The World Series of Poker has been underway at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas since May 28. There are 57 different events in all that take place at the event, but the one that matters more than any others is The Main Event. The Super Bowl of poker crowns the world champion each year, and the winner becomes both very famous and very rich. Last year 6,494 players each paid $10,000 to play in the event, and we should see about that many again this year.
The event kicks off on July 5, and the field will take more than a week to play down to a final table of nine players. Those players will then pause their game until November when they will get together and play it out for the title on ESPN. There will be lots of betting at the tables, and if you want a bit of the action without shelling out 10 grand of your own then you can choose from all sorts of odds and props that are available. Here’s a look at some of the more interesting ones that Bodog has available:
Which player from last year’s final table will last longest this year? – The first thing to do with this one is to remove the amateur players who just captured lightning in a bottle last year. That would include Darvin Moon, Steve Beigleiter, Kevin Schaffel, and Antoine Saout. They aren’t likely to get it done again. Joe Cada will have the pressure of trying to repeat, and everyone will be out to get him, so he’s in a tough spot. He hasn’t had great results recently, either. I’ll rule him out. Jeff Shulman is talented and capable, but there’s no value at 5/1. James Akenhead hasn’t been hot this year like he was last year. That leaves two players. The obvious choice is Phil Ivey. He’s the best player on the planet, and he has won a bracelet (a bracelet is awarded to the winner of each event at the WSOP and is the ultimate achievement in poker) already this year. His price is low at 7/2, but he’s hard to argue against. If you want a more attractive price than look towards Eric Buchman. He’s won a bracelet this year as well, and is a dangerous player at 11/2.
Which of these duos will make the most money in the main event? – They have set odds for five different pairs with logical connections. The first – Evelyn Ng and Amanda Musumeci – can be thrown out of the top. Their only claim to fame is that they are sponsored by Bodog, and they wouldn’t be if they were ugly. The second favorites are the father/son team of Barry and Jeff Shulman. Jeff was at the final table last year and Barry won the main event at the WSOP Europe, so they can obviously play. It’s hard to imagine them both getting that lucky again, though. At +250 I’ll pass. Another father/Son pairing – Doyle and Todd Brunson – are next at +350. Doyle is 76 years old and Todd rarely plays tournaments because they would take him away from lucrative cash games, so they just don’t justify the price. Brother and sister Annie Duke and Howard Lederer are next at +400. They both have their share of results, and you could make an argument that they are worth a shot. They aren’t nearly as attractive as the Mizrachi brothers – Michael and Robert – though. These two became the first siblings at a WSOP final table when they both made it to the end of the $50,000 buy-in Poker Player’s Championship. Michael won the bracelet, and Robert was fifth. Both have mountains of experience and success, and are clearly in form. Their +200 price is ridiculous given what is involved, but they have the clear edge in this field.