LAS VEGAS (AP) — These nine men beat out a field of more than 6,000 in the annual World Series of Poker $10,000 buy in no-limit Texas Hold 'em contest in July. On Monday, they will meet again at the Rio Hotel-Casino off the Las Vegas Strip to determine who will take home the $8.4 million top prize and golden bracelet. The other eight players will share $17.6 million.
Players are in order of their finish.
—JC Tran (38,000,000 in chips). This 36 year-old father from Sacramento, Calif., is the most well-known player in the group. His prior World Series of Poker accomplishments include 44 cashes totaling $2.25 million, and winning back-to-back WSOP gold bracelets in 2008 and 2009. He has a young son, and is expecting a daughter in late November.
—Amir Lehavot (29,700,000 in chips). Lehavot is a poker pro form Israel who now lives in Weston, Fla. His prior accomplishments include 12 cashes totaling more than $800,000. At 38, he is the oldest of the finalists. He has entered the main event every year since 2007.
—Marc McLaughlin (26,525,000 in chips). McLaughlin, 25, hails from Brossard, in Quebec, Canada. He identifies himself as a tattoo artist and ping pong aficionado as well as a poker player. His prior WSOP accomplishments include five consecutive years playing in the main event championship, and six main event cashes for a total of $639,128.
—Jay Farber (25,975,000 in chips). The one amateur among the finalists, Farber is a VIP host at the megaclub Hakkasan on the Las Vegas Strip. The 29 year-old from Doylestown, Pa. had no prior WSOP accomplishments before he made the final nine. He got to the money in the main event for the first time this year, and said he sees poker as just a hobby.
—Ryan Riess (25,875,000 in chips). Riess, a poker pro from East Lansing, Mich., entered the main event for the first time this year. His prior WSOP accomplishments include 13 cashes for $296,918. He started playing poker at 14. Now 23, he is the youngest of the final nine. Riess holds a bachelor's degree in business from Michigan State University.
—Sylvain Loosli (19,600,000 in chips). Loosli, 26, hails from Toulon, France, and says he is hoping to prove French players are as good as Americans. He is a poker professional, but has never cashed at the WSOP. Instead, he claims more than $1 million in winnings from online poker. He holds a master's degree in business.
—Michiel Brummelhuis (11,275,000 in chips). Brummelhuis, 32, started playing poker online as a college student in the Netherlands. Now a pro living in Amsterdam, he has cashed seven times at the WSOP for winnings totaling $174,179. He welcomed his first child in September.
—Marc Newhouse (7,350,000 in chips). Newhouse, a professional poker player from Chapel Hill, N.C., finished in 207th place in the 2011 WSOP main event. The 28 year-old's prior WSOP accomplishments include seven cashes for $162,386.
—David Benefield (6,375,000 in chips). This 27 year-old poker pro, lags behind the rest of the players, but some observers believe he has a good shot at the bracelet if he can survive the early rounds. Benefield, from Fort Worth, Texas, is studying political science at Columbia University and has logged 12 WSOP cashes totaling $455,713. He considers himself a semi-retired poker player.