the case. He's an experienced online pro and has plenty of chips. I don't think he'd be a great ambassador — he's too similar to past champs like Pius Heinz and Peter Eastgate — but I do think he has a legitimate shot at winning.
Harris: There are so many tough players among the nine, although Jacobson stands out for me as perhaps the most tourney-tested aside from Newhouse. He just final tabled the Super Tuesday again on PokerStars. I'm going with the Swede to make the comeback.
Maldonado: Van Hoof. He will ride his chip lead to the end. He has the most tournament practice and preparation with his success at the EPT/UKIPT London. If Jacobson can double up early, then I would quickly change my vote to him.
Ryan: Newhouse has the best seat at the table, and having busted in ninth place last year he knows how brutal it is to exit from the WSOP Main Event final table. He's also a bit fearless, and that type of swagger can help him with a few extra pots without showdowns.
Glatzer: I could really see any of the November Niners winning this, but both Newhouse and Jacobson should have an edge due to their extensive experience in high-pressure situations. I choose Newhouse because I believe he should be able to leverage his stack early while Jacobson may have a tougher time accumulating chips with his smaller stack without a double up.
Rinkema: I think van Hoof will take down this year’s WSOP Main Event. Van Hoof has proven himself over the last eight years as one of the most accomplished players from the Netherlands, and in recent years one of the toughest pot-limit Omaha players on the planet. His stamina, determination, focus, and overall skill are unlike anything I’ve seen during my years on the international poker circuit, and in my eyes he’s the clearcut favorite. From a no-limit hold’em tournament skill perspective he might not be as polished as Jacobson, but his fearlessness will definitely make up for it in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Hendrix: Jacobson. He might be short, but he has the experience to bounce back from that stack, and I think he's the best player remaining.
Nuwwarah: Sindelar will win because #YearOfNebraska. But honestly, Sindelar has the game and a decent stack, so I could definitely see it happening.
5. What will be the finishing order for the final table?
|Place||Nuwwarah||Glatzer||Angioni||Rinkema||Collson||Op de Woerd||Holloway|
|1||D. Sindelar||M. Newhouse||B. Politano||J. van Hoof||M. Newhouse||J. van Hoof||F. Stephensen|
|2||M. Newhouse||F. Stephensen||F. Stephensen||A. Larrabe||A. Larrabe||F. Stephensen||J. van Hoof|
|3||J. van Hoof||J. van Hoof||B. Pappas||M. Jacobson||F. Stephensen||M. Newhouse||M. Newhouse|
|4||F. Stephensen||D. Sindelar||M. Newhouse||F. Stephensen||J. van Hoof||A. Larrabe||D. Sindelar|
|5||M. Jacobson||M. Jacobson||J. van Hoof||M. Newhouse||M. Jacobson||D. Sindelar||M. Jacobson|
|6||A. Larrabe||B. Pappas||D. Sindelar||B. Pappas||D. Sindelar||B. Pappas||A. Larrabe|
|7||B. Pappas||A. Larrabe||M. Jacobson||B. Politano||B. Pappas||M. Jacobson||B. Pappas|
|8||W. Tonking||B. Politano||A. Larrabe||D. Sindelar||W. Tonking||B. Politano||B. Politano|
|9||B. Politano||W. Tonking||W. Tonking||W. Tonking||B. Politano||W. Tonking||W. Tonking|
|1||M. Jacobson||J. van Hoof||J. van Hoof||M. Jacobson||M. Newhouse||M. Jacobson||J. van Hoof|
|2||J. van Hoof||M. Newhouse||M. Newhouse||F. Stephensen||F. Stephensen||A. Larrabe||M. Newhouse|
|3||M. Newhouse||M. Jacobson||M. Jacobson||M. Newhouse||D. Sindelar||M. Newhouse||M. Jacobson|
|4||D. Sindelar||F. Stephensen||F. Stephensen||D. Sindelar||A. Larrabe||J. van Hoof||B. Politano|
|5||F. Stephensen||B. Pappas||A. Larrabe||J. van Hoof||J. van Hoof||D. Sindelar||F. Stephensen|
|6||B. Pappas||A. Larrabe||B. Pappas||B. Pappas||B. Politano||F. Stephensen||B. Pappas|
|7||W. Tonking||B. Politano||D. Sindelar||B. Politano||B. Pappas||B. Politano||A. Larrabe|
|8||A. Larrabe||W. Tonking||W. Tonking||W. Tonking||W. Tonking||W. Tonking||D. Sindelar|
|9||B. Politano||D. Sindelar||B. Politano||A. Larrabe||M. Jacobson||B. Pappas||W. Tonking|
6. Who will have the best rail?
Peters:The other eight players combined won't have as brilliant of a rail as Politano will. It's going to be nuts, and I'm going to love every minute of it. I've been working on my samba!
