One of these November Nine players will pocket $8.7 million — and wear the coveted WSOP main event bracelet they’re reaching out for here — when action resumes this weekend. From left: Badih Bounahra, Phil Collins, Matt Giannetti, Pius Heinz, Samuel Holden, Ben Lamb, Anton Makiievskyi, Eoghan O’Dea and Martin Staszko. (WSOP photo by PokerNews)
BY RUSS SCOTT
RELEASE: NOV. 1, 2011
Poker About to Crown Champ, So Don’t Forget Your Prop Bets!
The 2011 World Series of Poker main event final table reconvenes Sunday before a cheering live crowd in Las Vegas, and almost live on a TV or computer near you.
Meanwhile, get your prop bets ready.
Yes, in a WSOP first, you can make proposition bets on several outcomes at poker’s biggest tournament, which plays from nine competitors down to three on Sunday, then crowns a world champion two nights later.
The hitch is that you must place your wager at a sports book belonging to Caesars Entertainment Corp., which owns the WSOP.
Like me, you’re probably not going to be in Las Vegas this weekend, but let’s go through the six Nevada-sanctioned prop bets just for fun to see if we would have won or lost.
— Prop bet No. 1: Who will win the 2011 championship?
I look for young guns Eoghan O’Dea (pronounced “Owen O’Dee”) of Ireland and Phil Collins of Las Vegas to survive the highly aggressive table action and go head-to-head Tuesday night for the title. With the “luck of the Irish” on his side, I’d bet on O’Dea.
— No. 2: Who will be the first player to bust out?
The three shortest-stack players are sitting side-by-side — Seat 5, Anton Makiievskyi, Ukraine, 13,825,000; Seat 6, Sam Holden, United Kingdom, 12,375,000; and Seat 7, Pius Heinz, Germany, 16,425,000. Look for Heinz and Makiievskyi to tangle in a big pot, with Heinz busting out first.
— No. 3: Will the current chip leader win?
Although oddmakers have the chip leader — Martin Staszko, Czech Republic, 40,175,000 — posted as the favorite, I don’t see him winning. He’s a very solid player, but he can’t hold off all of the young phenoms. Third place feels about right for Staszko.
– No. 4: What poker hand will determine the champion?
By far, the favorite in this category is a one-pair hand. That’s how last year’s event ended, with Jonathan Duhamel of Canada holding A-J on a 4-4-9-6-5 board. Let’s pick a long-shot here and say that a simple high-card hand, such as K-Q with an unpaired and raggedy board, will be the winner.
– No. 5: How many total hands will be dealt?
Last year it was 262, but I’ve got a feeling it won’t take anywhere close to that this year. Let’s go with the smallest choice on the betting card, fewer than 180 hands, at 10-1 odds.
– No. 6: Will there be more red or black cards on the first flop?
In a year when “Black Friday” last spring tossed the online poker world for a loop, and a dark mystery still swirls around the financial evils dogging Full Tilt Poker and its big-name stars, the choice is clear — an all-black flop is coming!
You can watch every hand of the final table on a 15-minute delay, starting Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time on ESPN2, with the finale Tuesday at 9 p.m. Eastern on ESPN. Coverage also is available at ESPN3.com and WSOP.com on the Internet, and to smart phone users with the WatchESPN application.
I can’t wait to see it all unfold and find out how many of my imaginary prop bets come home.
E-mail your poker questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org for use in future columns. To find out more about Russ Scott and read previous LuckyDog Poker columns, visit creators.com or luckydogpoker.com.
COPYRIGHT 2011 RUSS SCOTT
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