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World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table Profile -- Jacob Balsiger

Balsiger Could Become Youngest Main Event Champion In Poker History

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This week, Card Player will be looking at each of 2012 World Series of Poker main event final tablists, starting with the shortest stacks and working our way up to the chip leader. Be sure to check back each day to read more about the October Nine.

At just 21 years old, Jacob Balsiger doesn’t have a lot of poker experience. He has just one live tournament cash entering the final table of WSOP main event, a 100th place finish in event no. 2, a $1,500 no-limit hold’em tournament that earned him just $3,970.

To be fair, Balsiger is still incredibly new to the live tournament scene. So new, in fact, that should he mount a comeback next Monday to win the title, he’ll supplant Joe Cada as the youngest main event winner in poker history.

“I think age is not that important anymore in the game,” said Balsiger. “I think some of the older players have a bit of an edge on me because they’ve been experiencing it longer, they’ve been in more situations, have more information, but I think that being young, you can still be a good player and do well.”

The October Niner originally planned on only playing a couple of preliminary events and was even on his way out of town before a group of friends convinced him to play in the main event. According to various reports, Balsiger sold 80 percent of his action and wound up going on the run of a lifetime, guaranteeing himself at least a $754,798 payday, if not the $8,527,982 first-place prize.

Balsiger, originally from Oregon, now calls Arizona home, where he attends Arizona State University as a political science major. Though he has traveled to a couple of tournament stops during his break, he has been mainly focusing on finishing up his senior year and earning his bachelor’s degree.

That being said, he has been working on his game during his downtime, hiring EPT champion and $4.4 million lifetime winner Mike McDonald as his poker coach. He has also made the most of his time in the spotlight, securing a sponsorship deal with poker site 888.com.

For complete coverage of the summer poker festival, check out our WSOP landing page.