November Niner Cuong Nguyen is 37 years old. In the eyes of the other eight poker players who’ll sit down with him on Saturday for the Final Table of the WSOP Main Event, he might as well be Methuselah. That’s because the average age of 2010’s November Niners is a scant 26 years old, the youngest in history. Seven of the players are between 23 and 26. That’s pretty incredible when you remember that 7,319 players entered the contest, and we think we can recall seeing at least one guy with grey hair. (We could be wrong, we’ll have to check the tape.)
Considering that Nguyen is holding the second shortest stack, and thus a long shot to last until the end, we are probably looking at another poker pup taking the title. But that’s the way things have been trending over the past couple years, with 2008 champ Peter Eastgate (22) and 2009’s youngest ever champ, Joe Cada (21) being ‘barely legal.’ True to form, the top four chip counts at this year’s table belong to the four youngest players – Jonathan Duhamel (23), and John Dolan, Joseph Cheong and John Racener (all 24).
The other numbers for this year’s Final Table are equally awe-inspiring. A prize pool of $29m, with the first player sent to the rail receiving $811k, and the ultimate winner walking away with a cool $8.9m (not a record amount, but nothing to sneeze at, neither). For a dose of perspective, that’s almost as many minutes that these young whippersnappers have been alive. Pardon us, while we head to the bathroom mirror to contemplate our very old and very poor selves.