Nine players will sit down at the most lucrative table in poker at the Rio in Las Vegas on the 4th November with $8.3m the prize awaiting the last man standing.
The field is made up of one amateur and eight so-called professionals but in terms of achievement in the game there is only one name with a seat worth knowing.
36-year-old JC-Tran, currently 2/1 to take down the seventh-largest pot in the sport’s history, spearheads the November Nine, and rightfully so.
Not only will the Sacramento shark start as chip-leader on 38,000,000 – over 8,000,000 healthier that his nearest opponent – but his career successes comfortably outweigh all the achievements of his opponents combined.
With two bracelets adorning his wrists and 44 previous WSOP cashes bolstering his bankroll no-one will be better prepared to cope with the glare of the ESPN cameras and the reality that life-changing sums of money are in reach.
Crucially, Tran has made his name on the live circuit whereas the majority of the table’s experience has come from behind a laptop screen. Bullying people on the virtual felt and playing at your best under intense pressure in front of other players are two very different prospects and the long-time grinder must be thinking it is his to lose.
Ultimately, it is still a card game and everyone who has survived this stage deserves some respect, but with the massive pay jumps – the difference between 5th place and 8th is over a million dollars – most of the table will be too nervous to play to the standards that got them there in the first place.
And when poker is being played at the level Tran operates at the factor of luck becomes increasingly insignificant.
Even if Tran wasn’t leading in chips he would have to be the selection as ultimately he is by far and away the best equipped to play under such rare conditions and with such significant amounts of money at stake.
The 2/1 that the favourite beats another eight players on top of the 6,344 already vanquished looks the best route to getting a small part of the profits coming Tran’s way.
Final Table Chip Counts
JC Tran 38,000,000 – 2/1
Amir Lehavot – 29,700,000 – 9/2
Marc-Etienne McLaughlin – 26,525,000 – 5/1
Jay Farber – 25,975,000 – 9/1
Ryan Riess – 25,875,000 – 6/1
Sylvain Loosli – 19,600,000 – 8/1
Michiel Brummelhuis – 11,275,000 – 12/1
Marc Newhouse – 7,350,000 – 18/1
David Benefield – 6,375,000 – 18/1
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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