The 2012 World Series of Poker (WSOP) October Nine was determined early this morning and boy, is the poker community disappointed. It’s nothing against the nine skilled and fortunate men who made the final table of the Main Event. Not at all. The disappointment stems from the two eliminations that occurred before play ended Tuesday morning.
The WSOP was on the verge of making amazing history last night. On the verge of having a Main Event final table to remember. Not that it still won’t be memorable, but it could have been really big had it not been for, well, poker.
In 1995, Barbara Enright became the first woman to reach the final table of the WSOP Main Event. She placed fifth, winning $114,180. No woman has made it to the final table since. Last night, two women – France’s Gaelle Baumann and Norway’s Elisabeth Hille – had a chance to make the October Nine (normally the November Nine, but the final table has been moved up to October to make way for the U.S. presidential election). With 27 players left entering Monday, Hille sat comfortably in 5th place, while Baumann was in 20th.
The day went on and they were doing fine. At the dinner break, there were 15 players remaining, including the two women. The eliminations kept coming. Down to 14…13…12…11…
…and then, just before midnight PST, Hille three-bet all-in pre-flop for 3.465 million chips, holding A♥-Q♥. Andras Koroknai called with 7♠-7♣. The flop of 4♠-3♠-J♦ was of no help to Hille, but the K♣ gave her a few more outs, as now she could hit a straight in addition to her overcards. It was just a 3♣ on the river, though, signaling the end of Elisabeth Hille’s World Series of Poker.
One more elimination until the October Nine.
For her part, Gaelle Baumann was low on chips. Eleven hands into the unofficial ten-handed final table, she managed to double-up and three hands after that, she added another half million chips to give herself a bit more breathing room. It was the very next hand, though, that ended the night for everyone.
From the hijack, Baumann moved all-in pre-flop for 5.2 million with A♦-9♥. The cutoff folded. The button folded. But there was Koroknai again, happy to make the call with A♥-J♠. The big blind folded and the eyes of the poker world were on the flop. 3♥-Q♣-Q♥. The 8♠ wasn’t much help, but at least it offered another chance at the board pairing for a chop. But the K♦ on the turn spelled doom for Baumann and the dreams of at least one woman at the final table were dashed.
That’s not to say that Hille and Baumann didn’t make at least some history. This was the first time that two women made the final 27 since the year 2000, when Annie Duke finished 10th and Kathy Liebert placed 17th.
As for the men who will be returning in October to compete for the coveted bracelet, Jesse Sylvia is the overall chip leader with 43,875,000 chips. Unlike most years, when the final table has had a very international population, this one is almost entirely American. The only non-American is Andras Koroknai, who hails from Hungary.
It’s now time to sit back, relax, and look forward to some great poker in October.
2012 World Series of Poker Main Event – Final Table Chip Counts
1. Jesse Sylvia – 43,875,000
2. Andras Koroknai – 29,375,000
3. Greg Merson – 28,725,000
4. Russell Thomas – 24,800,000
5. Steven Gee – 16,860,000
6. Michael Esposito – 16,260,000
7. Robert Salaburu – 15,155,000
8. Jacob Balsiger – 13,115,000
9. Jeremy Ausmus – 9,805,000