The November Nine in this year’s WSOP event has now been set after Day 7 of play ended today. It was a competitive day on the felt as the final 27 players vied for a spot in the final table of the biggest event in poker.
There were a number of surprising eliminations, with 2001 Main Event winner Carlos Mortensen being the bubble of the event. Anton Morgenstern, who started the seventh day of play as the chip leader, but was knocked out 20th spot after a bad run of play.
As is usually the case, a few known and not so known poker players form this year’s November Nine, and while most do hail from the US, it is by and large a culturally diverse group. With that said, who exactly are these players? An overview of each of the November Nine goes a little something like this.
One of the veterans of this year’s November Nine, JC Tran is a familiar face in the game of professional poker. The Vietnamese American has two WSOP Gold Bracelets to his name; one from winning the 2008 $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event and another from winning the 2009 $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha event. A WSOP Main Event Gold Bracelet eludes him, however, something Tran hopes will change in November.
An Israeli who now calls the US home, 38-year-old Amir Lehavot is another WSOP Gold Bracelet winner in this year’s November Nine. Levahot took out the 2011 $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em Championship event to give him his only Gold Bracelet thus far. The former engineer has over $1.2 million in total live tournament winnings, which he hopes to eclipse by taking out this year’s Main Event.
It has a rapid ascension to the top of the poker game for Ryan Riess, who played his first professional live poker tournament in October. He may be new to the professional poker scene, but Riess already has a huge number of cashes to his name. Getting first place in a poker event is something he hasn’t yet done, so what better event to do just that than a WSOP Main Event?
One of the lesser known names of the final table, Jay Farber seems to have let that fact become an advantage for him. The Las Vegas native has put himself in a good position in the Main Event final table through some solid play over the last week. The self-described “nightclub and restaurant aficionado” will be the man of the party should be take out this year’s Main Event.
Another veteran of this November Nine group, David Benefield appeared to miss the game of poker after retiring back in 2011. The American Chinese and Political Student made a return to the felt last year and has returned to this year’s Main Event, a decision he’s likely not regretting. With ninth place getting over $733,000, Benefield has already eclipsed his largest live poker tournament win.
Hailing from France, Sylvain Loosli is another of the lesser known names in the November Nine. According to the Hendon database, Loosli has just one live tournament cash, which was in the EPT Deauville back in January 2011, where he finished in 24th spot.
Dutchan Michiel Brummelhuis is no stranger to the WSOP, but the 2013 Main Event marks the first time he has cashed at the event in four years. He brings a wealth of experience with him though, having made to final tables at previous WSOP tournaments and having cashed in a number of EPT and NAPT events over the years.
The only Candadian in this year’s November Nine, Montreal’s Marc McLaughlin has played a number of WSOP events in recent years. He finished in the money at the 2009 and 2011 WSOP Main Events, coming in 30th and 86th respectively. That means he’s already beaten his previous best Main Event performance, but a win at this year’s event would cap off a remarkable year for Canadian players in the event.
Mark Newhouse has played a number of high level poker events over the years, and is best known for taking out the 2006 World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open, where he won over $1.5 million. Newhouse then went on to have some stable success in poker, but has had nothing this big up to now. It may be seven years since Newhouse won a major poker tournament, but that will change in a big way if he takes out the Main Event in November.
Tran finished Day 7 with the chip lead, with 38 million chips to his name. All of the remaining nine players will be playing for their first WSOP Main Event victory when the tournament returns in November.