Ivey Was Here: 9 Facts from 9 Years of WSOP November 9ers

phil ivey 34605

Has it been 9 years since the World Series of Poker introduced the delayed final table of the WSOP Main Event?

In just a couple of weeks we'll see the 9th edition of the November Nine play out and again the poker world is hyped to see how the nine finalists will fare.

While not every November Nine has provided excellent poker, each year it has delivered some great entertainment and spectacular stories.

So many, in fact, we're already teetering on the precipice of losing some to the rarely read poker history books.

Here are 9 November Nine stories from the last nine years worth remembering:

1. Phil Ivey Was Here

The man. The poker player. The legend.

Phil Ivey
The man in 2009.

Back in 2009 Phil Ivey was the most glamorous player in poker history. Having won seven bracelets already – two of them just days before -  Ivey had an incredible Main Event run and made it to the final table.

Despite being only 7th in chips Ivey was the favorite for the title among many bookkeepers. More importantly, he generated lots of hype for the November Nine.

He's certainly the most prominent poker player to ever reach the Nov. 9.

Unfortunately, Ivey's run at the final table found an untimely end when he lost all his chips Ace-King to Ace-Queen.

Who did the greatest pro back then lose against? Darvin Moon, one of the biggest amateurs to ever make the November Nine.

The self-employed logger from Maryland, who taught himself how to play poker, went on to finish 2nd and take home more than $5m.

2. Comeback Kids: Pius Heinz & Martin Jacobson

In 2011, a young German no one had heard of made it to the final table of the WSOP Main Event. 22-year-old Pius Heinz, who only started playing live poker that year, began from position 7 with only 8% of the chips.

Pius Heinz
Pius, Pius, Pius Heinz.

But Heinz went on to wreck the table with his very aggressive style, well-timed bluffs and surprisingly thin value bets.

In the end, Heinz beat Martin Staszko for the title and more than $8.7m and became the first (and so far only) German to win the Main Event.

Three years later Swedish professional Martin Jacobson came to the final table with even fewer chips. He started the November Nine from position 8 with fewer then 7.5% of the chips.

But with a precise and perfectly executed plan of attack, Jacobson beat the odds and took home $10m – the largest amount any November Niner has won (Jamie Gold won $12m in 2006 but that was before the November Nine).

3. Mark Newhouse: Back-to-Back 9ths

In 2013, Mark Newhouse made the November Nine for the first time.

Mark Newhouse
Against all odds.

The 2006 WPT Borgata champ came into the final table 8th in chips with not too much hope for the title.

He only played a couple of hands then lost a flip with nines against AK and finished 9th.

So far, nothing out of the ordinary - besides of course being one of the last 9 players in a 6,000-player tournament.

What happened the very next year, however, is (almost) unbelievable. After he bought into the 2014 Main Event Newhouse sent out this tweet:

You know what happened. He fucking finished 9th again. This time, though, it was all so much worse.

Having been there the year before he was certainly the most experienced player on that WSOP stage and started third in chips behind only Felix Stephensen and Jorryt van Hoof.

But luck didn't mean well with Newhouse. He lost some key hands, got unlucky setups and finally was all-in with tens against queens.

Only nine times has a player who made the final table won less than $1m – Mark Newhouse did it twice.

Sam Holden
That was brief.

4. No Future for Brits

Speaking of 9th-place finishes ...

We've had two British November Niners so far: James Akenhead in 2009 and Sam Holden in 2011.

Both started from ninth position and both only lasted a couple of hands before busting first.

Together, they've made the UK the least successful country among November Niners.

5. Age Ain't Nothing But a Number

It's safe to say that high-level tournament poker, for the most part, is for the young folk.

Neuville1

The average age of all November Niners is a bit over 31. Half of them were 27 or younger and only five were over 50.

But there are some players who seem to be like cheese and wine – they get better as they get older. A prime example is certainly Pierre Neuville.

At the age of 71 he cashed 8 times during the WSOP 2014 and even came 2nd in the $5k Six-Max event. In 2015 he topped that achievement by becoming the oldest November Niner at the age of 72.

