Experience matters at the WSOP

17 July 2010

LAS VEGAS -- At the end of Day 7 of the World Series of Poker's Main Event, one thing was clear: experience matters.

As the field narrowed from 78 to 27, players who had the most experience at the WSOP were the ones still standing, hoping to make it through one more day to become part of this year's November Nine. In fact, that experience seemed to be even more important than starting chip stacks. Of the bottom 27 players in the chip counts heading into the day, only four made it through to Day 8. Two of them are former bracelet winners.

Seven of the 78 players who started the day already own WSOP bracelets, and four of them are still standing. Most notably, two-time bracelet winner Scott Clements started the day in 66th, but will enter Day 8 in 14th with 7.25 million chips.

Scott Clements went from short stack to November Nine contender on Day 7.

Scott Clements went from short stack to November Nine contender on Day 7. (photo by Vin Narayanan)

This series had been a disappointing one for Clements leading up to the Main Event, at least by his own lofty standards. He had just two cashes totaling $21,534 after making a WSOP final table in each of the last four years. He has a chance to continue that streak on Saturday when the field plays down to the November Nine.

Clements has won more than $1.1 million over the last six years at the WSOP. He won his first bracelet in an Omaha Hi-Low event in 2006, then came back to win his second in a Pot-Limit Omaha event in 2007, but his finish in this event has already guaranteed him his biggest WSOP payday, as all players remaining are now guaranteed $317,161. He will have to advance to the final table, however, to net his biggest career win; Clements owns a WPT title that paid more than $1.5 million.

Hasan Habib, also a former bracelet winner, started the day in 63rd and was also able to advance to the final three tables. He is, however, the short-stacked player, holding just over 1.5 million chips.
Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi lost some chips late in Day 7, but is still in the hunt for his second bracelet.

Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi lost some chips late in Day 7, but is still in the hunt for his second bracelet. (photo by Vin Narayanan)

Pascal LeFrancois (third) and Michael Mizrachi (16th) are also still in the hunt for their second WSOP bracelet, with 15.78 million and 6.3 million chips, respectively. Bracelet winners eliminated on Day 7 included David Benyamine and Eric Baldwin, who exited early in the day in 58th and 59th, respectively, and Theo Jorgensen, who was eliminated late in 30th.

The last Main Event winner who was already a bracelet winner was Chris "Jesus" Ferguson in 2000.

While experience does matter, a few inexperienced players were able to make their way through the field and advance to the last day of play before the November Nine. Eight of the 27 remaining players haven't won one cent at the WSOP, but only two of them are in the top-10 in the chip standings. Matthew Jarvis is in fifth with 13.3 million, while Benjamin Statz is 10th with just under 10 million.

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