Although attention may be focused on other bigger-name players, Eric Buchman has positioned himself to steal poker's biggest prize. He has made two World Series of Poker final tables, one in which he was a runner-up finisher in 2007, and one just this year in which he finished sixth; a WSOP Circuit final table in which he finished runner-up again; several other WSOP cashes; and nearly $1 million in career tournament earnings. All these have shown that Buchman is a threat to win the big one.
A 29-year-old poker player from Valley Stream, N.Y., Buchman is no stranger to profit at the poker table. Since recording his first live cash in 2003, Buchman has been in the money 21 more times. This final table has already doubled his career earnings, and considering that he has 34,800,000 and sits second in chips, he could be adding a lot more money to his bankroll next week.
How He Got There
No stranger to the pressures of tournament poker, Buchman played solid poker while gathering plenty of chips thanks to value bets that forced opponents to fold. One example of Buchman's shrewd play came against fellow November Niner, James Akenhead. As recounted by PokerNews' Nicole Gordon, Buchman and Akenhead saw a flop of . Buchman led out making it 525,000 to go. Akenhead calmly made the call. Buchman fired a second bet (725,000) when the hit on the turn. Akenhead again made the call. The river brought the and Buchman bet 1.2 million. A soon-to-be-disappointed Akenhead again made the call when Buchman turned over for the flopped straight.
In addition to Buchman's solid play, lady luck lent him a hand to the final table. According to a recent chat on ESPN.com, Buchman put his stack at risk several times only to reap positive results. "There were three times when I was all-in and behind and managed to suck out and win those three hands. There were probably another handful of times where I was all-in and ahead and my hand held up," said Buchman in the chat.
What to Look For
Sitting in seat six, Buchman is undoubtedly a big threat. He is second in chips only behind Darvin Moon and has position on both Joe Cada and Antoine Saout, both of whom are sitting relatively short-stacked. Look for Buchman to wield his large stack against his shorter-stacked opponents who will be looking to climb the money ladder.
Buchman, however, will need to be careful because he has Steve Begleiter with the third biggest stack to his left and the always dangerous Phil Ivey two seats over. He'll have to practice patience to avoid the potentially difficult spot if Ivey three-bets all-in to a light preflop raise.