The 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event final table, aka the November Nine, kicked off on Monday from the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. For the first time ever, the winner of this event will receive $10 million in prize money. In addition, the winner receives the gold championship bracelet valued at over $500,000.
Jorryt Van Hoof (pictured) came into the final table as the overall chip leader, with Norway’s Felix Stephensen right behind. Mark Newhouse is this year’s headliner after making the November Nine for the second year in a row. Bruno Politano made history after become the first player from Brazil to make a Main Event final. He started as the short stack. Below are the final table participants and their starting chip stacks.
Jorryt Van Hoof – 38.37 million; Felix Stephensen – 32.77 million; Mark Newhouse – 26 million; Andoni Larrabe – 22.55 million; Dan Sindelar – 21.20 million; Billy Pappas – 17.50 million; William Tonking – 15.05 million; Martin Jacobson – 14.90 million; Bruno Politano – 12.12 million.
While things went as planned for Van Hoof, Newhouse had to settle for a second straight ninth place finish. Also, the popular Billy Pappas fell short of his goal of Main Event gold.
Newhouse Finishes 9th in Monster Pot
The big story heading into the November Nine was Mark Newhouse’s back-to-back runs to the November Nine. He started the day’s play third in chips and was looking to improve on his ninth place finish of a year ago.
The pace of place for this year’s November Nine was among the slowest in recent memory. With the small stacks starting with around 30 big blinds, there was plenty of time to set a pace and to be selective. As such, players did not make many moves and there were very few four bets in the early levels of play.
After three hours of play, we had our first elimination and it was not one that was expected. Heading into hand 56, William Tonking and Mark Newhouse were fighting for the middle spot with both holding a stack around 23 million. After the hand, one would become the chip leader and the other would go home in ninth.
Jorryt Van Hoof raised from the hijack to 1.1 million and Mark Newhouse made the call from the cutoff. Tonking three-bet to 3.75 million and only Newhouse called. The flop fell #jh#4c#2d and Tonking bet 3.5 million. Newhouse made the call. The turn revealed the #4h and Tonking checked the action over to Newhouse who bet 4.5 million. Tonking made the call.
The river produced the #jc and Tonking checked yet again. This time, Newhouse shoved for 10.2 million. Tonking went into the tank and asked for a count. He discovered that he had Newhouse covered and continued to evaluate his hand. Eventually, he made the call and Newhouse flipped over #10c#10h for two pair. Tonking than slammed his cards one at a time to reveal #qc#qd for a better two pair.
Just like that, Newhouse went from middle stack to eliminated in ninth place. Since everyone was paid ninth place money of $730,725 in July, Newhouse didn’t make another dime in prize money. Meanwhile, Tonking leapfrogged into the chip lead with 48.45 million in chips.
Politano 8th – Sindelar 7th
The pace of place stayed slow for a while, but in time, the blinds started to catch up to the shorter stacks. Bruno Politano was the first player in history from Brazil to make the final table and was the second short stack heading into hand 100. Looking to make a move to steal blinds, he moved all-in from the button with #qs#10c. Felix Stephensen snap-called from the big blind with pocket sevens.
Normally, a snap call in this spot would be the kiss of death, but Politano did have two overcards to Stephensen’s sevens. Unfortunately, those overcards didn’t help. The board ran out #6h#3h#2c#Kc#9h and Politano was knocked out in eighth. While he failed to become the first Brazilian to win the Main Event, he did earn $947,077 in prize money.
The next elimination came just six hands later when Dan Sindelar fell to Jorryt Van Hoof. Van Hoof had regained the chip lead a few hands prior and started the hand with over 61 million in chips. Sindelar had just 9.15 million and put those chips at risk pre-flop with #jd#jc. Van Hoof decided to make the call and flipped over #ah#3h.
The flop absolutely crushed Sindelar. After the dealer turned over #a#7h#2h, Sindelar was left with just the #jc as his only out to win the hand. The turn fell the #3d and river the #qs and Sindelar hit the rail in 7th. Sindelar became the first millionaire at this final table, earning $1.23 million.
