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Heading into the final day of the 2015 WSOP Main Event, just 27 players remained with every player looking to turn the run of a lifetime into a spot in the November Nine. Thomas Kearney started the day as chip leader but all eyes were on Daniel Negreanu. He started the day with 8.49 million in chips and was in good shape to make the November Nine.

Despite starting the final day as chip leader, Thomas Kearney was never able to gain any momentum and steadily slid through the day. Ultimately, he fell in 15th place to Thomas Cannuli. After a raise by Kearney to 500,000 pre-flop, Cannuli shoved for 4.45 million. Kearney called for less.

Cannuli held As-10s and was behind the pocket queens of Kearney. The flop fell Kc-9s-8s to keep Kearney in the lead but Cannuli picked up a flush draw. The turn fell the 5s to complete Cannuli’s draw and Kearney was drawing dead. The river 4h sent Kearney to the rail to collect $411,453 for his 15th place finish.

Negreanu Eliminated in 11th

Daniel Negreanu began to slide right around the time of Kearney’s elimination and soon found himself on the short stack.  At one point, he was down to just 2.79 million but found a timely double-up against Joe McKeehen. He was all-in pre-flop with pocket fours against the As-7h of McKeehen. Negreanu dodged McKeehen’s outs to move up to 5.94 million.

Negreanu continued to battle for the remainder of the level and eventually worked his way back up to around 9 million. By the time play was down to 11 players, Negreanu was sitting ninth in chips. Back in 2001, Negreanu was deep in the Main Event and finished 11th in that event. Media and various players began to speculate whether Negreanu would improve on his finish in this event or if he would fall short of the November Nine.

Due to the concerns over the pace of play, or more specifically the pace of Zvi Stern‘s play, play was made hand-for-hand at the start of level 35. Shortly after the start of HFH play, the one thing ESPN and WSOP officials didn’t want to happen unfolded as Daniel Negreanu hit the rail.

Joe McKeehen raised to 800,000 from the button and Negreanu called from the big blind. The flop fell Ad-Kc-10d, Negreanu checked and McKeehen led out for 700,000. Negreanu then shoved for 5.82 million and was called.

Negreanu showed As-4d for top pair and McKeehen showed Jd-3d for a Broadway draw and a flush draw. The turn 3h missed both players but the river Qh gave McKeehen Broadway and Negreanu collapsed to the floor with the realization that his Main Event was over in 11th place.

Turyansky Becomes November Nine Bubble Boy

With the elimination of Daniel Negreanu in 11th place, the unofficial final table of 10 was reached. Just one more elimination was needed before the November Nine was locked in. Joe McKeehen took a massive chip lead into the final table and had twice as many chips as second place Zvi Stern.

Here are the chip counts at the start of the unofficial final table:

Seat 1: Alex Turyansky – 6,250,000
Seat 2: Zvi Stern – 29,900,000
Seat 3: Pierre Neuville – 16,420,000
Seat 4: Josh Beckley – 6,125,000
Seat 5: Max Steinberg – 19,050,000
Seat 6: Thomas Cannuli – 14,150,000
Seat 7: Joe McKeehen – 60,425,000
Seat 8: Patrick Chan – 8,525,000
Seat 9: Federico Butteroni – 8,500,000
Seat 10: Neil Blumenfield – 23,300,000

In the 22nd hand of play at the unofficial final table, Alex Turyansky became the November Nine bubble boy. He raised to 850,000 pre-flop and Joe McKeehen made it 2.05 million to go. Turyansky then shoved for 8.8 million and McKeehan made the easy call.

It was pocket queens for McKeehan versus the Ac-Kh for Turyansky. The flop fell 7h-6c-5h, missing both players. The turn 8d left McKeehan six outs for a win and eight outs for a chop. The river fell the Jd and Turyansky finished in 10th place, earning $756,897.

With Turyansky’s elimination, the November Nine is set. Joseph McKeehan has a 2:1 chip lead over the next closest competitor and will be the favorite. Zvi Stern is second in chips with 29.8 million and looks to become the first Main Event winner from Israel.

