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Copyright © 2006 Finanzen
HEADLINE: Final Table Set at World Series of
Poker Main Event; Nine to Compete at Rio for $12 Million and Title
of World Champion
The quest for poker's crown jewel and the richest prize in live
history is down to nine players at the 37th annual World Series
of Poker presented by Milwaukee's Best Light.
Nine players will gather at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino
tomorrow at 2 p.m. to take their seats at poker's most prestigious
table. The winner will walk away with $12 million, instant fame,
and the most coveted prize in poker:
the World Series of Poker champion's bracelet. In a World Series
of Poker first, ESPN is making the final table action available
"This is a chance for these players to win not only the
largest single payout in live poker history but also the game's
most coveted prize - the World Series of Poker champion's bracelet,"
said World Series of Poker Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack.
The nine players, all of whom will become millionaires, are:
Gold, a 36-year-old television producer from Malibu, Calif.,
heads into the final table as the chip leader. Gold learned to
player from his mother and by taking part in regular home games,
but he also ha shad an expert tutor in friend and 10-time gold
bracelet winner Johnny Chan. Gold said he wants to win the tournament
to make his father, who has ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), proud
in the little time he has left.Chip count: $25,650,000.
The only household name to make the final table, 29-year-oldCunningham
came of age with some of poker's biggest names, including Daniel
Negreanu and John Juanda. With four World Series of Poker bracelets
to his name, including one earlier this year, the understated
Las Vegas resident remains well positioned going into the final
table. Chip count: $17,770,000.
Lee was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and now resides in San Antonio.The
55-year-old investor has been playing poker for 40 years; he is
married with three children. This marks the second year Lee has
played in the World Series of Poker. His greatest poker moment
was going from185,000 in chips to 2,350,000 in chips during a
single day of the Main Event. Chip count: $11,820,000.
This 23-year-old Swede has been playing poker for 10 years. A
former student, Friberg is now a professional poker player. This
marks the Stockholm resident's first year participating in the
World Series of Poker. Chip count: $9,605,000.
Wasicka, whose nickname is "Kwickfish," taught himself
poker 2.5 years ago with the help of some friends. A former
bartender and restaurant manager, the 25-year-old counts "sucking
out on aces"as a hobby. Prior to making the Main Event final
table, the Westminster, Colo., resident's best finish came earlier
this year,when he placed 15th in another tournament. Chip count:
Kim is a 22-year-old a resident of Hartsdale, N.Y., who has been
playing poker for four years. The financial consultant has an
economics degree from Duke University and counts guitar playing
and video games as his hobbies. He learned to play poker through
a friend and considers his greatest poker moment "making
kings fold pre-flop without having aces." Chip count: $6,770,000.
Butler, an insurance agent from Rockville, Md., is making an
impressive debut at the World Series of Poker, thus far outlasting
all but eight of the record 8,773 entrants in this year's Main
Event. The44-year-old father of three can be found on the golf
links when not seated at a poker table. He learned to play poker
from his father 25years ago and said he is playing in the tournament
for his family and friends. Chip count: $4,815,000.
This 29-year-old Atherton, Calif. resident describes himself
as a professional poker player and part-time theoretical physicist
- he earned a PhD in theoretical particle physics from Stanford
earlier this year. Binger has been playing poker for six years,
and this marks the second year he has played in the World Series
of Poker. In addition to making the final table of the Main Event,
he made the final table of a $1,500 buy-in event earlier in the
tournament and won$100,000. Chip count: $3,140,000.
Nassif taught himself to play poker three years ago. He has entered
the World Series of Poker twice, with this final table appearance
being by far his greatest performance. The 33-year-oldaccount
executive lives in St. Louis and enjoys golfing when he isn't
playing poker. Chip count: $2,600,000.
The nine remaining players represent all that remains of the
largest field of participants ever to enter a live poker tournament,8773.
The previous record of 5,619 players was set at the 2005 World
Series of Poker Main Event, won by Joseph Hachem of Melbourne,Australia.
Hachem pocketed a then-record $7.5 million.
In addition to the $12 million top prize, the following amounts
be paid to the other top finishers:
2nd place: $6,102,499
3rd place: $4,123,310
4th place: $3,628,513
5th place: $3,216,182
6th place: $2,803,851
7th place: $2,391,520
8th place: $1,979,189
9th place: $1,566,858
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