Larrabe Out in 6th
At one point during the final table, Andoni Larrabe was third in chips, but with six players remaining, he started to slide. His slide began after a huge pot against Billy Papas. After Pappas raised to 1.4 million, Larrabe moved all-in from the big blind with #kh#qh. Unfortunately for Larrabe, Pappas turned over pocket kings and was well ahead. The flop came out #as#ah#ad, giving Pappas a stranglehold on the hand. The turn #4s left Larrabe drawing dead and down to 12.8 million in chips.
He continued to slide and soon found himself with a stack of around 10 big blinds. With 8.32 million left in his stack, Andoni Larrabe moved all-in with #jc#10c and Jorryt Van Hoof made the call with #kh#5h. Van Hoof instantly took the lead with a flop of #ks#8d#3h and Larrabe needed a running pair or straight cards to win the hand. The turn #8h left him drawing dead and the river #6d officially sent him to the rail in sixth place, earning $1.62 million.
Pappas Loses Massive Flip En Route to 5th Place Exit
It was over three hours before the next player would hit the rail. As the sun began to rise in the United States, a massive pot developed between Billy Pappas and Martin Jacobson. Jacobson open shoved from the button for 24.4 million and Billy Pappas called for what appeared to be around the same amount.
Jacobson turned over pocket fives and was flipping against #ad#jh for Pappas. Jacobson proceeded to spike a set on a flop of #qs#6c#5d. Pappas needed running Broadway cards to win the pot. The turn #7c left Pappas drawing dead, but amazingly not out. After counting down the stacks, Pappas was left with 50,000 chips. This was equal to a single ante.
The next hand, Pappas was all-in blind for the ante. Jacobson raised to 2.25 million with #kh#9s and Felix Stephensen three-bet to 5.5 million with pocket fours. Van Hoof then put in a rare four-bet at this final table with pocket jacks. Jacobson and Stephensen got out of the way and Van Hoof was awarded a 7.75 million side pot.
Meanwhile, there was the matter of the ante pot. Pappas was all-in for the antes and amazingly picked up a pair. Unfortunately, they were sevens and he was well behind. The flop #as#qd#2c changed little. A #qh on the turn still left Pappas looking for one of the remaining sevens in the deck. The river fell #6c and Pappas’ run in the main event was over. The one true amateur in the field took home $2.14 million.
Tonking Goes From Chip Lead to Eliminated in Fourth
As play continued to grind through the night into morning, William Tonking was unable to stay atop the leaderboard. When four-handed play started, he found himself the short stack with just 23 million. With blinds of 500,000 and 1 million, he would need to find a spot to double in short order.
Tonking found a pair to try to double with, but it was the worst possible pair. After a Van Hoof raise to 2.2 million, Tonking shoved with pocket deuces. Martin Jacobson came over the top and shoved from the small blind with pocket tens and Tonking was crushed.
Not so fast. The flop fell #jc#5c#4c and suddenly Tonking went from two outs to 11 outs. The turn fell the #6d and now Tonking picked up three additional outs for a gutshot straight. Despite having what Norman Chad called a slot machine of outs, the river appeared as the #qs to end Tonking’s deep run in the Main Event. He earned $2.84 million for his outstanding play.
Van Hoof Leads Final Three
At first, it appeared play would continue until heads-up was reached, but WSOP officials decided to stop for the day after hand 244, the end of level 39. Three players remain in the Main Event. Jorryt Van Hoof will return Tuesday night as the chip leader with 89.62 million. Martin Jacobson will come back with 64.75 million in chips, while Felix Stephensen returns as the “short stack” at 46.10 million.
There’s still plenty of action remaining in the November Nine final table and poker’s next world champion will be crowned on Tuesday. Will Van Hoof be able to hold onto the lead and take down the bracelet? Will this event set a record for the longest November Nine final in history? We will have these answers and more Tuesday night.