With the field whittled down to only 64 players, poker superstar Phil Ivey and Antonio Esfandiari, aka 'the magician' are near the top of the chip stacks and primed for a final table run.
Nothing would be more exciting for poker than to have Phil Ivey and Esfandiari at the final table of this years WSOP. As poker fans and poker as an industry, this would be another great boost that could propel thousands of new poker players into the fray of poker as well as bringing back tons of fish who have been fleeced for their money back in the day.
Phil Ivey is one of the sponsoring pro's of Fulltiltpoker.com and I'm sure they would like nothing more than for one of their own to take down the biggest poker tournament of the year. Talk about a huge boost of marketing power to their budget. And who could forget the UB commercials featuring Antonio shirtless and then jumping into a pool and loosing his shorts.
If those two make the final table, it will be BIG for poker. It could be really big. Personally I think it would make the more recreational poker players play more, maybe re-deposit at one of their favorite online poker sites that they busted out of earlier rather than bring throngs of brand new players to the tables like Chris Moneymaker did when he won in 03.
Regardless, I'm sure ESPN, Harrahs and the whole of the poker world is holding their breath that these guys make the final table.
We can hope, and with Ivey and Esfandiari's talent it looks like a strong possibility.