Hey everyone! Welcome to Las Vegas and the final table of the 2012 WSOP main event. Coverage of the event will start live on ESPN.com at 7:45, and on ESPN2/WatchESPN.com at 8 p.m ET. Coverage will include hole cards as in the past and be on a 15 minutes delay.
Send in your questions now, I'll get started in a moment
Prediction on who's chip stack rises and falls the most today? Also prediction on tightest player?
I think Jesse Sylvia is the must answer for the first question. He's either going to be in a great spot for the final three really early on, or be battling from behind after the first couple hours. Tightest player may be Steve Gee, but that's the perception he was hoping to bring in today which means he might exploit that will a loose style early.
If the final table stacks were equal, who do you think would round out the top 3?
Merson, Ausmus, Thomas
How much does the TV/Media stuff take from these guys time starting when they get back to Vegas?
They did a photo shoot on Friday, then interviews on Saturday. I believe they had off the past two days. They aren't doing any press conferences or anything like that at this point
I've got a final three in chip order of how they Merson, Salaburu Kornakai. Seem about right?
We'll see later on tonight...
Glad to see the chat is back! Seems like most are predicting slower goings in the early part today. Do you see any one player pulling a Jerry Yang and going full out from the beginning?
I think Jesse will be the one to come out flying and really, how could he not? He's got to be dominating with the chip lead and unless he runs into a big hand early, we can expect him to chip up using that style.
Over/Under on number of times Sylvia's girlfriend is shown on tonight's coverage? Not that I'm complaining!
A ton. I'll set the line at 15.
How long do you expect it to take to get to heads-up? Will ESPN2 cover it all?
They'll play from 9 to 3 tonight, and I'm expecting that it will take a very long time...at least until 5 a.m. ET
Prediction on loudest/most obnoxious fans? Any schtick?
Jesse's. No idea of the schtick yet. We'll know in a few hours. Fans aren't allowed in yet.
Who is likely to "blow up" and pull a stupid poker move?
Esposito. I think he's the greenest of the players here and really hasn't been preparing that much. He's going to come out and play his game from this summer and if there were any flaws then, they'll be exploited tonight
If ESPN is looking for someone in the booth tonight to join Lon and Norm, Gaelle Baumann might work...
Antonio is here, as is Olivier Busquet
Who do you think has the best chance of busting out first? Or do you think the order of busts is completely up in the air?
I could make the prediction based on the chip count, but I dont think that's going to happen. I think Esposito goes home first.
In your opinion, who would be "best for poker" and "worst for poker" respectively if they win?
Tough question, Kev. Best I'd have to go with Sylvia. He's personable, has been a good interview from the start and genuine. As for worst, I'd lean Koroknai as he won't be doing any media and as invisible as he's been for the past 3 months, we can probably expect that to last.
Is this the last year of the delayed final table format? I consider myself an avid poker fan and I forgot the FT was tonight until I read your tweets today.
I honestly don't think so...thanks for following on Twitter!
Any guess about how long before we lose our first player?
3 hours. Blinds are still too low.
What was up with that Ivey "interview" on FrontRow? That was laughably fake.
Not fake at all. 100% authentic. Ivey turning a new leaf with a new PR company that is getting him more involved.
Did you read Shane Schleger's tweet that Daniel retweeted? Zero buzz whatsoever for this tourney. I feel for you Andrew.
It's been a tough few months, but given the game, a final table with no star power is a likely possibility each year.
Andrew, will Elisabeth Hille go on a date with me? Can you ask her for me?
Her boyfriend might have a problem with that...
Does this mean Salaburu is coming out to Duran Duran?
I have no idea what he's coming out to, but I'm sure it will be entertaining
Do these guys cut any deals with each other to split their prize money? I know the WSOP doesn't allow chops, but I've heard of that being done before between players that know each other at final tables.
If they do, its definitely not public knowledge.
Will ESPN continue to broadcast the WSOP in 2013 and beyond?
