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

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:

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.

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.


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:

2008Peter Eastgate22
2009Joe Cada21
2010Jonathan Duhamel22
2011Pius Heinz22
2012Greg Merson24
2013Ryan Riess23
2014Martin Jacobson27
2015Joe McKeehen24

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 102ndMaria Ho has also claimed the LWS title twice.

These are the highest finishes for women since 2008:

2008Tiffany Michelle17
2009Leo Margets27
2010Breeze Zuckerman121
2011Erika Moutinho29
2012Gaelle Baumann10
2013Jackie Glazier31
2014Maria Ho77
2015Kelly Minkin29
2016Gaelle Baumann102

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

YearPlayerAgeCountryChipsStarting Position
Final PlacePrize
2008Peter Eastgate22DK18,375,0004 / 91 (+3)$9,152,416
2008Ivan Demidov27RU24,400,0002 / 92 (+/-0)$5,809,595
2008Dennis Phillips53US26,295,0001 / 93 (-2)$4,517,773
2008Ylon Schwartz38US12,525,0005 / 94 (+1)$3,774,974
2008Scott Montgomery27CA19,690,0003 / 95 (-2)$3,096,768
2008Darus Suharto39CA12,520,0006 / 96 (+/-0)$2,418,562
2008David Rheem28US10,230,0007 / 97 (+/-0)$1,772,650
2008Kelly Kim32US2,620,0009 / 98 (+1)$1,288,217
2008Craig Marquis23US10,210,0008 / 99 (-1)$900,670
2009Joe Cada21US13,215,0005 / 91 (+4)$8,547,042
2009Darvin Moon46US58,930,0001 / 92 (-1)$5,182,928
2009Antoine Saout25FR9,500,0008 / 93 (+5)$3,479,670
2009Eric Buchman30US34,800,0002 / 94 (-2)$2,502,890
2009Jeff Shulman34US19,580,0004 / 95 (-1)$1,953,452
2009Steven Begleiter47US29,885,0003 / 96 (-3)$1,587,160
2009Phil Ivey32US9,765,0007 / 97 (+/-0)$1,404,014
2009Kevin Schaffel51US12,390,0006 / 98 (-2)$1,300,231
2009James Akenhead26UK6,800,0009 / 99 (+/-0)$1,263,602
2010Jonathan Duhamel22CA65,975,0001 / 91 (+/-0)$8,944,310
2010John Racener24US19,050,0004 / 92 (+2)$5,545,955
2010Joseph Cheong24US23,525,0003 / 93 (+/-0)$4,130,049
2010Filippo Candio26IT16,400,0006 / 94 (+2)$3,092,545
2010Michael Mizrachi29US14,450,0007 / 95 (+2)$2,332,992
2010John Dolan24US46,250,0002 / 96 (-4)$1,772,959
2010Jason Senti28US7,625,0009 / 97 (+2)$1,356,720
2010Matthew Jarvis25CA16,700,0005 / 98 (-3)$1,045,743
2010Cuong Soi Nguyen37US9,650,0008 / 99 (-1)$811,823
2011Pius Heinz22DE16,425,0007 / 91 (+6)$8,715,638
2011Martin Staszko35CZ40,175,0001 / 92 (-1)$5,433,086
2011Ben Lamb26US20,875,0005 / 93 (+2)$4,021,138
2011Matt Giannetti26US24,750,0003 / 94 (-1)$3,012,700
2011Phil Collins26US23,875,0004 / 95 (-1)$2,269,599
2011Eoghan O'Dea26IE33,925,0002 / 96 (-4)$1,720,831
2011Badih "Bob" Bounahra49BZ19,700,0006 / 97 (-1)$1,314,097
2011Anton Makiievskyi21UA13,825,0008 / 98 (+/-0)$1,010,015
2011Sam Holden22UK12,375,0009 / 99 (+/-0)$782,115
2012Greg Merson24US28,725,0003 / 91 (+2)$8,531,853
2012Jesse Sylvia26US43,875,0001 / 92 (-1)$5,295,149
2012Jacob Balsiger21US13,115,0008 / 93 (+5)$3,797,558
2012Russell Thomas24US24,800,0004 / 94 (+/-0)$2,850,494
2012Jeremy Ausmus32US9,805,0009 / 95 (+4)$2,154,616
2012Andras Koroknai30HU29,375,0002 / 96 (-4)$1,640,461
2012Michael Esposito44US16,260,0006 / 97 (-1)$1,257,790
2012Robert Salaburu27US15,155,0007 / 98 (-1)$971,252
2012Steven Gee57US16,860,0005 / 99 (-4)$754,798
2013Ryan Riess23US25,875,0005 / 91 (+4)$8,361,570
2013Jay Farber28US25,975,0004 / 92 (+2)$5,174,357
2013Amir Lehavot38IL29,700,0002 / 93 (-1)$3,727,823
2013Sylvain Loosli26FR19,600,0006 / 94 (+2)$2,792,533
2013J.C. Tran36US38,000,0001 / 95 (-4)$2,106,893
2013Marc McLaughlin25CA26,525,0003 / 96 (-3)$1,601,024
2013Michiel Brummelhuis32NL11,275,0007 / 97 (+/-0)$1,225,224
2013David Benefield27US6,375,0009 / 98 (+1)$944,593
2013Mark Newhouse28US7,350,0008 / 99 (-1)$733,224
2014Martin Jacobson27SE14,900,0008 / 91 (+7)$10,000,000
2014Felix Stephensen24NO32,775,0002 / 92 (+/-0)$5,147,911
2014Jorryt van Hoof31NL38,375,0001 / 93 (-2)$3,807,753
2014William Tonking27US15,050,0007 / 94 (+3)$2,849,763
2014Billy Pappas29US17,500,0006 / 95 (+1)$2,143,794
2014Andoni Larrabe22ES22,550,0004 / 96 (-2)$1,622,471
2014Dan Sindelar30US21,200,0005 / 97 (-2)$1,236,084
2014Bruno Politano31BR12,125,0009 / 98 (+1)$947,172
2014Mark Newhouse29US26,000,0003 / 99 (-6)$730,725
2015Joe McKeehen24US63,100,0001 / 91 (+/-0)$7,683,346
2015Joshua Beckley24US11,800,0007 / 92 (+5)$4,470,896
2015Neil Blumenfield61US22,000,0003 / 93 (+/-0)$3,398,298
2015Max Steinberg27US20,200,0005 / 94 (+1)$2,615,361
2015Ofer Stern36IL29,800,0002 / 95 (-3)$1,911,423
2015Thomas Cannuli23US12,250,0006 / 96 (+/-0)$1,426,283
2015Pierre Neuville72BE21,075,0004 / 97 (-3)$1,203,293
2015Federico Butteroni25IT6,200,0009 / 98 (+1)$1,097,056
2015Patrick Chan26US6,225,0008 / 99 (-1)$1,001,020
2016Cliff Josephy50US74,600,0001 / 9  
2016Qui Nguyen39US67,925,0002 / 9  
2016Gordon Vayo27US49,375,0003 / 9  
2016Kenny Hallaert34BE43,325,0004 / 9  
2016Michael Ruane28US31,600,0005 / 9  
2016Voyjtech Ruzicka30CZ27,300,0006 / 9  
2016Griffin Benger31CA26,175,0007 / 9  
2016Jerry Wong34US10,175,0008 / 9  
2016Fernando Pons37ES6,150,0009 / 9  

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