WSOP Final Table
By Mark Napolitano
Well today is the day, that the first person ever will win $1,500,000 in a poker tournament. At some time later today One of the six remaining players will be declared the new world champion. Sadly there are no female representatives at the final table. Both Annie Duke and Kathy Liebert are out although they both got to the final 2 tables. Kathy finishing 17th and Annie finishing 10th.
Here are the remaining six players, their chip counts and the prize money they hope to win today:
|Seat 1: Chris Ferguson||$2,853,000||1st||$1,500,000|
|Seat 2: Hasan Habib||$464,000||2nd||$896,500|
|Seat 3: Jim McManus||$554,000||3rd||$570,500|
|Seat 4: T.J. Cloutier||$216,000||4th||$326,000|
|Seat 5: Roman Abinsay||$521,000||5th||$247,760|
|Seat 6: Steve Kaufman||$511,000||6th||$195,600|
Chris Furguson really seems to have the table at his mercy, however this is No Limit Hold 'em, and this is also the World Series Of Poker final table. There will be an enormous amount of pressure on Chris to maintain his chip advantage.
T.J. will not be throwing the towel in just yet. He is by far the most experienced player at this level. He has seen it all before and knows that two double ups will put him right back in there with an almost average stack. If T.J. survives the first two hours today I believe he will have a realistic chance of finally lifting the world title.
The other four players are all basically level on chips, but Roman Abinsay gets my vote to create the most resistance to Chris Furguson. I have played against him on several occasions and he is a very level-headed, solid player.
Hasan Habib seems to have been treading water most of Day Three and ended with about the same chips he had after a couple of hours of play on day Day Three. He will need to start moving his chips early on today to become a threat.
I have played against Steve Kaufman many times and he is also a very solid player. He may have the patience and experience to carry him through a long way today.
Jim McManus is a stranger to me, and from reports I have read, he seems to be the fairy tale story of this year's event. As some of you may remember that Kevin McBride finished 2nd in 1998. I am sure Jim will be hoping to go one better.
Well that is my summary, the bottom line is this... The aggressor today will be the most likely to win. I would much rather be the aggressor with $2,853,000 than $216,000 but there is no substitute for experience and T.J. certainly has the best of it there.
Good luck to all six players today.
"SHUFFLE UP AND DEAL!"