What started ten days ago with 6,683 players has now come down to the final nine. The famous November Nine for the 2014 Main Event of the World Series of Poker was determined last night in Las Vegas after a fourteen-hour elimination process that saw eighteen of the last 27 players hit the rail.
When play started it was Swede Martin Jacobson leading the final three tables into the night, followed by Dan Sindelar. On the other side of the spectrum was Scott ‘urnotindanger2’ Palmer, who was the only player with under a million in chips.
The eliminations started with Sean Dempsey, who busted in 27th, and continued with Brian Roberts and Bryan Devonshire all the way to Andrey Zaichenko, the last player to fall before the dinner break. That left 16 players with a lot to think about during their 90-minute break.
Upon returning to the felt, Eddy Sabat was the first one shown the door when his #10h#jh proved to be no good on a board reading #9h#jc#5s#7h#4h as Jorryt van Hoof turned over #ah#8h for the nuts. Then Thomas Sarra Jr. fell at the hands of Felix Stephensen when his #kd#qh was no match for Stephensen’s #as#ks.
Oscar Kemps ran his King-Jack into pocket the Aces of van Hoof and the Dutchman, who was clearly on a great run, scored yet another knockout. Following his example, Craig McCorkell gave up the last of his chips to Mark Newhouse, who is no stranger to the pressure of the situation as he was looking to make back-to-back Main Event final tables.
Christopher Greaves surrendered the last of his very short stack to Jacobson, followed by Maximilian Senft losing a race for his tournament life with #kd#qd to the pocket Treys of Newhouse. Last year’s November Niner flopped a set and sent Senft packing, which resulted in the remaining players merging into a single table of ten. They were one elimination away from making the 2014 November Nine.
Ten-handed play started with two short stacks that were at risk of busting and several bigger stacks that looked pretty much set to make it. But once again, poker proved that there are no guarantees and that anything is possible once the cards are dealt and the community cards are revealed.
Luis Velador had over 22 million in chips when they started and was sitting in a comfortable fourth position. However, his stack took a severe blow after he called off the shorter stack shove of Andoni Larrabe. Velador held Ace-King and was not shocked to see Larrabe turn over #as#ac. Despite hitting a King on the flop, Velador could not find any further help and his stack was cut in half.
Some hands later, he moved in holding #4h#4d over a raise from Bruno Politano and a call from Newhouse. That got rid of Politano but Newhouse gave it a long thought and eventually made the correct call with #5s#5h to put Velador at risk. The board brought no miracles and it was all over for Velador, who just couldn’t get things going last night when it mattered most. Everybody else could breathe a sigh of relief. They made it!
The November Nine
Every player who made it through to the final table is now guaranteed a minimum of $730,725, while the winner will take home $10,000,000.
When play resumes in four months it will be Jorryt van Hoof leading the way with more than 38 million in chips. The Dutchman has about $358,000 in live earnings and has never cashed in the Main Event before, but he is guaranteed to walk away with big money no matter what happens from here on out.
Sitting in second place is Felix Stephensen of Norway. With nearly 33 million in chips, Stephensen will be looking to add the maximum to his previous $22,000 in live earnings. Only 23 years old, this is a great opportunity for Stephensen to make money and a name for himself.
The player currently third in chips is no doubt the story of this Main Event and possibly many more to come. American Mark Newhouse successfully pulled off back-to-back Main Event final tables. The last time anyone achieved such a feat was in 2003-2004 when Dan Harrington was able to do so, but the field sizes in those years combined together are about the half of the 2014 field. Newhouse finished 9th last year, but with 26 million in chips, he is in great shape to improve on that result.
Spaniard Andoni Larrabe will start in fourth position chip-wise. The 22-year-old pro has live earnings of $341,000 and this marks his first 2014 WSOP cash. This is the second time he has participated in the Main Event and he will be starting in November with 22.5 million in chips.
Dan Sindelar is another American at the final table. He is 30 years old and has more than $500,000 in live cashes. Although he has played in six Main Events so far, this represents Sindelar’s first cash and he bagged 21 million in chips for the final table.
American William Pappaconstantinou is a colorful character. The 29-year-old is a world foosball champion, better known amongst his friends and rivals as “Billy Pappas.” While widely recognized in the world of foosball, Pappas is looking to become recognized in the poker community as well. With a stack of 17.5 million and a seat at the final table, that goal has been achieved.
William Tonking is the last of the American players. He will be starting with 15 million in chips. Tonking is 27 years of age and has $93,000 in live tournament earnings. His bread and butter before the 2014 Main Event has come from grinding online cash games.
Martin Jacobson will be starting as the second shortest stack with 14.9 million. Despite his lack of chips, the 27-year old Swede does not lack experience as his total live earnings amount to $4.8 million – by far the most of all the remaining players. Regardless of his stack, Jacobson will certainly be a force to be reckoned with.
Brazilian Bruno Politano is the official short stack with 12.1 million. Although he plays poker as a hobby, the 31-year-old has more than $110,000 in live tournament cashes and this is his first Main Event cash. Bruno will certainly be looking to make the best use of his chips when play resumes, as the Brazilian certainly does not lack heart.
All of the remaining players received 9th place prize money in the amount of $730,725, while the rest is being kept in an interest-bearing account until November. We may not know who the new champion is yet, but the list of potential candidates has definitely been shortened!