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2010 November Nine: John Dolan
John Dolan may not be as well-known as Michael Mizrachi or John Racener, but they don’t have 46 million chips at the 2010 WSOP Main Event final table.
The 24-year-old Floridian will enter the final table second in chips only to French-Canadian Jonathan Duhamel, who has 65 million.
After making the final table Dolan was humble about his accomplishments in poker.
"I think there are a lot of kids just like me," he said.
Born and raised in Bonita Springs, Florida, Dolan's story is indeed similar to many other players. He started by playing $5 and $10 home games in college and then transitioned into online poker, playing as JRD312.
"I lost at first, like everyone else, obviously," said Dolan.
For a time Dolan even worked as a dealer and the first WSOP event he ever cashed in was the 2007 Casino Employees event.
Dolan eventually learned to play better and met a few key people that helped him work on his game. After a couple big wins when he was 20, Dolan was able to start a bankroll.
At first Dolan's parents weren't fond of his new career but after he made a few large scores they started to understand his talent.
"Now they are extremely supportive and helpful," he said. "I don't think my Dad left the computer for two days when they found out I was going deep in the Main Event."
As of 2010 Dolan already had over $1 million in poker tournament earnings including a side event win at the 2009 Gulf Coast Championship and another side event win at the 2009 Winter Bayou Challenge. Dolan also won the Full Tilt $1k Monday event for $100,000 and the PokerStars Sunday Warm Up for $86,000 playing online.
Dolan had his best WSOP ever this summer making a final table in a $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em event, eventually finishing sixth.
Perhaps the defining moment of John Dolan's Main Event will be how he played the final table bubble. While many players tightened up, both Duhamel and Dolan got aggressive and by the time the six-hour bubble was complete they were 1-2 in chips.
"At first I really wasn't doing much, I was just kind of seeing how it was going. Then I was fortunate enough to pick up a few hands and chip up. After I got up to over 30 million chips I was just able to build a stack without going to showdown."
Dolan will likely need a different strategy at the final table in November.
"I definitely feel like I did learn a little about each player, however, I don't think the final table will play quite that tight. I don't think that was a good reflection of how they will actually play."
Interestingly Dolan was initially vehemently opposed to the November Nine format, which sees play paused for four months once the final table of nine is set, but he's starting to understand the value.
"It's nice to get a break because it was a long eight days leading up to the final table," he said.
As a member of the 2010 November Nine it appears the under-the-radar Dolan will be unable to avoid the limelight any longer.
Still he's going to try and keep it simple over the next four months.
"I'm going to go back to Florida and relax," he said. "I'll probably play a few tournaments here and there."
The 2010 WSOP Main Event final table begins Nov. 6, with a winner crowned on Nov. 8.