We were table-side in Las Vegas when the 2011 November Nine was set and we’ve got the photo to prove it.
There’s a lot going on in this shot. November Niners are counting their chips before kissing them goodbye for almost four months, WSOP and ESPN staff are busy with whatever it is they do at the Main Event and fans are rubbernecking to get a glimpse of the people who will return to the Rio to play for $8.7 million.
We’re making things easy on you by breaking it all down by the numbers right here.
- 2008 WSOP Player of the Year Erick Lindgren is interviewed by the great Kara Scott for the ESPN live broadcast. ESPN aired 10 telecasts on ESPN2 that reached over 415,000 viewers per episode and streamed over 23 million minutes of live WSOP action online at ESPN3.
- Ben Lamb has had perhaps the greatest single WSOP run in history and it’s far from over. Before the Main Event began Lamb had made over $1.3 million this summer alone, including a bracelet in the $10k PLO championship. Lamb enters the November final table fifth in chips. Just like each November Niner Lamb is guaranteed at least $782,115.
- Mori Eskandani is best known as producer of poker TV mainstays like High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark and he can now add the World Series of Poker ESPN broadcast to his list of accomplishments. Eskandani’s outfit Poker PROductions took over the WSOP’s television broadcast from 411 Productions who had handled it for nearly a decade.
- Jack Effel is the head tournament director for the World Series of Poker and despite having a stellar reputation before this year’s WSOP, Effel took things to a whole new level this summer. Using his Twitter account to handle player issues, Effel astounded the poker community with his dedication, commitment and straight up hard work.
- Eoghan O’Dea is the only Irishman among the 2011 November Nine and he’ll be taking almost 34 million in chips to the final table, good for second position. Eoghan’s father Donnacha O’Dea is a two-time bracelet winner who has had multiple deep runs in the Main Event, finishing 25th in 1996, 27th in 1994 and ninth in 1991.
- Sitting in the stands watching what could have been are David “Doc” Sands and Erika Moutinho. Amazingly this couple both made the top 30 of the 2011 Main Event, finishing 30th and 29th respectively. They each left Las Vegas with $242,636.
- Phil Collins is one of the best known November Niners of 2011, although he’s likely a fresh face for the casual WSOP fan. Collins has won well over $3 million playing online poker under his screen name USCphildo. Collins is fourth in chips with 23,875,000.
- Badih “Bob” Bounahra is another international addition to this year’s November Nine. Originally from Lebanon, Bounahra lived in the US before moving to Belize where he currently resides. Bounahra has 19.7 million in chips, good for sixth position going into the final table.
- Martin Staszko is the first player from the Czech Republic to make the final table of the Main Event and he’s headed into November as the chip leader with over 40.1 million. A former auto-plant worker, Staszko now has a shot at over $8.7 million.