Yes. We're partners with the WSOP through 2017
At least you're not on the East Coast, right Andrew?
No, but my wife/family is... Not very comforting
Did you thank your boy Phil Gordon for giving you the exclusive interview that explained his side? #journalism
Antonio and Olivier are 2 of the best/brightest players to do commentary, I love it! What's 1st place $ this year?
Which player is most likely to have the "Nobody believed in me!" attitude/approach?
Steve Gee. I don't think anyone has paid any attention to him since July.
Will we remember any of these people after the next couple of days, or will they be like Joe Cada?
Given the state of the industry, it'll be Joe Cada no matter who wins.
Do you think the other big stacks (Merson, Koroknai, Thomas) will look to mix it up with Sylvia early knowing that he's a very aggressive player (sometimes too aggressive, i.e. his 4 bet with 10-5o)? Or is it more likely they will just try to pick on the guys at the bottom (Balsiger and Ausmus)?
I don't think any of them are going to try and mix it up with him early... Thomas and Merson also have a lot of experience with Sylvia, so if they do get involved, expect them to have the edge.
No faith in Esposito? He seemed to play pretty solid from ESPN coverage.
It's hard to predict anything about poker, so we do have to go on the past. I thought for the most part, Esposito looked a little uncomfortable on the broadcasts. I know he's confident and has the ability to get it done, but something just didn't seem right during his hands this summer
Andrew, you work for the biggest sports company on the planet. Doesn't that give you cache? Did Phil Gordon stop returning your calls? I think it's your duty as a journalist to find the story and break news, especially given your platform. Instead it's just cheerleading.
You have a good point and I'm not going to argue with anything you just said.
Are you worried about the industry?
I think its at a pretty big stall right now and unless some legislation moves, it's going to continue and remain at that point.
@Eric Esposito plays ABC poker, he's good, but for him to win this he'll need to run extremely good.
Which two players would be best for poker to plays heads-up for the title? I'm think Silvia/Thomas for the story line.
I think you're right on that one. I'd also go Merson/Salaburu OR Salaburu/Balsiger.
If we're talking storyline and heads-up Kronkai v. anyone. It's basically the Hero vs. the Villian.
I think one reason that interest is lacking this year compared to last year is the lack of streaming coverage leading up to the final table. Do you agree?
Not really. I think while many of us, myself included, would love live streaming coverage all the time, there's a larger audience that just wants the edited goodness since they are more comfortable with that.
Haven't seen much on ESPN regarding the Lederer interviews and him playing again. Any plans for a podcast or story after the Final Table?
I did a complete off the record interview with HL. I am still hoping more is coming on that front.
If only Gaelle had gone in with those pocket sixes and out lasted another short stack, right?
I'd love to know why she folded there...
Erick Lindgren keeps taking hits. Has he commented on any of the mudslinging?
I know that he'll be giving an exclusive interview to someone in the coming days. Not ESPN.
Has Merson been playing the longest? Seems like he's the fan favorite of all the poker pros on twitter.
Gee, he's been playing longer than most of these guys have been alive.
Has coverage of the events become more challenging with the mandatory delays?
I'm going to tweeting and doing a chat all night, live live. No delay. I'm not concerned on that front at all.
Off the record with Lederer? Did anything he say change your opinion of either him or the FTP situation?
There's a reason I haven't written anything on the topic...When it comes to a story like that, one source is not enough.
So who are you all picking to make the final 3?
Merson, Thomas, Ausmus (long shot, but if he gets chips he can do some damage)
Asmus, Merson, Koroknai
Merson, Salaburu, Thomas. I think one of the bottom 3 makes it to Tuesday night. By the way, I think the tape-delay coverage is great. It's perfect for people who want to see the hole cards, but also for people who actually play poker and like to try to figure out what everyone has....
Merson, Thomas, Salaburu
Thanks for all the questions everyone. I'll be chatting again here tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET, but as for tonight, I'll be hosting a Cover it Live chat for the duration of the final table and of course, tweeting at @AFeldmanESPN.