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Sponsors Win And Lose At WSOP Main Event Final Table

888 Loses Out To Iveypoker In The Battle Of The Brands

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October Nine888’s unlucky run at the World Series of Poker main event final table continued yesterday when, despite sponsoring three of the final four players in the $10,000 buy in event, it still managed to lose the coveted bracelet.

Both Jessie Sylvia and Jake Balsiger were sponsored by the online poker site at the final table of the world’s biggest poker tournament.

They finished third and second respectively to Greg Merson. The online gaming company also sponsored Russel Thomas who came fourth.

Last year 888 sponsored Sam Holden who came 9th.

The big winner this year, apart from victor Greg Merson himself is Phil Ivey whose new poker training company Iveypoker.com sponsored the young Baltimorean.

Ivey, who made the final table of the main event himself as recently as 2009, clearly has a knack for spotting poker talent as Merson lay third in chips going into the final table behind Hungary’s Andras Korokani and Sylvia.

Ahead of the final table Ivey told ESPN, “I’m picking Greg [Merson] to win. I love his demeanor and I think he’ll be calm. He’ll know when to put the pressure on and he’ll know when to back off. I’m expecting him to win — hopefully.

“I think he’s going to be around poker a long time and be very successful — that’s why I chose Greg. He saw an opportunity to be associated with the brand, but really it was me that came after him. It wasn’t like he approached me.”

PokerStars and Full Tilt, traditionally two of the biggest sponsors of players at the final table of the main event, did not sponsor anyone this year.