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Setting the Line on the November Nine
When the November Nine hits the felt again this weekend to crown a 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event champion, French-Canadian Jonathan Duhamel will start with the chip lead.
So it's to no one's surprise that oddsmakers have made him the favorite to win poker's most coveted title and its $8,944,138 first-place prize.
"I like my chances," said Duhamel. "I'm just going to play my best and from there I guess we'll see what happens, but I like my chances."
However, not since Jamie Gold did it in 2006 has the chip leader heading into the Main Event final table walked away with the bracelet.
As the only other player with a chip stack even close to Duhamel's, American online pro John Dolan is listed at 3.75:1 to win it all on Bodog while Betfair puts him at 5.2:1.
A position he doesn't seem to mind one bit.
"I feel like my stack definitely puts me in a good position compared to others," he said. "I don't know if on paper I'm a favorite, but I feel like it's definitely an advantage to be where I'm at."
For the most part, the odds on the November Nine follow the stack sizes.
Currently third in chips, Joseph Cheong is at 6.5:1 on Bodog, 7:1 on Betfair and in a position he seems to agree with.
"I feel like the chip leader is the favorite to win this thing, so I'm going to say I'm third favorite," he said.
In the middle of the pack just underneath Cheong, John Racener is also at 6.5:1 on Bodog and 8.6:1 on Betfair and while both Matthew Jarvis and Filippo Candio are at 12:1 on Betfair, Jarvis sits at 10:1 and Candio at 11:1 on Bodog.
But that's where things get really interesting.
With $9.6 million in career tournament earnings, including a World Series of Poker bracelet and two WPT titles, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi is the only proven star in the group - a fact the oddsmakers have not ignored.
Despite sitting seventh in chips just above short stacks Soi Nguyen and Jason Senti, a Mizrachi win will still only pay 6:1 on Bodog and 9:1 on Betfair.
"I guess they have me at about 7:1, so as to my chip count, they're actually making me a heavy favorite," Mizrachi said. "But anybody can win, everybody plays well at this final table. It's going to be a tough final table."
Bluefire Poker instructor Senti has the shortest stack, justifying his 22:1 odds on Betfair and 18:1 on Bodog.
But despite the fact he has a few more chips and Bodog currently list him above Senti at 16:1, Betfair has made experience a factor when setting the odds on Nguyen to win at 23:1, making him the true underdog.
"I'm the only amateur at the final table so I guess I'm the longshot," he said.
Favorite or longshot, it seems even the oddsmakers agree that when it comes to the WSOP Main Event, anyone can win.
Tune in to PokerListings' WSOP Live Updates beginning at 12 p.m. PT Nov. 6 to find out who does.
For more on the betting lines, check out PokerListings guide to Handicapping and Betting the 2010 November Nine.
Here's a look at how things stack up heading into the final:
1 Jonathan Duhamel 65,975,000
2 John Dolan 46,250,000
3 Joseph Cheong 23,525,000
4 John Racener 19,050,000
5 Matthew Jarvis 16,700,000
6 Filippo Candio 16,400,000
7 Michael Mizrachi 14,450,000
8 Soi Nguyen 9,650,000
9 Jason Senti 7,625,000