Yesterday Vineyarder Jesse Sylvia secured a spot as one of the three finalists in the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event and will be contending for the $8.53 million jackpot when play resumes tonight at 9 p.m. He is assured of winning at least $3,799,073.
The world series tournament began in early July, initially narrowing the field of 6,598 players down to nine, with Mr. Sylvia in the lead when the tournament took a two-month hiatus. On Oct. 29 play resumed.
After more than nine hours of play last night, Mr. Sylvia now ranks second in chips with 62.8 million chips, compared to competitors Greg Merson’s 88.4 million chips and Jake Balsiger’s 46.9 million chips. The chips have no monetary value in the tournament, but a player is knocked out of competition when he loses all of his chips.
The 26-year-old West Tisbury native graduated from the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School in 2004. He has been living in Las Vegas for the past two years playing poker professionally.
Mr. Sylvia is joined in Las Vegas by a large cheering section of family and friends from the Vineyard, all of whom could be in heard in the background of the televised competition. One play in particular had the crowd on their feet when Mr. Sylvia knocked out Robert Salaburu by going “all in” and forcing his competitor to put all his chips in the pot. At the time the cards were against Mr. Sylvia and it was not until the very last card was dealt that Mr. Sylvia’s fortune shifted and he finally took the hand.
Action resumes tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight time and will be televised on ESPN.
Both Sharky’s locations, Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, are being transformed into Vegas-East for fans to come together and watch the action live.