Sylvia tops final 9 at WSOP

Jul 17, 2012 8:45 PM

Jesse Sylvia went from 13th to first in heading the list of nine players making the final table of the 2012 World Series of Poker at the Rio.

The tournament now takes a break until Oct. 28, when play begins to determine a champion. 

Sylvia, a native of West Tisbury, Mass and now a resident of Las Vegas, ended the day Tuesday with more than 44 million chips. The tourney began July 7 with 6,598 entrants. 

The top 7 finishers will win at least $1 million. First place will be worth more than $8.5 million and the prestigious gold bracelet.

“I feel amazing, I can’t believe this is happening,” said Sylvia. “I’m going to sit back and let this soak in.”

Andras Koroknai of Hungary finished in second place with nearly 30 million chips and Greg Merson finished third with nearly 29 million.

Merson will be the only player at the final table who has won a World Series bracelet, doing it just over one week ago when winning the $10,000 six-handed no-limit hold’em event.

The final nine players logged nearly 70 total hours of poker play during this tournament. Joining the top three players at the final table will be Russell Thomas of Hartford, Conn., Steven Gee of Sacramento, Calif., Michael Esposito of Seaford, NY, Robert Salaburu of San Antonio, Jacob Balsiger of Tempe, Ariz., and Jeremy Ausmus of Las Vegas.