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Vin Narayanan

Vin  Narayanan
Vin Narayanan is the former managing editor at Casino City and has been involved in the gaming industry for over a decade Vin is currently based in Hong Kong, where he runs his own consultant group and works as head of gaming and public relations for Mega Digital Entertainment Group.

Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for, USA WEEKEND and CNN.

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Top-10 potential coaches for Main Event's final table

7 Jul 2008

By Vin Narayanan

When the World Series of Poker pauses its final table next week for 117 days, the nine players reaching the final table will have a chance to get some coaching before the attempting to win the $9,119,517 first prize.

With that in mind, we decided to compile a list of Top-10 potential coaches for the Main Event final table. In order to qualify for this list (with one exception), players had to be already eliminated from the tournament (and thus available for coaching) prior to Day 2 action.

10. Humberto Brenes
Brenes' shark act isn't popular with the pros -- and some fans. But if you need a Spanish-speaking pro, he's the one to turn to. He's successful. He has a devoted following of players in Latin America. And hey, this is the WORLD Series of Poker. A Latin American player reaching the final table isn't a stretch.

9. Tom McEvoy
The 1983 Main Event champion has reinvented himself. He plays several hours a day on PokerStars now, and regularly coaches players and gives lessons. That makes him a perfect person to tab for a coaching position. He's a brilliant poker player. He knows the modern game. And he knows how to teach.

8. Phil Laak
Laak has three things going for him. He's an excellent player. He's personable. And he taught Jen Tilly how to play poker. That's an impressive trifecta for any coach.

7. Dan Harrington
"Action" Dan won the Main Event in 1995. He finished third in the 2003 Main Event, fourth in 2004 and sixth in 1987. That's an impressive Main Event career for any player. But what sets him apart is brilliant book, Harrington on Hold 'em. It's one of the seminal books on poker strategy. And it makes Harrington a great candidate to coach a player for the final table.

6. Andy Bloch
Bloch is a mathematical genius with brilliant card sense. And he has the calm, friendly demeanor needed to teach poker. Bloch could help any player in a short timeframe evaluate hands they should and shouldn't be in, and when to push. And for some of the players at the final table, that could be critical information.

5. Chris "Jesus" Ferguson
Another "mathematical" player who excels at final tables. He won the Main Event in 2000. And he's a brilliant heads up player. He finished second in the National Heads-Up Tournament in 2005 and 2006 and won the event by beating Andy Bloch this year. The eventual champion will have to play heads up. And Ferguson is the best in the business in that format.

4. Doyle Brunson
Ten bracelets. Two Main Event titles. Thirty-one cashes and $2.8 million in WSOP career earnings. He's the author of Super System and Super System 2 – the definitive books on poker strategy. A coaching resume doesn't get much better than this.

3. Daniel Negreanu
Kid Poker looks like he was born to teach. He's a brilliant communicator who understands how to explain tactics, and that's a difficult thing to find. His easygoing personality will enable him to bond with a pupil quickly. And he's a fantastic player. That' a great combination.

2. Annie Duke
Anybody that's seen Duke on the Best Damn Poker Show knows this woman is born to coach. Her ability to communicate the nuances of the game is unparalleled. She can turn amateurs into really good players and help pros refine their games in a very short time frame. And she does it with grace and style.

1. Johhny Chan
Chan is still alive in this year's tournament with 77,500 in chips. But we had to put on this list because of his work with Jamie Gold. Chan worked with Gold, who took home a record $12 million with his victory in the 2006 Main Event. And because Chan has already successfully steered one player to victory, he's No. 1 on our list of candidates to coach players at this year's much-anticipated final table.

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