After months of waiting, the nine poker players who qualified for the WSOP main event final table are returning to the Las Vegas strip for the final round. The main event will once again be held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, where one Canadian player will face off against eight others for the title of WSOP World Champion.
The 44th annual event began in May, and involved over 6,000 players bluffing and maneuvering their way through the tournament. The recognizable performance of many Canadian players led the WSOP to label the 44th event as the ‘Year of Canada’ in an unprecedented success rate for non-US players.
By the end of July, the nine finalists for the main event were selected, and play was suspended until now. By the end of the day on November 4, the new WSOP champion will be crowned.
The focus for many Canadian poker fans is on Marc-Etienne McLaughlin, a self-described tattoo artist and ping pong fan who lives in Brossard, Quebec, located in the Greater Montreal Area. McLaughlin qualified for the November Nine, and is Canada’s best hope at winning the WSOP main event since fellow Quebecer Jonathan Duhamel became champion in 2010.
McLaughlin’s greatest competition will likely be from J.C. Tran, a player from Sacramento California. Tran is the chip leader heading with $38 million on reserve for the opening hand, and Caesars Entertainment – which sponsors the WSOP – put odds of 11-5 in favour of Tran winning the main event.
McLaughlin, Tran, and the others will all bring whatever aces up their sleeves they can use to their advantage. The bragging rights of being crowned WSOP world champion are motivation enough, but the winner will also walk away with an over $8 million grand prize.