The 2011 World Series of Poker has finally reached its climax… well, sort of. Just nine players remain in the WSOP Main Event – the “November Nine” – who will return to the Rio on November 5th to do battle for the coveted WSOP Main Event bracelet, as well as the $8.7 million in first place prize money. For all the latest news, read on.
WSOP Event #58 – $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Championship Event
The final table of nine is finally set in the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event and what an international flavour it has. Players from the Czech Republic, Ukraine, England, Ireland, Germany, Belize and of course America, will return on November 5th to compete for the title of WSOP Champion, as well as life changing sums of money.
Although a little lacking in super star names, the WSOP Main Event final table certainly features some interesting players, most notably Ben Lamb, who is taking the 2011 WSOP by storm, with a bracelet and over $1.3 million in earnings already, before you factor in the minimum of $782,115 that will be taken home by whoever busts out in ninth place.
Another interesting story is that of Irishman Eoghan O’Dea, son of poker pro Donnacha O’Dea who finished sixth in the 1983 World Series of Poker Main Event. O’Dea Junior will return in November with the second largest chip stack and is looking to do what his father just missed out on.
O’Dea said: “In Ireland it’s a pretty big deal that my Dad has been there and I could potentially be there.”
The 26 year old also believes that making the November Nine could be good for poker back in Ireland, especially if he or a fellow countryman could land the big one: “I think you might see a few more young players getting into the game if an Irish player won. We already have a small group of really good Irish players.”
Doing it for the Brits, who have had another good WSOP in general, is Sam Holden, who started out his poker career playing £3 tournaments at the University of Kent.
Holden will return with the short stack but can be a dangerous player, as he showed when taking down the six handed side event at the recent Newcastle leg of the UK & Ireland Poker Tour. The 22 year old has serious form in the world of online poker too, having recently chopped the PokerStars Sunday Million.
Our “November Nine” chip leader will be Czech player Martin Staszko, who has already cashed in four events at the 2011 World Series of Poker, but will be looking to claim his first bracelet.
The unfortunate player to miss out on the “November Nine” was John Hewitt, who chose not to play a single hand for an entire blind level, despite starting the day third in chips. After the break, he got involved with Matt Giannetti’s pocket jacks while holding A – T, before doubling up a second player – Badhi Bounahra – with K – Q against K – K.
This left Hewitt with a seriously short 4 million or so in chips, so when Eoghan O’Dea raised it up with K – J, Hewitt had little choice but to shove his pocket threes. The flop of Q – T – 7 gave the Irishman plenty of extra outs and the vast majority of the crowd were calling for an ace.
They got their wish, and a huge cheer erupted when the ace hit on the turn, with the river card bringing a king to make things official and ending a wait of almost six hours between Khoa Nguyen exiting in 11th place an the creation of the “November Nine”.
The day had begun at a frenetic pace however, with four of the returning 22 players exiting the WSOP Main Event inside an hour of Day 8, a pace which continued right up until the exit of Nguyen. The action actually had to be delayed for an hour, to allow the ESPN “live” coverage to catch up.
Here are those 2011 “November Nine” chip counts in full:
Martin Staszko – 40,175,000
Eoghan O’Dea – 33,925,000
Matt Giannetti – 24,750,000
Phil Collins – 23,875,000
Ben Lamb – 20,875,000
Badih Bounahra – 19,700,000
Pius Heinz – 16,425,000
Anton Makiievskyi – 13,825,000
Samuel Holden – 12,375,000
The next World Series of Poker action gets under way in October, when the WSOP Europe hits France. Until then, stay tuned to checknraisepoker.com for all the latest poker news.