Collson: #VAMOFOSTERA. Unfortunately, I don't think the Brazilian rail will be around very long.
Grant: The best rail hands down will be Politano. Brazilians are bananas. Although apparently when I said that in this video the Brazilians were very confused as "bananas" means something entirely different in Brazil. So, let me rephrase that, Brazilians are crazy and proud!
Angioni: Is this even a question? I think this is going to be the first samba and poker mixed event in the history of the WSOP thanks to Politano’s rail.
Op de Woerd: Politano, and it won't be even close I think. In the last stage back in July, his rail was already going nuts. That will only get crazier in November I imagine.
Pitt: Without a doubt it will be the samba crowd following Politano. The Brazilian rails rival my own countrymen’s, and they should make it a big spectacle. It's a shame their man is going to be the ninth-place finisher, by my predictions. Jacobson lives in the UK and has lots of friends in the UK poker world. If they decided to turn up and show their support, it could be a very noisy final table.
Holloway: It's not even going to be close. Politano will likely have the biggest rail, and I can guarantee it will be the loudest. The question is, how long will the Brazilian contingent be in the Penn & Teller Theater?
Harris: I was at the LAPT Peru Grand Final last week where I spoke with Andre Akkari who confirmed he'll be there with a large group supporting Politano, so the Brazilian has to get the nod here. Don't be surprised, though, if there's a lot of noise also from the Norwegians, who are coming to root on Stephensen.
Maldonado: Absolutely, no doubt, it will be Politano. Although, I hear Pappas is bringing everyone.
Ryan: Unless there is some dark horse that I don't know of, Politano's rail should blow the other eight away.
Glatzer: If Politano can survive and ladder up a bit, his rail should easiest be the most boisterous hands down. It is hard to say who would have the best rail if Politano joins the rail himself, but I would choose between American players, Newhouse, Tonking, or Sindelar.
Rinkema: For non-US players, it’s always a lot harder to organise a huge rail, but I think this year will perhaps be an exception to that rule. Jacobson has a huge group of international poker-playing friends, van Hoof has a big group of family and friends coming over from the Netherlands, and Politano will probably charter a plane from Brazil to fill up the Penn & Teller Theatre.
Hendrix: This one's a no-brainer. Bruno Politano.
Nuwwarah: Hard to beat the Brazilians here, so I'll go with Politano. I wouldn't be surprised if one of the Europeans showed up with a big contingent, though.
7. How many hands will it take to complete the final table?
Peters: 507. I think this is the one that surpasses 500 hands.
Since the inception of the November Nine final table, only 2009 and 2012 had a higher chip average for the final nine players, and only 2012 had a larger short stack than Politano does this year. I think we'll see a ton of hands are that simple preflop raises that go uncalled, which will move the counter up faster without much significant chip movement. I feel we're in for a long one, but that only means poker will remain on ESPN and ESPN2 for longer, right?
Collson: 320. I think we're in for a long two days. Keep the coffee on.
Grant: In 2013, it was a short night to get to the final table, but once we had the final table both nights were extremely long. It took us longer this year to get down to the final nine, so I imagine we will play a few less levels. My very novice guess would be between 321 and "tree fiddy."
Angioni: 255, and it’s not just a random number. But I will tell you why only if my guess prove right.
Op de Woerd: Let's go with 240, slightly less than last year as van Hoof will be busting players left and right.
Pitt: I’m going to go with a stab in the dark and predict that it will finish sooner than the 2013 edition — 227 hands.
Holloway: 166. No rhyme or reason to that number, simply a guess.
Harris: PokerNews has been live reporting from the WSOP since 2007, thereby providing us easy-to-consult records in order to give an informed responses both to this question and the next. Some numbers:
|Final Table Hands||205||274||364||262||301||399||261|
Considering these figures meticulously with Nate Silver-like thoroughness, I have calculated answers to both questions. I have also independently confirmed these answers by thinking about them.
How many hands to complete the final table? 295.
Maldonado: No clue.
Ryan: 375. You'll see why in a second...
Glatzer: I will guess 340 hands, but it could be way off. I could easily see it being much less or upwards towards the 399 hands that we saw in 2012 when Greg Merson won the Main Event.
Rinkema: I think the final table will take 301 hands to complete. That’s right around the average amount of hands of the last four years.
