WSOP 2009 November Nine Set for Main Event Glory

The final table of the 2009 Main Event has been decided and nine men have been instantly transformed into millionaires as the newest incarnation of the November Nine.

Day 8 of the Main Event played out in a fast, frenetic fashion to a backdrop of rowdy railbirds loudly cheering on their respective heroes.

There was drama, bad beats and intrigue, with every elimination ramping up the tension in the Amazon Room as the watershed moment drew closer and closer.

Finally, with 10 players left, Jordan Smith, winner of a bracelet in the $2k No-Limit Hold'em event at this year's Series, ran his aces into Darvin Moon's flopped set and filled the unwanted November Nine bubble spot.

That left nine players still cradling the dream of Main Event glory and riches and each and every one will become celebrities for the immediate future.

Here are the men who will be blinking under the media spotlight over the next four months:

Darvin Moon
"With the cards I'm getting, it's easy."

Darvin Moon - 58,930,000

Darvin Moon will return to the Rio in four months holding a large chip lead and, incredibly, the million-dollar minimum payout he receives will be his first live cash of note.

He is a recreational player who owns a small logging company in Maryland. Having played poker for three years, he won his Main Event ticket through a satellite at his local casino, Wheeling Island in West Virginia.

By his own admission, Moon has been blessed with some fantastic cards in the run-up to the final table.

"With the cards I'm getting it's easy," said Moon. "If I don't hit cards like the way I have been over the past few days, everyone at this table is a better player than I am".

His amateur roots are a far cry from some of the experienced pros still left in contention but Moon has the stack to take down the title.

"We'll see if I can do this," he said. "I'll be confident if I keep hitting cards like I have been this whole tournament."

For more information, see Darvin Moon's PokerListings bio-blog.

Eric Buchman
"I deserve a vacation!"

Eric Buchman - 34,800,000

Hailing from New York, Eric Buchman has nearly $1 million in tournament cashes behind him already, including narrowly missing out on a bracelet in 2006 when he finished runner-up in a $1,500 NLHE event.

Buchman's largest cash to date came from finishing second in the 2007 WSOPC Atlantic City main event for over $208k, but he will blow that figure away wherever he finishes come the November showdown.

Buchman is well placed for glory here at the final table, but he recognizes he has been fortunate to get this far.

"I'm happy right now but I got lucky a few times in the last few days," said Buchman. "I'm pretty tired right now - I deserve a vacation!"

He'll return mob-handed come the final, intending to bring a lot of his supporters along for the ride.

"When I come back I'll bring a lot of people with me - around 30. All the players in my local game will want to come."

For more, visit Eric Buchman's PokerListings bio-blog.

Steven Begleiter
"I'm dancing between raindrops."

Steven Begleiter - 29,885,000

Steven Begleiter has been playing poker all of his life as an enthusiastic amateur and he won his entry into the Main Event through a home-game league.

The other league members will all chop 20% of whatever Begleiter wins, which resulted in some vociferous support from the rail during the run up to the final table.

Begleiter was quick to acknowledge he has dodged some bullets on his path to the Main Event final.

"'I'm dancing between raindrops in the middle of a minefield and somehow I'm still standing," he said. "I've already won. It's insane I made the final table. I'm not quite sure how I did it. My objective is to play well - so far I've played well."

Visit Steven Begleiter's PokerListings bio-blog for more information.

Jeff Shulman
"I feel like everyone in the tournament was on Adderall while I was on Xanax."

Jeff Shulman - 19,580,000

Jeff Shulman is best known as the editor of CardPlayer Magazine and going into the final, he suggested to Wicked Chops Poker he would throw the bracelet into the garbage should he win.

Apparently he clarified that his disregard for the bracelet was a statement about how he feels the World Series has been managed in recent years.

Shulman's progress through to the final nine has been relatively straightforward and he was bemused by the quality of the field he has faced off against.

"There were a lot of amateurs in this tournament who don't really understand how to play a deep stacked poker," he said. "It was the easiest field I've ever seen in my life. I feel like everyone in the tournament was on Adderall while I was on Xanax."

Shulman hopes his run through to the November Nine will provide good exposure for his various interests.

"It'll be great for my business, great exposure for CardPlayer and Spade Club and maybe people who have jobs will start playing poker."

To see more on Shulman, click through to his PokerListings bio-blog.

Joseph Cada
"It's poker, I'm just going to do my best."

Joseph Cada - 13,215,000

The youngest player at November's final table will be Joseph Cada, who has just turned 21.

Known online as "jcada99", he has had several decent results on the internet, his biggest being a $50k win in the Sunday Milligan on Full Tilt in 2008.

Cada had already had two cashes at this year's WSOP coming into the Main Event, though the significance of those two small cashes will be forgotten when he lines up in November to take his shot at scooping the Main Event.

