Good afternoon and welcome to our coverage of the final day of Event #54: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em. The players have done a great job of whittling themselves down, from a starting field of three-thousand, two-hundred and twenty-one players to just fifteen, and today we will crown our fifty-fourth World Series of Poker (WSOP) champion and hand over a first prize of $500,075.
So let's have a look at the contenders…
People compare the $1k tournaments to the State Lottery, but they also seem to draw one or two players of immense talent that just goes to show how important skill is. When it comes to poker credentials there are none more qualified than David 'Bakes' Baker. Bakes has won two-WSOP gold bracelets including this years Event #32: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E event where he bested a final table including Phil Ivey and Phil Hellmuth. Bakes lost a huge pot towards the end of Day 2 yesterday but still comes into play 6th in chips and the man everyone has to beat.
Benjamin Volpe was our chip leader for the first few levels yesterday. Volpe has 4 WSOP cashes that includes a final table in a WSOP $1,000 event. He finished 6th for $83,925 in the event won by Markus Schmid last year. Volpe is seeking back-to-back final tables and considering the size of these fields that would be an amazing achievement.
There are three World Series Of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) event winners in the last fifteen. Nghi Van Tran, Joseph Kuether and Brett Schwertley all want to add gold bracelets to their gold ring. Van Tran won an astonishing $780,615 in 2005 when he defeated Erick Lindgren, heads-up, for his title.
There also promises to be a lot of fun, especially if Jeff Fielder finds his way to the final table. The former WSOPC final tablist told us that his name was Jeff Lebowski (the name of the star of the Jeff Bridges movie) and for the last few levels of Day 1 that is how we reported him! Eventually, Dutch Boyd told us he was pulling our leg, "he is a real player," said Boyd referring to the fact that The Big Lebowski can also play cards as well. We can't wait to see what he has put on his profile sheet if he does indeed make the final table.
Last but not least, and as expected in a $1,000 buy-in event, there are a lot of inexperienced live players in the field. This includes our 2 chip leaders Will Jaffe and Ken Fishman. Jaffe has been on our radar since the midway point on Day 1and he takes a considerable lead (1,947,000) into the final table after eliminating Gianluca Rullo in a 1.3 million flip towards the end of the level. Fishman, who saved his spurt until the very end as well, takes 1,400,000 into the final table.
The action will begin at 1:00PM and we will bring you all of the action here at PokerNews.