Not only is Neuville the only player over 70 to make the November Nine, he's also 11 years older than the 2nd-oldest November Niner.

That's Neil Blumenfield, who incidentally made it to the final table the same year as Neuville.

6. Or, Actually, Age Does Matter

Want a surefire tip who's going to win the 2016 Main Event?

That's easy: Gordon Vayo.

Check the last eight WSOP Main Event winners:

2008

Peter Eastgate

22

2009

Joe Cada

21

2010

Jonathan Duhamel

22

2011

Pius Heinz

22

2012

Greg Merson

24

2013

Ryan Riess

23

2014

Martin Jacobson

27

2015

Joe McKeehen

24

Seven are 24 or younger. All are 27 or younger. This year just one player fits the “27 or younger” category. That's Vayo. So, going by this logic, he's the safe bet.

7. Baumann, Hille Bubble

A rather disappointing fact: No female player has made the November Nine

Elisabeth Hille and Gaelle Baumann
So close.

After nine years it's still an all-male club.

Elisabeth Hille and Gaelle Baumann came incredibly close in 2012 but busted in 11th and 10th place, respectively.

Baumann repeated her Last Woman Standing Title in 2016 when she finished 102nd. Maria Ho has also claimed the LWS title twice.

These are the highest finishes for women since 2008:

Year

Player

Place

2008

Tiffany Michelle

17

2009

Leo Margets

27

2010

Breeze Zuckerman

121

2011

Erika Moutinho

29

2012

Gaelle Baumann

10

2013

Jackie Glazier

31

2014

Maria Ho

77

2015

Kelly Minkin

29

2016

Gaelle Baumann

102

8. Our Man, Our Title!

Twenty different nations have been represented at the final table since 2008. Forty-four of the 81 players came from the United States – the clear majority.

Peter Eastgate
First time's the charm.

But only four of the last eight titles went to American players. One Canadian (Jonathan Duhamel) and three Europeans snatched the others away

The three Europeans have one thing in common: they're the only November Niners from their country.

Peter Eastgate is the only Dane, Pius Heinz the only German and Martin Jacobson the only Swede to ever make the November Nine.

All three of them took home the title. Talk about efficiency.

9. Newcomers Do It Better

There have been 81 November Niners in total and only 9 had won a bracelet before making the biggest final table of their life:

  • Phil Ivey
  • Michael Mizrachi
  • Ben Lamb
  • Greg Merson
  • Steven Gee
  • Amir Lehavot
  • JC Tran
  • Max Steinberg
  • Cliff Josephy

From this group so far only Merson managed to turn his experience into the championship title. Seven of the past eight champions won their first bracelet in the Main Event.

Peter Eastgate's title also was his very first WSOP cash.

Bonus Facts

  • Daniel Negreanu is the 'most famous' player to "near-miss" the November Nine. He missed the Final Table narrowly in 2015 when he busted in 11th. Former Main Event winner Carlos Mortensen also narrowly missed when he bubbled the final table in 2013.
  • Joe Cada was the youngest player to win the title at age 21 years, 357 days.
  • Steven Begleiter was the highest profile non-professional player to reach the November Nine. The investment strategist worked for Wall Street (Bear Stearns) for 24 years before finishing 6th in the Main Event in 2009.
  • One of the biggest Main Event fails happened one year before the November Nine. Philipp Hilm started the final table as chipleader with a considerable lead but somehow managed to melt down completely and finished in 9th.