The November Nine will play out from November 8 through 10 inside the Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio in Las Vegas. Between now and November, the poker world will get to know the November Nine well and they will be tasked with being the game’s ambassadors for the remainder of the summer and through the fall.

Meet the November Nine

With Daniel Negreanu falling short of the November Nine, some of you may have lost interest in this final. However, missing this final will mean you will miss on some great stories.

The remaining players have all been paid ninth place money of $1 million and will return in November to play for the championship bracelet and the $7.68 million top prize. Below is a quick introduction to the players that make up the November Nine:

Joseph McKeehen – The 23-year-old pro from North Wales, PA came into the Main Event just shy of $2 million in earnings. He is a two-time WSOP Circuit ring winner and won the Caesars AC Circuit Main Event in 2013

Last year, McKeehen finished runner-up in the Monster Stack and looks to take the next step by winning the Main Event. He knocked out Daniel Negreanu in 11th and his comments on Twitter will probably leave him with a target on his back for quite some time. He heads into the November Nine with the chip lead holding 63.1 million, twice that of his next closest opponent.

Zvi Stern – The lone Israeli at the table, Stern is already enjoying his best run ever in a live event. Prior to the Main Event, he had two live cashes with a total of $49,595 in career earnings. Stern may not have the experience of other players at this table, but that didn’t stop him from making the November Nine with a second place stack. He will come back in November with 29.8 million.

Neil Blumenfield – Blumenfield is the one of the oldest players at this final table. The 61-year-old proves that age is just a number in poker. Prior to the Main Event, he had $130,468 in live earnings, including a deep run in the 2012 Main Event. Earlier this summer, he cashed in the Seniors Event and now is playing for the richest prize in poker. He starts third in chips with 22 million.

Pierre Neuville – The 72-year-old retired board game creator has an impressive poker resume that’s been compiled after most players have “retired” from the game. Neuville has over $2.1 million in career earnings with 19 career WSOP cashes and two final tables.

Last year, Neuville cashed eight times at the WSOP and finished runner-up in the $5,000 NL Six-Max. He last cashed in the Vegas Main Event in 2010. In 2011, he finished 64th in the WSOP Europe Main Event. He will start the November Nine fourth in chips with 21.07 million.

Max Steinberg – Steinberg has enjoyed tremendous success at the World Series of Poker in the past. In 2010, he finished runner up in a $1,500 NL Event and then took down a $1,000 NL Event in 2012 for his first bracelet.

In 2013, Steinberg made two final tables, including a runner-up finish in the $3,000 NL Mixed Max. He also finished 131st in the Main Event. Steinberg has also locked up his first seven-figure score with his November Nine run and looks to win his second career bracelet. He will come back in November with 20.2 million in chips.

Thomas Cannuli – Primarily an online cash game player in New Jersey, Cannuli doesn’t have an extensive live tournament record. He did cash in last year’s Main Event now looks to break out in a major way by taking down the Main Event. He will return with 12.25 million in chips in November.

Joshua Beckley – In the last year, Joshua Beckley has put together an impressive tournament resume. He has amassed 18 tournament cashes, five WSOP cashes and now the Main Event final table. All five of his WSOP cashes came this summer. This is Beckley’s breakout event and he looks to take the most coveted prize in the game. He returns in November with a stack of 11.8 million.

Patrick Chan – Chan is a pro from New York with over a half million in live tournament earnings. Last summer, Chan finished 12th in the Millionaire Maker for just over $100,000. The 2015 Main Event is his first seven-figure score but he will have to gain some chip early to have any chance at the bracelet. He is the second shortest stack with 6,225,000.

Federico Butteroni – Italy’s lone representative in the November Nine will have to get to work early to avoid going home in ninth place. Butteroni is the short stack with 6.2 million but has been riding the short stack for the last couple of days of the Main Event.

He’s currently enjoying his best year in poker with $82k of his $103,000 in career earnings coming this year. Butteroni finished 20th in the Monster Stack earlier this summer and won the 3 PM Daily Deepstack held at the WSOP on June 24th. He going to need his “one time” to kick in early in November if he hopes to improve on the $1 million already paid out.

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.

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