WSOP October Nine Profile: Jesse Sylvia WSOP October Nine Profile: Jesse Sylvia

WSOP Main Event chip leader Jesse Sylvia believes he might be destined to win this one.

“Every day I felt like I was going to make the final table,” he told Pokerfuse in an email. “I was playing well and running well, and I felt a bit invincible.”

One of the key moments for him came at the feature table on Day 7, when he hit a running full house against Greg Merson, after Merson turned a flush.

“The crowed gave an 'oooooooh,’ but I was already collecting my things,” Sylvia said. “Then the river was a 3, bringing my full house. I ran to my rail, and we all went nuts. It was a sign, to me, that this was my tournament to win. A few hours later, we made it to the final table, and I had a mountain of chips in front of me.”

Sylvia will return to the final table with 43,875,000, which is 14.5 million more than the second biggest chip stack of Andras Koroknai.

The 26-year-old grew up in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., and still considers that home.

Sylvia started playing online while living in Massachusetts, and made a bunch of small deposits before finally finding success. He chopped a Pokerstars Sunday Million in college and that gave him “financial flexibility” and the confidence to turn pro.

He wants to bring as many friends and family from back home to rail the final table later this month.

“Where I live there is a pretty large, tightly knit community, and I expect a lot of friends will come out,” he said. “The support of friends and family is so, so important. They make me want to be a better person, player, etc. I really believe that the people close to you keep your head straight, especially in times like this, where there is so much that can rattle a person.”

If he takes down the $8.5 million top prize, his first priority is to party.

“Really hard,” he said. “Then I’ll buy my mom a house.”

He also believes the Main Event champion should promote the game.

“It’s a game of skill and strategies,” he said. “If I win, and become an ambassador, I’d like to promote that image of the game; that it isn’t just another form of gambling.”