All November Niners Since 2008

Year

Player

Age

Country

Chips

Starting Position

Final Place

Prize

2008

Peter Eastgate

22

DK

18,375,000

4 / 9

1 (+3)

$9,152,416

2008

Ivan Demidov

27

RU

24,400,000

2 / 9

2 (+/-0)

$5,809,595

2008

Dennis Phillips

53

US

26,295,000

1 / 9

3 (-2)

$4,517,773

2008

Ylon Schwartz

38

US

12,525,000

5 / 9

4 (+1)

$3,774,974

2008

Scott Montgomery

27

CA

19,690,000

3 / 9

5 (-2)

$3,096,768

2008

Darus Suharto

39

CA

12,520,000

6 / 9

6 (+/-0)

$2,418,562

2008

David Rheem

28

US

10,230,000

7 / 9

7 (+/-0)

$1,772,650

2008

Kelly Kim

32

US

2,620,000

9 / 9

8 (+1)

$1,288,217

2008

Craig Marquis

23

US

10,210,000

8 / 9

9 (-1)

$900,670

2009

Joe Cada

21

US

13,215,000

5 / 9

1 (+4)

$8,547,042

2009

Darvin Moon

46

US

58,930,000

1 / 9

2 (-1)

$5,182,928

2009

Antoine Saout

25

FR

9,500,000

8 / 9

3 (+5)

$3,479,670

2009

Eric Buchman

30

US

34,800,000

2 / 9

4 (-2)

$2,502,890

2009

Jeff Shulman

34

US

19,580,000

4 / 9

5 (-1)

$1,953,452

2009

Steven Begleiter

47

US

29,885,000

3 / 9

6 (-3)

$1,587,160

2009

Phil Ivey

32

US

9,765,000

7 / 9

7 (+/-0)

$1,404,014

2009

Kevin Schaffel

51

US

12,390,000

6 / 9

8 (-2)

$1,300,231

2009

James Akenhead

26

UK

6,800,000

9 / 9

9 (+/-0)

$1,263,602

2010

Jonathan Duhamel

22

CA

65,975,000

1 / 9

1 (+/-0)

$8,944,310

2010

John Racener

24

US

19,050,000

4 / 9

2 (+2)

$5,545,955

2010

Joseph Cheong

24

US

23,525,000

3 / 9

3 (+/-0)

$4,130,049

2010

Filippo Candio

26

IT

16,400,000

6 / 9

4 (+2)

$3,092,545

2010

Michael Mizrachi

29

US

14,450,000

7 / 9

5 (+2)

$2,332,992

2010

John Dolan

24

US

46,250,000

2 / 9

6 (-4)

$1,772,959

2010

Jason Senti

28

US

7,625,000

9 / 9

7 (+2)

$1,356,720

2010

Matthew Jarvis

25

CA

16,700,000

5 / 9

8 (-3)

$1,045,743

2010

Cuong Soi Nguyen

37

US

9,650,000

8 / 9

9 (-1)

$811,823

2011

Pius Heinz

22

DE

16,425,000

7 / 9

1 (+6)

$8,715,638

2011

Martin Staszko

35

CZ

40,175,000

1 / 9

2 (-1)

$5,433,086

2011

Ben Lamb

26

US

20,875,000

5 / 9

3 (+2)

$4,021,138

2011

Matt Giannetti

26

US

24,750,000

3 / 9

4 (-1)

$3,012,700

2011

Phil Collins

26

US

23,875,000

4 / 9

5 (-1)

$2,269,599

2011

Eoghan O'Dea

26

IE

33,925,000

2 / 9

6 (-4)

$1,720,831

2011

Badih "Bob" Bounahra

49

BZ

19,700,000

6 / 9

7 (-1)

$1,314,097

2011

Anton Makiievskyi

21

UA

13,825,000

8 / 9

8 (+/-0)

$1,010,015

2011

Sam Holden

22

UK

12,375,000

9 / 9

9 (+/-0)

$782,115

2012

Greg Merson

24

US

28,725,000

3 / 9

1 (+2)

$8,531,853

2012

Jesse Sylvia

26

US

43,875,000

1 / 9

2 (-1)

$5,295,149

2012

Jacob Balsiger

21

US

13,115,000

8 / 9

3 (+5)

$3,797,558

2012

Russell Thomas

24

US

24,800,000

4 / 9

4 (+/-0)

$2,850,494

2012

Jeremy Ausmus

32

US

9,805,000

9 / 9

5 (+4)

