The World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event reached the final table of nine players on Monday and Canadian Griffin Benger is among them.
It took until Day 7 for the 6,737 entries to be whittled down to nine. Each of the players remaining are now guaranteed a minimum prize of $1 million and first place will pocket $8 million, the WSOP Champion's bracelet, and the most enviable title in poker.
Griffin Benger is the one Canadian still in contention for the title and he sits seventh overall with 26,175,000 chips. Here's the final-table roster and their chips:
2016 WSOP Main Event Final Table Chip Counts
|Vojtech Ruzicka||27.3||Czech Republic|
Griffin Benger is one of the most accomplished player among the final nine. Benger has the second-most previous live tournament cashes with just under $2.4 million, coming second only to chip leader Cliff Josephy who has more than $2.6 including two bracelet wins.
Benger's best cash of his career was when he won Season 1 of PokerStars' Shark Cage for an even $1 million. He's guaranteed at least that amount now in the WSOP Main Event. He was ranked the best online poker player in the world in 2014 and has $6.5 million in online tournament cashes where he is best known as "Flush_Entity".
Before poker, Benger was a professional Counter-Strike player where he was known as "shaGuar". He retired from competing in the multiplayer first-person shooter video game after he won the CGS (Championship Gaming Series) 2007: World Championship as part of the team Chicago Chimera, winning $250,000.
Aside from his success in games, Benger has also become even further recognized this year when he took on a commentary role for the Global Poker League (GPL). Benger accompanies Sam Grafton to provide live commentary for all of the GPL matches each week.
Benger found his way to the WSOP Main Event after winning a $160 satellite on 888poker, forgoing the $10,000 entry fee. The Main Event was the only WSOP event Benger entered this year.
The tournament started in the Day 1c entry flight for Griffin Benger. He survived the day but bagged an undisclosed amount. He then improved his position with each day through Days 2, 3, 4, and 5 where he finished the day as the fourth-best stack out of 80 players with 9.86 million chips. On Day 6 he finished the day with 3.3 million less chips than he had the day before and found himself near the bottom of the field, sitting in 20th out of 27 surviving players. But he came back on Day 7 to quadruple his stack and earn a spot at the final table. Here's a look at Benger's chip counts at the end of each day.
Griffin Benger Chip Counts 2016 WSOP Main Event
The tournament now goes on a three-month respite and the nine players will return to resume play on October 30. They'll finish the tournament over the course of three nights as the action is broadcast live around the world on ESPN.
All nine players have been paid ninth-place money of $1 million and they'll return to try to earn more. The first player eliminated won't collect any more, but everyone else will collect increasingly more money, all the way until first place where the winner will pocket $8 million.
2016 WSOP Main Event Final Table Payouts
It has been three years since a Canadian has made the WSOP Main Event final table. Marc-Etienne McLaughlin was the most recent player to make an appearance in 2013. He ultimately finished in sixth place for $1,601,024. Before that, the 2010 Main Event saw Matt Jarvis and Jonathan Duhamel make the final table with the former finishing eighth for $1,045,743 and the latter becoming the only Canadian in poker history to win the WSOP Main Event. Duhamel collected $8,944,310 for the feat.
We wish the best of luck to Griffin Benger and hope that he can become the second Canadian to win the WSOP Main Event come November.