William Pappaconstantinou – or Billy Pappas, as he’s best known among his friends – is the most decorated play among the 2014 WSOP Min Event’s November Nine, but not in the way that you might think. His championship titles are copious, but do not relate to the game of poker. Pappaconstantinou is an elite master of the Foosball world, and the only player among the November Nine affixed with an amateur label.
At 29 years of age, Billy Pappas takes his love for poker in stride; a hobby that he undertakes in his spare time. It’s a convenient leisure pursuit for the young American, though, considering his full-time job also related to the world of card gaming. Pappaconstantinou is employed as a professional dealer at the Rockingham Park charity poker room in New Hampshire. As such, he may not play Texas Holdem for money as often as a his fellow 2014 WSOP Main Event final tablists, but he’s had more than enough opportunity to observe and harvest advice from his regular customers; all of which will be enthusiastically cheering him on come November 10.
Pappaconstantinou has been involved with his first love since he was very young. When he was just 12, he advanced to pro status on the Foosball circuit. Since then, he’s been named World Foosball Champion a staggering 9 times over. William has traversed the globe in pursuit of defense of his title, and will continue to compete in table-top football tournaments up until he returns to Vegas this November to finish out the 2014 WSOP.
Perhaps the notable difference between Billy Pappas’ acclaimed Foosball status and poker endeavors is the lucrative nature of each. The largest check he’s ever received for winning a Foosball match was $8,000. His largest poker tournament cash to date is $52,372; a tidy sum he earned for finishing 5th at the Palm Beach Kennel Club in a WSOP Circuit event in 2013. He’s cashed in a total of 16 major live poker tournaments dating back to October of 2010, racking up a total of $85,426 in winnings over that time. But all of those figures pale to the $730,725 he is guaranteed to received just for making the 2014 November Nine.
After Luis Velador sent his few remaining chips over to Mark Newhouse, resulting in his 10th place elimination and the formation of the official 2014 WSOP November Nine, media swarmed the final men standing for interviews and comments. Billy Pappas told reporters that there was a distinguishable difference between the Championship Foosball stage and the World Series of Poker. “The pressure is a little bit more here, and the money is huge. In foosball, I get to control the game and do what I do. If I lose the game it’s my fault. If I lose here it’s still my fault, but I don’t get to control it as much. These guys here are all better than me,” confessed the American amateur poker player. “In foosball, I am usually the better one at the table.”
William Pappaconstantinou is the 6th largest (4th smallest) chip stack coming into the final table with 17,500,000 (20 million behind the leader, Jorryt van Hoof). About half of that came from a precarious hand in which he doubled through the 12h place finish, Christopher Greaves. The 2014 World Series of Poker will reconvene for the grand finale in the Penn & Teller Theatre in Las Vegas, NV on November 10.
2014 WSOP November Nine Players and Chip Counts
|Jorryt van Hoof||38,375,000||Netherlands|