"I feel great, I'm a little tired," he said. "I've played a lot of poker over the past month or so, so I'm going to enjoy the Michigan summer now. I feel very confident, but it's poker, I'm just going to do my best with the cards I'm dealt."

For more information, visit Joseph Cada's PokerListings bio-blog.

Kevin Schaffel
"I'm delirious right now."

Kevin Schaffel - 12,390,000

Kevin Schaffel hails from Florida and the 51-year-old father of two is experiencing his second deep run at the Main Event, having finished 42nd 15 years ago at the 1994 WSOP.

With just $168k in tournament winnings, his final-table position here will cement his biggest payday by far and Schaffel is overjoyed to be part of the November Nine.

"I'm delirious right now," he said. "I'll come back in November and do what I can. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be. It's been a great ride whatever happens. My son is on cloud nine. I can't wait to come back."

Click through to Kevin Schaffel's PokerListings bio-blog for more.

Phil Ivey
"I have some plans."

Phil Ivey - 9,765,000

Phil Ivey will return as the star of the show come November, the seven-time bracelet winner the marquee name amongst the finalists.

Ivey has already snagged two bracelets at the 2009 WSOP and though he had a rocky path through to the final nine, he rode the rough patches to book his November spot.

He will return as one of the short stacks, but as you would expect, Ivey has a plan to steal the show when they return to the felt in four months.

"I may watch a few of the hands on TV and actually watch poker on TV," he said. "I'm a little short and I don't want to get in to exactly what I'm going to do, but I have some plans."

For more from Ivey and the significance of his place in the November Nine click here; an extended biography can be found by clicking through to Phil Ivey's PokerListings bio-blog.

Antoine Saout
"My friends and family back home are really proud and happy for me."

Antoine Saout - 9,500,000

Antoine Saout comes from Morlaix, France and is well-known as an MTT specialist, regularly crushing the tournaments online at Everest Poker.

His popularity on the site will have grown given his final-table berth has guaranteed himself and the other Everest qualifiers at the Main Event a slice of a $1 million bonus.

He picked up his Main Event ticket via a satellite on the site and will enter the final as the second shortest stack.

Saout's mother was initially unhappy with his choice to become a pro poker player, but he hopes his big result here will have impressed her.

"My mother was against it but she sees the results and she has to be happy now," he said. "My friends and family back home are really proud and happy for me."

For more infomation, click through to Antoine Saout's PokerListings bio-blog.

James Akenhead
"It's like a dream."

James Akenhead - 6,800,000

Londoner James Akenhead is a member of the much-vaunted "Hit Squad," a group of young poker professionals from England.

Akenhead watched a bracelet slip from his grasp at last year's WSOP when he finished runner-up in one of the $1,500 tournaments. This time though, he is keen to make amends for that near-miss, despite being the short stack.

"It's like a dream," he said. " I told a friend in January I just have a feeling that I'll run badly in the other events, but pull something out for the main. And it's happened!"

James was one of the best supported players in the run to the final nine and he was keen to pay tribute to his band of boisterous supporters on the rail.

"The support's been amazing," he said. " I feel sorry for some of the guys out there, they would win a hand and not even get a clap. The great support I got really helped."

For more on this, click through to James Akenhead's PokerListings bio-blog.

PokerListings will have comprehensive coverage of the November Nine on our Live Tournaments page beginning November 7 and news, blogs, videos and more across the site in the months leading up to the final.

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Claudiu-Cristian Dobre 2009-11-12 14:37:00

Having just watched the ESPN coverage of the final table, I have to say I felt that, except for the 2 guys that got heads-up, everybody at the table played really, really well. If you look at it most of them (I think in fact all 7) went out on a bad beat (the opponent hitting 2 outers or 3 outers) or shortly after a bad beat. Really too bad for Phil Ivey, he played great (though I have no idea why he let go of those jacks without at least trying a small 4-bet to see if he's up against a monster or not) and if he'd won with AK vs AQ that hand against Darvin, he would have been quite in it... And Saout really did play the best poker at the table, like all the pros said, and it's a big shame he only got third - he really did deserve more!
Darvin played really weird throughout and just got really, really lucky to get heads-up; there he continued to play very aggressively and he was pretty tough because of that. But after the great call with J9 by Cada (which for me was the turning point) against a move resembling Moneymaker's all in bluff against Farha in 2003, it was pretty clear which way it was going. Cada used Darvin's aggression very well heads-up and deserved to win their matchup.
Of course, Cada himself was very, very lucky to get heads-up (Hellmuth was right to call him the luckiest guy in WSOP history), but at least in his case it was because of the same mistake - overplaying small pairs and just taking too many races (or what he thought would be races) instead of trying to outplay his opponents post-flop. It looks like it was contagious too, seen as he knocked out the last 2 opponents in races! I don't know why he gambled so much - of course, when he was short-stacked, he had to - I guess it's because he felt it was meant to be and just trusted his luck... he's very young, after all! Anyway, he played way better before the final table; and he was never all in, he said so himself. What's interesting is that he was chip leader of day 1c - I've never heard of a day 1 chip leader winning it before (not since 2003 anyway).
Overall, a very, very weird final table, with an incredible amount of suckouts and erratic plays, but also with a general level of play equal to (if not better than) last year's final table, which I personally thought was very, very good.
If he's going to play like he played at the final table this year, Cada's going to go out early in 2010's Main Event. However, if he calms down and realizes the error of his ways and how very, very lucky he really was (which I incline to believe he will), I believe he has the talent and the skill to go deep again, like Eastgate did this year, and could become one of the top pros in the game. I hope that's the way it'll go!

