RESIDES: TEMPE, ARIZ.
CHIP COUNT: 13,115,800
Balsiger may be the most inexperienced player at the 2012 WSOP main event final table, but that doesn't mean you can disregard the abilities of the 21-year-old college senior. Balsiger could become the youngest main event champion in history and to help him get there, he's been working with Mike "Timex" McDonald, the same man who helped coach Pius Heinz to the 2011 title. Balsiger went from playing nickel and dime poker to the main event final table and he's the first to admit that he got there with a little bit of luck from the cards.
For the past nine months, Balsiger has put in his time at the felt, playing live at a local casino while recovering from a near-fatal bike injury. He went to Europe during the hiatus and practiced his skills there, getting a feel for what it's like on the circuit. He's never had a full-time job and after he graduates next year, he hopes to continue playing poker as a living. This experience has changed Balsiger's life and, if he's able to win, the changes have only just started.