Play begins at the Penn & Teller Theater in the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino on Saturday at noon Vegas time, with the remaining nine playing down to the final two. Those two players will then return on Monday night at 10 p.m. Vegas time to play it out. Once again, here are those chippies and seat assignments:
Seat 1: Darvin Moon (1st, 58,930,000)They are almost finished with Level 33 (just seven-plus minutes left), where the blinds are 120,000/240,000, and antes 30,000. That means after just a few hands they’ll be posting blinds of 150,000/300,000 and antes of 40,000.
Seat 2: James Akenhead (9th, 6,800,000)
Seat 3: Phil Ivey (7th, 9,765,000)
Seat 4: Kevin Schaffel (6th, 12,390,000)
Seat 5: Steven Begleiter (3rd, 29,885,000)
Seat 6: Eric Buchman (2nd, 34,800,000)
Seat 7: Joe Cada (5th, 13,215,000)
Seat 8: Antoine Saout (8th, 9,500,000)
Seat 9: Jeff Shulman (4th, 19,580,000)
Leafing through the guide, we learn a few new things about the players (in “thumbnail bios”). More interesting is a breakdown of the scheduled payouts:
1st -- $8,547,042All nine players have already received ninth-place prize money ($1,263,602). The guide tells us that the remaining $15 million-plus was placed “in a risk-free Goldman Sachs Treasury-Only Money Market interest-bearing account,” and over the course of three-and-a-half months accrued $1,321 interest.
2nd -- $5,182,928
3rd -- $3,479,670
4th -- $2,502,890
5th -- $1,953,452
6th -- $1,587,160
7th -- $1,404,014
8th -- $1,300,231
9th -- $1,263,602
Yeah, that’s what it says. $1,321. As Mean Gene says in a comment over on Pokerati, that piddling total of “$1,321 wouldn’t cover the Jack’s Links Beef Jerky tab for Media Row for one week during the WSOP.”
Something highly weird going on with that figure, as last year a similar process was followed and the yet-to-be-awarded prize money had earned nearly $100,000 in interest during the 100-plus day wait for the final table. In any event, the interest was only added to the top eight spots, so the first guy to go on Saturday will not be taking home anything more than what he’s already received. That first-place prize easily eclipses the largest cash prizes earned in any other individual sport, the closest being the $3,048,055 Hélio Castroneves earned for winning the Indianapolis 500 in May of this year.
There is also a section explaining that a pro hasn’t won since 2001 (Carlos Mortensen). According to the guide, four of the nine players at this year’s final table are recognized as professionals -- Akenhead, Buchman, Cada, and Ivey -- with two more (Shulman and Saout) described as “semi-pros.” It’s a fuzzy distinction, really, but I’d think if Ivey, Shulman, Buchman, or Akenhead won, there wouldn’t be too much disputing the claim that the seven-year streak of amateurs winning the Main Event had been snapped. I guess Cada, too, although the dude had only been old enough to play live poker legally in the U.S. for six months or so prior to the start of this year’s WSOP.
Also of note, in 2009 there were a total of 60,875 player registrations for the 57 bracelet events, breaking last year’s record of 58,720.
There’s some other stuff about the planned Hall of Fame ceremony during which Mike Sexton will be officially enshrined. And way, way more info about Jack Link’s Beef Jerky than one could ever hope for, including a comprehensive rundown of the company’s various offerings. Most distressing: something called the “Sasquatch Big Stick,” which comes in “Angry” and “Happy” flavors.
Uh, no thanks. Not messin’ with that.