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.
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, 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.
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:
Just bought into the main event day 1c. Not fucking finishing 9th again— mark newhouse (@mark_hizzle) 7. Juli 2014
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.
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.
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:
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
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:
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.
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.
- 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|