Handicapping the WSOP final table

Jesse Sylvia has the chip count lead heading into play at the final table at the World Series of Poker. AP Photo/David Becker

Editor's note: The WSOP main event final table will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. Monday.

LAS VEGAS -- Jesse Sylvia is the chip leader heading into the main event final table on Monday, but is he the best bet?

Wait, what? There's betting on the World Series of Poker?

In a word: Yes!

Sylvia, one of eight U.S. residents in the October Nine, opened as the 3-2 favorite after the final table was determined back at the Rio Hotel & Casino back in July as he has about 43.9 million of the nearly 198 million in chips in play. Another American, Greg Merson, opened as the second betting choice at 5-2 despite being third in chips with 28.7 million, just behind Andras Koroknai of Hungary, who has just more than 29 million in chips and opened as the 3-1 third choice.

Players at the World Series of Poker's Main Event final table have always had cheering sections: family members who fly in to watch the action; friends who came to play with them and stayed to cheer from the rail; partners/sponsors; and regular fans, if the player became famous enough.

But last year we added other people with a rooting (and vested) interest.