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After seven days of action-packed solid plays, what started out as 7,221 contestants has finally whittled down to just nine for this year’s WSOP Main Event Final Table. What makes it even more exciting than previous years is that for the first time in modern WSOP era, there are two players who have previously been at this very stage before; Ben Lamb who finished 3rd in the 2011 main event for over $4 million, and Antoine Saout who also made it to 3rd place in 2009 and walked away with $3.5 million.

This Final Table very nearly had three returnees, but unfortunately, Michael Ruane fell just short as he bust on the final table bubble, earning himself $825,001 for his efforts. Had he got over the hump to make it to into the final nine, he would’ve been the second man in modern history to be a back-to-back finalist, joining the only man to have done so, Mark Newhouse, in 2013 and 2014 in which he finished 9th in both years.

These final 9 have earned the rights to a guaranteed $1 million a piece, but all have their eyes set on the far juicier $8.15 million top prize, the third highest in WSOP history, thanks to the $67,877,400 prize pool. The one closest to obtaining that final prize is pack leader Scott Blumstein with his stack of 97,250,000 chips. The player trailing behind him is John Hesp from the UK with 85,700,000 chips, while the rest of the finalists are more than 50,000,000 behind.

“It’s amazing. Surreal. I don’t even know how it happened. It’s been a crazy ride. Seven days, I somehow bagged more chips than I started with every day by a significant amount and I just keep going up in chips. Today, I started with 18 million and now I got 97. I don’t even know how it really happened, but here we are.”

However, as we have witnessed earlier on in the day, a sizeable chip lead does not guarantee anything. Christian Pham is the unfortunate player to prove this, as he entered into the day with over 31 million chips after having the kind of Sunday that only dreams could make. But yesterday’s success does not translate to today’s triumph. After losing some big pots to Dan Ott and Michael Krasienko, he eventually crashed out in a hand against Benjamin Pollak, ending his run even before the first pay jump, finishing 19th overall.

Other honorable mentions include Marcel Luske (23rd), David Guay (22nd), Jonas Mackoff (21st), and Randy Pisane (20th) all eliminated before the first pay jump, settling for a little over a quarter million dollars. Richard Gryko (18th), Michael Krasienko (17th), and Alexandre Reard (16th) bowed out at the next pay rise of $340,000. Valentin Messina (15th) and Karen Sarkisyan (14th) walked away with $450,000 for their efforts. Scott Stewart (13th) and Richard Dubini (12th) takes away $535,000 for their troubles. Finally, Pedro Oliveria (11th) was sent to the rail with $675,000.

Final 9 Chip Counts and Career Stats

SeatNameCountryChip CountWSOP CashesWSOP BraceletsCareer Earnings
1John HespUnited Kingdom85,700,00000$2,208
2Scott BlumsteinUnited States97,250,00000$312,142
3Antoine SaoutFrance21,750,000130$5,551,412
4Benjamin PollakFrance35,175,000160$2,967,781
5Jack SinclairUnited Kingdom20,200,00020$13,500
6Damian SalasArgentina22,175,000140$919,525
7Ben LambUnited States18,050,000141$7,207,830
8Bryan PiccioliUnited States33,800,000301$1,909,374
9Dan OttUnited States26,475,00020$3,656