According to mass media 2/3 of WSOP Main even final table consists of professional poker player. I don’t really see how a guy who have played poker for 1 year can become a professional poker player. From my perspective a professional player is the one who have proved him self as a successful player over a long period of time. Which means that he or she had shown a gradual increase in their poker bankroll. I think that professional poker player is an over used word in poker community. If have you finished first in a $200 buy in and won $120,000.00 does that make you a pro player? Or if you have won over a million in a $10,000.00 buy in ? You can not be called a pro for cashing-in in one single tournament whereas all others look like a pile of crap. Phil Hellmuth said that over 90% of new born millionaires in poker blow it all up within the next few years. I think those figures are quite right.
I have once played a real tournament with a guy who has finished on position 5th or 9th in Sundays Millions Tournament on Poker Stars. And trust me, even Phil Hellmuth himself is not acting like that guy during the game. He was absolutely nuts. It is funny that he didn’t mention that the buy in for the tournament he has cashed in was $1… Anyway i think this is exactly what happened with poor Jamie Gold. Who won $12,000,000 back in 2006 (that is the only time he has actually cashed in on WSOP) which is just hilarious, a lost it all in September 2011, hard luck. It must be quite frustrating when your graph looks like this :
However I do think that you can be considered as a pro if you broke a few times but had the power and skill to recover back after loosing everything, like for example Doyle Brunson did. However this is a destiny of a few.
So back to our star WSOP 2011 main event final table – Matt Giannetti 26 years old PRO from Las Vegas, Eoghan O’Dea 26 years old pro from Ireland (btw Ireland is actually full of pro players…) Phil Collins another 26 years old pro from Las Vegas, may be age 26 has something to do with poker skills… Anton Makiievskyi 21 years old from Ukraine, Sam Holden 21 years old from UK with the smallest stack, Pius Heinz student from Germany, Ben Lamb from US is probably the only one who can be called semi-pro from this line up. Acording to WSOP “Lamb is enjoying a monster run and is unquestionably the player who is on the hottest streak of anyone at this year’s WSOP. He leads the 2011 WSOP “Player of the Year” race. He has a gold bracelet win, a second place finish, and eighth- and twelfth-place showings in his four cashes – and is now making a very deep run in the Main Event. Lamb is playing as well as, if not better than, any player in the world at the moment. ” Martin Staszko 35 years old from Chezch Republic, which is really a surprise. He also has a chip lead which is quite amazing. Good Luck to Martin. And last but not least Badih Bounahra 49-year-old businessman from Belize.
Anyway, I hope that the luckiest guy on this table wins. Probably we will see a lot of high level performance… Good Luck Guys!