8. How many hands of heads-up play will there be?
Peters: Sticking with my prediction of a long final table with over 500 hands, and the fact that I've got van Hoof and Newhouse going heads up, let's go with 175 hands. Van Hoof has a lot of cash-game experience and won't go crazy playing big pots, whereas Newhouse will play very cautiously if he makes heads-up play because he'll want the title so very badly.
Grant: Heads-up poker is a wild game. It can be over in one hand, or it can drag on for more than eight hours as the chip lead changes hands over and over again. However, with these young guys I think play will be swift. I put heads-up play at 36 hands.
Angioni: 79. And yes, this is a random number.
Op de Woerd: None, the last four players will get it in before the flop, van Hoof has everyone covered, and he makes a royal flush with the , cracking Larrabe's flopped set of queens (queen in the window), Newhouse's flopped set of kings, and Stephensen's turned set of aces.
Pitt: Keeping with the fact I said it’ll be over quicker than 2013, I’ll go with 54.
Holloway: 15. I don't know why, but I think some sort of cooler will end things sooner than later.
Maldonado: No idea, but I'll take the over on two hours if it's van Hoof and Newhouse.
Ryan: 138. The difference between first place and second place is nearly $5 million. All of you live reporters need to strap in on Day 2.
Glatzer: Ask me again when we know who will be heads-up. Just kidding, since that wouldn't help me much either. I will guess that heads-up play will last 41 hands.
Rinkema: I think the heads-up match will be a fast one this year due to Jorryt van Hoof having a huge lead. In total, he’ll need 15 hands to finish it.
9. What is your bold prediction for this year's final table?
Peters: A final table of more than 500 hands was already a pretty bold prediction, but let's go even bolder. Play will be temporarily paused due to spectators physically fighting and security will rush to control the mayhem. I could specifically see this happening between one of Newhouse's supporters who gets overly ticked off with the boisterous and jovial Brazilian rail.
Collson: Newhouse and van Hoof will build the two biggest stacks early on, but the two will clash with four left and play the biggest pot of the tournament. Van Hoof exits in fourth place and Newhouse takes a massive chip lead into Tuesday.
Grant: For the first time in WSOP history, hazmat suits will be allowed at the table, as long as it is a clear face mask.
Angioni: We will remember this final table as the one that changed the way we know poker in South America. Even if Politano doesn't win.
Op de Woerd: Pappas won't show up to the final table and his stack will be taken out of play. He was there for the photo moment minutes before play started, but disappeared from the face of the earth right when Norman Chad and Lon McEachern were to announce him.
Someone who was beaten badly by Pappaconstantinou in foosball years ago (21-0, it really was embarrassing) decided to take revenge and kidnapped him. Pappaconstantinou, badly traumatized by the experience and torture of getting told bad beat stories for hours, manages to escape by winning one more "trial by foosball" match. He makes his way back to the table, and gets his stack back. Chad and McEachern already talk about the best story ever if he ends up winning, but Pappaconstantinou busts first anyway and leaves the stage crying. He decides never to play poker and foosball ever again and moves to Panama to start a bad beat clinic, an institute where quenched poker players and foosball players can go to think about their life.
Pitt: The eventual winner will decide that he doesn’t want people to get into poker and will reject all attempts by the media to interview him.
Holloway: Pocket aces will somehow be involved in the final hand of the tournament. Either the eventual winner will win with pocket rockets for the first time in the history of the WSOP Main Event, or the runner-up will lose with them for the third time in history.
Harris: There will be a double-knockout — two players eliminated on the same hand.
Maldonado: The foosball champ (Pappas) will surprise the world and take the title.
Ryan: Stephensen will eliminate van Hoof and Politano on the same hand. Politano will have folded down to one ante, wanting to climb the pay ladder, and wake up with pocket aces. Van Hoof will try to isolate with ace-rag, and Stephensen will find a call with . The flop will pair van Hoof's baby card, putting him in the lead momentarily, but running jacks will complete the board, eliminating both the Dutchman and the Brazilian.
Glatzer: The ladies will be kind to the winner. I predict that not only will the winner have pocket queens on the final hand of this year's WSOP Main Event, but also at least one other player on the final table will bust with pocket queens.
Rinkema: My bold prediction for this final table is that we’re going to see a three-way all-in hand resulting in two players getting knocked out. To make it even bolder, Larrabe will raise from the cutoff with aces, Tonking will shove from his left with ace-king suited, Sindelar will shove over the top with kings, and Larrabe will make the easy call.
Hendrix: Newhouse will suffer a brutal bad beat at some point. A not-so-bold prediction since the field is dominated by non-Americans, but it will be won by a non-American.
Nuwwarah: Sindelar eliminates all eight players and plants a Nebraska flag in the middle of the table.