How to Reach the Main Event Final Table

2 months ago
How to Reach the Main Event Final Table
09:30
12 Jul

Poker is back in the mainstream press this week with an interesting article in Forbes magazine, looking at how easy – or not – it is to make the Main Event final table, something the final nine players left in this year’s event have just fronted!


According to writer David Schwartz, poker historian and all-round gaming guru, ‘Pay a few hundred dollars to buy into a satellite tournament. Get a few lucky cards, win your seat in the World Series of Poker’s Main Event. Fly out to Vegas’, is the simple explanation for how to get yourself in with a chance – his earlier historical piece on the Main Event well worth a read too…


Of course, his ‘easy route’ is a deliberately flippant opening to a good article, Schwartz soon explaining: “Problem is, 7,873 other poker players had the same idea” before going on to pick the brains of Daniel Negreanu and Chad Holloway – both of whom have had success at the WSOP but neither of whom has taken down the ultimate prize in poker.

“Making the final table of the WSOP is a life-changing experience for two big reasons,” Holloway tells Schwartz, expanding with: “The first is they are usually going to make seven-figures in prize money, and the other is instant poker notoriety. Many become poker celebrities and are considered big names for years to come”.

Very true – and sometimes very hard to deal with, as several Main Event champs in the past have discovered - Jamie Gold, Peter Eastgate and Greg Merson all struggling to come to terms with the fame and fortune thrust upon them.


Negreanu explains that:

“A $10k buy-in isn't exactly high stakes (by comparison to his occasional $1million buy-in), but for most players it is a really big buy-in and it likely adds a level of stress to their decision making that they wouldn't normally deal with at lower stakes.”

Quite how the remaining players chasing this year’s $8.8million top prize will cope with the life-changing money on offer is unclear, but whoever comes out on top Schwartz believes they’ll be back for more, stating:

“…win or lose, one thing is certain: you’ll be playing poker again in the not-to-distant future.”

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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more

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