The 2011 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event final table action that saw the November Nine reduced to the Tuesday Three was described by many poker insiders as excellently-played poker that was staged in high class fashion.
Whether you watched the event in person at the Rio’s Penn and Teller Theater in Las Vegas or relaxed comfortably on your sofa at home, the level of play and excitement of poker’s biggest stage was as electrifying as expected.
“Everything in terms of the theater was spectacular,” said WSOP Communications Director Seth Palansky. “It’s amazing when you boil down what the game of poker is and then see these guys come out like rock stars with video introductions, lights, smoke, and all of their friends and family watching them. All of the players were terrific in their own way and were able to play to the audience a bit. A high class of poker was on display.”
It wasn’t until 24 hands were dealt that a player risked his tournament life by going all-in, continuing the pattern of patient play seen at Main Event final tables in recent years. “What was a little different this year was that no one was very threatened,” Palansky said. “We had a very short stack coming into the final table, which didn’t allow him to do as much. At the end of the day, the blinds do catch up with you.”
Tuesday evening, the Main Event will continue at 8:50 p.m. ET on ESPN and via online stream at ESPN3.com on a 15-minute delay. This year will be the first time that the Main Event conclusion will commence with three players. Finales in years past featured heads-up competition between the two remaining survivors. Here’s how the Tuesday Three stack up:
- Pius Heinz – 107,800,000 (89 big blinds)
- Ben Lamb – 55,400,000 (46 big blinds)
- Martin Staszko – 42,700,000 (35 big blinds)
When the cards are dealt for the last time on Tuesday, Heinz will benefit with a stack of more than half of the poker chips in play following a strong stretch run in the latter part of Sunday’s action. There are several scenarios on how the finale may unfold.
“It depends on whether Pius Heinz gets one of the other guy’s chips before heads-up play begins or another player gets them and makes it more of an even battle,” Palansky said. “The reality is that everyone is one double up away. Everyone still has plenty of big blinds and doesn’t have to panic.”
ESPN will dedicate almost its whole Tuesday primetime lineup on the Main Event’s conclusion, with Lon McEachern, Antonio Esfandiari and Norman Chad calling the action.
Heinz is vying to become the first WSOP Main Event winner from Germany. Ben Lamb is from the United States and Staszko hails from the Czech Republic. The following is the final finish of the fourth through ninth place players, including prize money:
4 Matt Giannetti – USA – $3,012,700
5 Phil Collins – USA – $2,269,599
6 Eoghan O´Dea – Ireland – $1,720,831
7 Bob Bounahra – Belize – $1,314,097
8 Anton Makiievskyi – Ukraine – $1,010,015
9 Sam Holden – England – $782,115