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The most envied poker players in the world right now
1. Joe McKeehen
Career winnings: $1,995,070
AKA: Party Pooper
McKeehen has had practise at getting through big-field events. He was runner-up in last year’s Monster Stack with 7,862 runners. The $820,863 was his biggest cash but he’ll be looking at the top money here with around 33% of the chips in play. He knocked out Negreanu so we’re anti-railing him.
2. Zvi Stern
Career winnings: $49,595
AKA: Serial Staller
When play was down to two tables Stern was responsible for stalling, which led to 30 more hands being played on Negreanu’s feature table. You can forgive him though – he’s only got two recorded cashes in his career.
3. Neil Blumenfield
Career winnings: $130,468
AKA: The Debater
At 61 Blumenfield could have expected to be the elder of the nine. As it is he’s got a decade on Neuville. Blumenfield works in the software industry, plays poker as a hobby and was a High School Debating Champion.
4. Pierre Neuville
Career winnings: $733,224
Don’t be put off by his senior status. Neuville won the Lifetime Achievement award at the European Poker Awards last year and has over $2m in lifetime earnings. He could easily become the oldest WSOP champ of the modern age.
5. Max Steinberg
Career winnings: $2,937,477
AKA: Final Fantasy
Steinberg is the only player on the final table with a WSOP bracelet – he won a $1k NLHE event in 2012. We’re going to tip him up as our favourite if you can’t bring yourself to bet on McKeehen at short odds. Steinberg is a big player in fantasy sports as well – he won his Main Event seat on Draftkings.
6. Thomas Cannuli
Career winnings: $52,235
AKA: Kid Poker
Cannuli’s biggest cash prior to this was a 691st place finish in the WSOP Main Event last year. He’s the youngest player at the table and proved it by wearing his backpack like a schoolboy for the official November Nine photo.
7. Josh Beckley
Career winnings: $219,526
All of Beckley’s five WSOP cashes have come this year and he saved the best until last. He played it cool after he made the nine by tweeting: ‘I guess
I’ll come back to Vegas in November if I have to.’
8. Patrick Chan
Career winnings: $524,263
AKA: No Chance
Chan finished 226th from 22,374 runners in this year’s Colossus event so he’s got stamina. He’s also got one of the shortest stacks on the table though and will be looking for his own poker miracle in November.
9. Federico Butteroni
Career winnings: $103,006
AKA: The Italian Job
We don’t like to deal in national stereotypes, so we’ll let Butteroni’s name and over-exuberant and emotional celebrations do the talking for us here. Butteroni has been running hot at the Rio this year, with a 20th place finish in the Monster Stack sealing his big-field credentials. He’ll go into action in November as the shortest stack.
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