With $12.5 million on offer to the winner, the 2006 World Series of Poker is the richest prize in sport.
Just nine players can still win it and they are all guaranteed to be millionaires. However the differential between winning and finishing 9th is huge, both in terms of prize money and also in terms of marketing and sponsorship deals. The winner will be known around the world – all the others will just be a statistical note in history, albeit with very happy bank managers.
Odds Player Name Hometown Chip Count Seat #
6-1 Richard Lee San Antonio, TX $11,820,000 1
6-1 Erik Friberg Stockholm, Sweden $9,605,000 2
7-1 Paul Wasicka Westminster, CO $7,970,000 3
20- 1 Dan Nassif St. Louis, MO $2,600,000 4
2-1 Allen Cunningham Las Vegas, NV $17,770,000 5
20-1 Michael Binger Atherton, CA $3,140,000 6
10-1 Douglas Kim Hartsdale, NY $6,770,000 7
5-2 Jamie Gold Malibu, CA $25,650,000 8
12-1 Rhett Butler Rockville $4,815,000 9
Place your bets on the winner!
Allen Cunningham is BetUSA.com’s 2-1 favorite, even though he lies second in the chip count. Chip leader Jamie Gold, who has lead for the last three days, is the 5-2 second favorite.
We have had the following player assessments from our man in Las Vegas who has helped us with the odds compilation for the final table:
“The whole final revolves around Jamie Gold and Allen Cunningham. I personally played with Jamie Gold who is a movie executive and a wealthy and slightly geeky guy. He has been playing in a Hollywood home game with (and has received coaching from) Johnny Chan. Whether he’ll be allowed to continue constantly talking to Chan between hands is debatable. He certainly is not a great player but is reasonably fearless and therefore has a puncher’s chance. Basically though, he has up to this point been rewarded by a very good run of cards. He is not good at laying a hand down and is liable to double up some of the short stacks.
“Allen Cunningham, on the other hand, is probably the third best player in the world right now. He is playing supremely well and has patience, experience, guts and is a great reader of the game. He is obviously the favorite despite the chip positions. Unless he suffers with bad beats early I think he will patiently negotiate his way to the top three and he must be there at the end. However we all know that in poker you can have Aces cracked by Kings and lose the lot and we have seen in past finals that the best player rarely wins.
“Richard Lee is someone I’d never heard of but he has some chips and is reasonably aggressive. Erik Friberg is rated by the Swedes here and is a real poker player who likes to see some flops and be involved in the game. Therefore, he must have a chance.
“Paul Wasicka has got some excellent results behind him in just a short time and he can certainly win. He is a good player.
“The other players, with the possible exception of Dan Nasif who has very few chips, are just not aggressive enough to win. Most of them are also very short stacked. With the blinds at 80k/160k-10 they have time to get back into it and if they get the hands they could still win it. I don’t know if they have the game though.”
The World Series of Poker final table starts at 3pm EST on Thursday and is available on a pay-per-view web cast on ESPN and will also have web commentary on numerous websites.