Allegany native Bryan Piccioli is one of nine to make to the final table at the 2017 World Series of Poker.
He currently sits fourth in the chip count heading into the final table at $33.8 million. Ahead of Piccioli are Morristown, New Jersey's Scott Blumstein ($97.25 million), England's John Hesp ($85.7 million) and France's Benjamin Pollak ($35.175 million). At the 2016 main event, Piccioli owned the chip lead heading into Day 5 (seven days have been completed so far this year) but faltered and finished 84th overall.
To sneak into the final table, Piccioli was set to finish in 11th until a river eight complemented his pocket eights to push him to the final 10 despite a 5% chance to stay alive. Here's the dramatic sequence, with his celebration coming at the 2:12 mark:
— PokerGO (@PokerGO) July 18, 2017
To slide into the final nine, Piccioli flipped a coin with Michael Ruane for nearly all of their combined chips, according to ESPN's Tim Fiorvanti. Piccioli won and reached the final table.
"I almost don't even want to talk about it," Piccioli told ESPN. "I hope he still loves me, let's just say that. I didn't want to be there in that spot against one of my good friends, but as Darryll Fish said after the hand when I came over ... [he] looked at me and just said, 'The game is the game.'"
The final table will begin play on Thursday at 9 p.m. on ESPN2. This year's field started with 7,221 players, the third-biggest ever. Here are the money amounts allocated to places 1-9.