JOHNNY Tanb 2009-11-11 05:18:00

i don't know why. but i think Shulman is going to take it down. He difinetely has the will power. Hell have to make sure Ivey doesn't beat him to the chase and ovoid buchman bullying him. But i think he's got this.

All this of course assuming Moon does NOT get ultra lucky all day and gets normal hands and boards.

makee 2009-11-10 09:24:00

good job boys ..i think i know who's gonna be the winner ...i think you all know .... ivey ivey ivey.....let's gooooooooo

Claudiu-Cristian Dobre 2009-11-10 06:22:00

By the way, it looks like last year's champ, Peter Eastgate, also picked Cada to win the final table:

http://www.pokerlistings.com/reigning-wsop-champ-handicaps-november-nine-44921

Claudiu-Cristian Dobre 2009-11-10 01:25:00

Well, I was spot-on with Cada - he's currently better than a 2 to 1 chip leader over Moon heads-up, so he's the favourite to win it (especially since he's also a heads-up specialist, or at least so he claims)! Buchman did OK too, taking 4th. I was wrong about Moon though, he's made it heads-up and that's a big accomplishment - it was pretty much the same thing for him at the final table as Dennis Phillips last year: lost chips early then recovered to get to the top 3 (and heads-up in Darvin's case).
Saout clearly had a good chance of moving up the ladder, because of his very solid style, so his 3rd place isn't a big surprise. I would have expected Ivey to go deeper (either that or get knocked out first). Anyhow, all went pretty much as expected - maybe Schaffel finished a bit lower than I expected, but that's it.
I wish the best of luck to my man Joe, and I hope he takes it down and breaks Peter Eastgate's record!

msol99 2009-11-09 03:39:00

when do the final go, and where is it possible to see it live on television?

Steven 2009-11-07 10:20:00

Where is Billy Kopp?
Darvin moon reminds me of Dennis Philips last year. Darvin should finish in the top 3th position. GOGO Darvin Moon....

Noroll 2009-11-06 23:46:00

Favorite to bust first and take 9th place:
Phil Ivey

The best guy to bet for both top 3 finish and win:
Jeff Schulman

Indisputable favorite to win:
Darvin Moon

Odds required for me to bet on Darvin Moon holding KK eliminating a player with AQ:
100 to 1

;-)

D.B. from New Orleans 2009-11-05 05:52:00

Well now.
Its less than a week away and everyone is picking someone. I'll pick Moon because: 1. He has the most chips by far and 2. He is a N.O. Saints fan--my hometown. 3. He is playing the kind of poker that will win if he continues to catch some decent cards--and he will probably use the time off to put a few curve balls into his "ABC" arsenal. The man can make a good lay down and will certainly make it to the final 3 and probably Heads Up. Heads Up is where he will have to earn it through excellent play--unless he has a 5 to 1 chip advantage. I hope he takes some sponsorship money for his family's sake (logo to go only on his shirt) and keeps the Saints hat.


Darvin is the story ---with a name and accent like that how could he not be! He has shown a lot of class as well.

Saints are having a dream season thus far and if the MoonMan wins it I think it bodes well for the Saint's Superbowl chances.

Bottom line: it will come down to the cards as much as anything--if Ivey had a mid sized stack he would be by far the favorite but his lack of cards late in the tourney have evened the playing field.

You will hear Norman Chad use the phrases "Moon's river" and "bad moon rising" before its all said and done!!

GO RAGIN CAJUN

Ed Cawley 2009-10-30 10:38:00

Moon, Buchman, Ivey - should all players play their A games.

Moon can be undone by Buchman and Ivey.

Ivey, though he is a very skilled poker player, has a long road to hoe.

Begs is pretty reckless and consistantly works against the odds - that shouldn't hold up against this league of players.

Shulman is just preaching his anti-establishment and adolescent rhetoric - "blah, blah, blah" What was that Jeff?

It is funny how worked-up everyone gets about a game; I guess poker fans are no different from baseball, football, soccer fans, etc.

Regardless of who wins, or doesn't, the world will continue on its path - no ones life will be changed. We'll all keep doing whatever we do.

May the best, or luckiest, player win!

See you at the tables!

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