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Day 2 of the 2015 WSOP Main Event final table, aka the November Nine, kicked off on Tuesday from the Rio in Las Vegas. Joe McKeehen returned still the chip leader and looked to tighten his grip on the bracelet.

Try as they might, not a single player made any headway towards challenging the chip leader. New Jersey’s favorite son at this final table was the first to go, followed by Israel’s latest hopeful for Main Event glory. Finally, my person pick to win it all fell short and exited in fifth place.

Click here to read our Day 1 Recap

Cannuli Busts Out With Class

Thomas Cannuli was knocked out in the second hand of play in the most brutal way possible. He picked up aces and got Max Steinberg to give him action with pocket tens. Unfortunately, a ten on the flop ended Cannuli’s run in sixth place.

Cannuli tried to get something going at this final table but was unable to gain any traction. I was extremely impressed with how he handled himself after his elimination. He was humble and appreciative for making the final table. He called it a “once in a lifetime moment” and was extremely thankful for the support from his friends and family in attendance.

Cannuli’s interview came across as both spontaneous and heartfelt and is the example of how players should conduct themselves in an interview. I would love to see players incorporate a similar style to their interviews as it would help improve the overall image of poker players in general.

Beckley Got His Double and Started Playing His Game

Josh Beckley came into Monday’s action as the short stack and was looking for his spot to double-up. He got that opportunity when Zvi Stern become overly aggressive with 10s-9s after Beckley picked up aces. His aces held and Beckley became the first player to double-up at this November Nine final table.

After getting new life, Beckley started playing his game and became a challenger for the rest of the day. At one point, he worked his way up to second place before sliding to third by the end of Day 2 action.

Beckley will return as the short stack on Tuesday but has at least $3.39 million locked up. He also has 24 big blinds left, so he isn’t quite in shove or fold territory yet. Beckley has the ability to make a run for the title but will probably have to run well against a tough chip leader and game amateur.

Two Hands From Robusto to Busto for Stern

The biggest gripe against Zvi Stern was that he took too much time to act before every hand. He sped up the pace of play on Monday and I am wondering if it didn’t help contribute to his eventual elimination.

Stern played very loose on Monday and made two big moves at the worst possible time to go from robusto to busto in chips. The first miscue was his shove with 10s-9s against Josh Beckley in a classic blind vs. blind confrontation. Beckley woke up with aces, doubled up and made Stern the short stack.

Later, Stern all but shoved with A-J pre-flop and ran into A-K from Neil Blumenfield. A king on the turn sent Stern out in fifth place, exactly where I said he would finish in my November Nine predictions piece from last week.

While I don’t advocate slow play in poker, in this particular case I wonder if Stern would have fared better had he continued his pace from yesterday.

Steinberg Played Well But Zero Traction

Heading into the November Nine, I felt that Max Steinberg had the best chance to overthrow McKeehen and take the title. He played well over the course of two days but he could not gain significant traction to challenge for the chip lead.

Steinberg appeared to have a game plan at the final table but he couldn’t put together a string of hands to build up chips. Many times, final table play requires that you play well and run well in order to win. He played well, but just didn’t have enough “run good” to win.

With all that said, I am not going to feel too bad for Steinberg. He won his way into the Main Event via a satellite on DraftKings for $27. That’s a profit of $2,615,334 before taxes.

Everyone Playing for Second?

It’s down to Joe McKeehen versus Neil Blumenfield and Josh Beckley. McKeehen will return with a 3:1 chip lead over the rest of the field. He has 128.82 million in chips. Blumenfield has 40.12 million with Beckley the short stack with 23.7 million.

Love him or hate him, you have to admit that McKeehen has game and looks nearly unbeatable at this final table. He has played nearly mistake-free poker and even when he makes a potential error; it isn’t big enough to really hurt him.

McKeehen has over 66% of the chips in play and all of the momentum. I still feel that Blumenfield will make it to heads-up play but unless McKeehen has a monumental collapse or is hit with a cold deck, I think we will see a wire-to-wire chip leader at this year’s November Nine.

With blinds of 500k-1M when play resumes at 9 on Tuesday, we could be in for a long night.

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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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