$2,154,616

2012

Andras Koroknai

30

HU

29,375,000

2 / 9

6 (-4)

$1,640,461

2012

Michael Esposito

44

US

16,260,000

6 / 9

7 (-1)

$1,257,790

2012

Robert Salaburu

27

US

15,155,000

7 / 9

8 (-1)

$971,252

2012

Steven Gee

57

US

16,860,000

5 / 9

9 (-4)

$754,798

2013

Ryan Riess

23

US

25,875,000

5 / 9

1 (+4)

$8,361,570

2013

Jay Farber

28

US

25,975,000

4 / 9

2 (+2)

$5,174,357

2013

Amir Lehavot

38

IL

29,700,000

2 / 9

3 (-1)

$3,727,823

2013

Sylvain Loosli

26

FR

19,600,000

6 / 9

4 (+2)

$2,792,533

2013

J.C. Tran

36

US

38,000,000

1 / 9

5 (-4)

$2,106,893

2013

Marc McLaughlin

25

CA

26,525,000

3 / 9

6 (-3)

$1,601,024

2013

Michiel Brummelhuis

32

NL

11,275,000

7 / 9

7 (+/-0)

$1,225,224

2013

David Benefield

27

US

6,375,000

9 / 9

8 (+1)

$944,593

2013

Mark Newhouse

28

US

7,350,000

8 / 9

9 (-1)

$733,224

2014

Martin Jacobson

27

SE

14,900,000

8 / 9

1 (+7)

$10,000,000

2014

Felix Stephensen

24

NO

32,775,000

2 / 9

2 (+/-0)

$5,147,911

2014

Jorryt van Hoof

31

NL

38,375,000

1 / 9

3 (-2)

$3,807,753

2014

William Tonking

27

US

15,050,000

7 / 9

4 (+3)

$2,849,763

2014

Billy Pappas

29

US

17,500,000

6 / 9

5 (+1)

$2,143,794

2014

Andoni Larrabe

22

ES

22,550,000

4 / 9

6 (-2)

$1,622,471

2014

Dan Sindelar

30

US

21,200,000

5 / 9

7 (-2)

$1,236,084

2014

Bruno Politano

31

BR

12,125,000

9 / 9

8 (+1)

$947,172

2014

Mark Newhouse

29

US

26,000,000

3 / 9

9 (-6)

$730,725

2015

Joe McKeehen

24

US

63,100,000

1 / 9

1 (+/-0)

$7,683,346

2015

Joshua Beckley

24

US

11,800,000

7 / 9

2 (+5)

$4,470,896

2015

Neil Blumenfield

61

US

22,000,000

3 / 9

3 (+/-0)

$3,398,298

2015

Max Steinberg

27

US

20,200,000

5 / 9

4 (+1)

$2,615,361

2015

Ofer Stern

36

IL

29,800,000

2 / 9

5 (-3)

$1,911,423

2015

Thomas Cannuli

23

US

12,250,000

6 / 9

6 (+/-0)

$1,426,283

2015

Pierre Neuville

72

BE

21,075,000

4 / 9

7 (-3)

$1,203,293

2015

Federico Butteroni

25

IT

6,200,000

9 / 9

8 (+1)

$1,097,056

2015

Patrick Chan

26

US

6,225,000

8 / 9

9 (-1)

$1,001,020

2016

Cliff Josephy

50

US

74,600,000

1 / 9

 

 

2016

Qui Nguyen

39

US

67,925,000

2 / 9

 

 

2016

Gordon Vayo

27

US

49,375,000

3 / 9

 

 

2016

Kenny Hallaert

34

BE

43,325,000

4 / 9

 

 

2016

Michael Ruane

28

US

31,600,000

5 / 9

 

 

2016

Voyjtech Ruzicka

30

CZ

27,300,000

6 / 9

 

 

2016

Griffin Benger

31

CA

26,175,000

7 / 9

 

 

2016

Jerry Wong

34

US

10,175,000

8 / 9

 

 

2016

Fernando Pons

37

ES

6,150,000

9 / 9

 

 

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