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World Series Of Poker Main Event Final Table Begins Tonight

It has been a long wait for fans, players, and officials of the World Series of Poker. The last time the WSOP was in Las Vegas, eleven players were vying for the final nine spots at the main event. When those nine players finally were found back in July, the tournament went on hiatus.

Tonight, the nine finalists return to the Rio with the hope of taking home the top prize of over $8 million. It is several months since the players left, so there will be an adjustment and feeling out period when play resumes.

"The players have spent months preparing, but nothing can compare to looking your opponents in the eye," said Poker Analyst Sam Ryalty. "It should take a few hours before we see any big plays, unless the players just get outrageous cards. I would expect everyone to play tight to start."

The main event has become the signature tournament in all of poker. Professionals and amateurs travel from all across the world to play in the event, and the players that reach the final table take on a rock star mentality. The final table will be broadcast on a tape delay starting Monday on ESPN2. Las Vegas sports books are always attempting to capitalize when an opportunity arises, and odds have been placed on the final table. Jesse Sylvia, of the US, has the chip lead with 43,875,000, and that chip lead has Sylvia also as the betting favorite, with 2/1 odds. The odds for Sylvia dropped from 3/2 when they first were posted.

Greg Merson and Andras Koroknai are tied for second position with 29,375,000 chips. Merson is considered a slight favorite over Koroknai, with odds of 3/1 to Korknai's 4/1. Russell Thomas is a 5/1 choice, with Steven Gee and Michael Esposito rounding out the top half of the table with 7/1 odds.

Robert Salaburu is only seventh in chip count, but he is considered one of the betting favorites with 4/1 odds. Jacob Balsiger and Jeremy Ausmus are the bottom two stacks entering the final table, and they are also the betting longshots at 9/1.

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