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October 21, 2014

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November Nine:

Akenhead at a disadvantage to start final table

Akenhead is more than 50 million chips behind leader

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James Akenhead yawns during the World Series of Poker at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 15, 2009.

Final Table Chip Count

James Akenhead is infamously remembered for a bad beat he suffered in a World Series of Poker tournament last year on ESPN.

Akenhead was one of two players left in the event and pushed all his chips in with Ace-King, one of poker’s top starting hands. His opponent called with 10-4, a weak starting hand.

Akenhead had a clear advantage. Despite the odds, his opponent flopped a full house and knocked out Akenhead.

“He was the best player,” ESPN poker commentator Norman Chad said, “but didn’t win because of the luck of the tournament draw.”

Now, Akenhead is back at a final table. And this time it’s the Main Event, where the stakes are much higher.

The 25-year old poker professional from London has the shortest stack at the table with 6.8 million chips. That should drastically change his mindset when play resumes this weekend.

“He needs to get lucky in the first hour or two and then he can play poker after the first time he pushes all his chips in and doubles up,” Chad said. “He certainly has more experience and more skill than about half of the players on the table.”

Akenhead is considered one of Europe’s top young players. He’s cashed in a number of tournaments, including a final table appearance at the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event.

He started playing poker just a few years ago and decided it was a more promising career-path than working as a train driver.

So far, it looks as if he made the right decision. Even if he had to deal with losing his best shot at winning a bracelet in devastating fashion.

“That has made me so much hungrier to win a bracelet,” Akenhead told CardPlayer magazine.

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