World Series of Poker's October Nine kicks off Monday, and the pressure and anxiety couldn't be higher. It's all come down to the final table.
Winning a poker event has a lot to do with luck, but there are three players most likely to walk away with the crown without needing a ton of it.
First and foremost, we must mention the chip leader. Right now it's Jesse Sylvia and then everybody else. Sylvia currently holds 43,875,000 chips at his disposal, roughly 19,500 chips ahead of Andras Koroknai.
Sylvia has only been playing professional poker for three years, but with his big chip lead, even novices realize Sylvia should bully the table early. If he can push the correct buttons without making the big mistake, Sylvia will be able to develop an even bigger chip lead which will enhance his chances of victory.
If he decides to sit back and play cautiously, he could be in trouble. The best thing for poker players to do is develop a rhythm, develop some confidence and fight pressure by stirring the pot early without making the crucial mistake.
Sylvia will have every opportunity to win the event if he can maintain his consistency. And, let's face it, he will have to get some breaks because sometimes that's what it all comes down to.
Greg Merson has had a fantastic 2012 World Series of Poker. He currently sits third in chips with 28,725,000.
His position isn't receiving much attention compared to Sylvia's because of how many more chips the leader has, but it's not like he's on the bottom either. His position is perfect to make an elongated run in the tournament.
Merson has played well in 2012 and his experiences to this point will be something he can lean on when the pressure gets cranked.
The most experienced and oldest player left in the field is Steve Gee, a 45-year poker veteran. His chip count (16,860,000) places him right in the middle of things, but he has what it takes to be there at the end.
Gee is a former bracelet winner with years upon years of experience. If anybody knows how to dig themselves out of holes on the big stage, it's Gee.
Going up against several young guns, expect Gee's experience to be something that carries him until the latter stages of the event.