RUSSELL THOMAS

AGE: 24
RESIDES: HARTFORD, CONN.
CHIP COUNT: 24,800,000

Russell Thomas changed the course of his life over the past few months greater than anyone else who has made the final table since the inception of the "November/October Nine" format. The actuary took a leave from his job to live with poker coach Jason Somerville and a group of top pros in order to take his game to the next level prior to the biggest final table of his life. In early 2011, Thomas decided to leave the poker world to focus on his profession. Now, at the final table, the course has changed again and more poker seems to be in his future.

Thomas made a WSOP final table in 2010, cashed in the 2011 WSOP main event (248th) and during the break, finished 23rd at the WPT Parx event. Learning from that fifth-place finish, Thomas feels he has a little edge compared to some of the other players who have never experienced that opportunity. He has some strong ties to other players at the final table, including Jesse Sylvia who he roomed with during the 2010 WSOP. He has a strong cash game background and a calculated approach that will make sure that he minimizes risk with every decision.