How to Reach the Main Event Final Table

4 years ago
How to Reach the Main Event Final Table
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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