November Nine What-ifs: Who Came Close to Changing Poker History?

Published On: 25 July 2014 / Modified: 6 March 2018
Created By:
Gaelle Baumann3

Now that the 2014 November Nine is officially set, no matter where each of those nine players finishes there's one thing now guaranteed on top of that $730k payout:

We're (probably) going to remember all of their names.

Year 7 of the great Nov. 9 experiment has produced one of the more intriguing tables in recent history with the jaw-dropping back-to-back run of Mark Newhouse, the wire-to-wire steadiness of Swede Martin Jacobson and foosball wildcard Billy Pappas.

How would we feel if a completely different set of nine players had survived the end game this year? How about any other year?

It's hard to say, of course, and a semi-ridiculous proposition (you can't change the past after all). But it is fun to think about. And there's a very intriguing set of names to finish in the 10-50 slots over the past seven years.

Would we be following Matt Affleck's poker exploits instead of Jonathan Duhamel's? Would Yevgeniy Timoshenko be a mainstream teenage hearththrob? Would Tiffany Michelle be a soap actress or a poker pro? Would women make up a bigger percentage of the poker world?

Play along with our What-ifs as we look at the near misses in the history of the November Nine.

2014 World Series of Poker Main Event

Craig McCorkell

Brit Craig McCorkell definitely would have been a threat to win had he slipped through.

  • 10. Luis Velador
  • 11. Maximilian Senft
  • 12. Christopher Greaves
  • 13. Craig McCorkell
  • 14. Oscar Kemps
  • 15. Thomas Sarra Jr.
  • 16. Eddy Sabat
  • 17. Andrey Zaichenko
  • 18. Scott Mahin

Other Notables: Scott "URnotINdanger2" Palmer (19), Dan Smith (20), Leif Force (21), Bryan Devonshire (25), Matt Waxman (45)

2013 World Series of Poker Main Event

Alexander Livingston

What if Alex Livingston, friend of actress Ellen Page, had been there?

  • 10. Carlos Mortensen
  • 11. Matthew Reed
  • 12. Rep Porter
  • 13. Alex Livingston
  • 14. Sergio Castellucio
  • 15. Bruno Kawauti
  • 16. Chris Lindh
  • 17. Fabian Ortiz
  • 18. Jan Nakladal

Other Notables: Yevgeniy Timoshenko (22), Steve Gee (24), Jackie Glazier (31), Byron Kaverman (34)

2012 World Series of Poker Main Event


How different would poker be if one - or both - of Elisabeth Hille and Gaelle Baumann made the final nine?

  • 10. Gaelle Baumann
  • 11. Elisabeth Hille
  • 12. Scott Abrams
  • 13. Marc-Andre Ladouceur
  • 14. Danny Wong
  • 15. Wilfried Harig
  • 16. Percy Mahatan
  • 17. Bob Buckenmayer
  • 18. David Balkin

Other Notables: Paul Volpe (20), Yuval Bronshtein (23), Jan Heitmann (26), Taylor Paur (33)

2011 World Series of Poker Main Event

Philipp Gruissem

How big would Phil Gruissem's REG charity be if he'd made it (or won) in 2011?

  • 10. John Hewitt
  • 11. Khoa Nguyen
  • 12. Bryan Devonshire
  • 13. Konstantinos Mamaliadis
  • 14. Scott Schwalich
  • 15. Andrey Pateychuk
  • 16. Ryan Lenaghan
  • 17. Sam Barnhart
  • 18. Kenny Shih 

Other Notables: Lars Bonding (22), Andrew Hinrichsen (23), JP Kelly (26), Phil Gruissem (28), Erika Moutinho (29), David Sands (30), Steve Brecher (31), Erick Lindgren (43)

2010 World Series of Poker Main Event

Johnny Lodden

Norwegian superstar Johnny Lodden was on the precipice back in 2010. What was he thinking?

  • 10. Brandon Steven
  • 11. Pascal LeFrancois
  • 12. Adam Levy
  • 13. Duy Le
  • 14. Hasan Habib
  • 15. Matt Affleck
  • 16. Ben Statz
  • 17. David “ODB” Baker
  • 18. Scott Clements

Other Notables: William Thorson (22), Ronnie Bardah (24), Mads Wissing (25), Johnny Lodden (27), Bryn Kenney (28), Theo Jorgensen (30), Tony Dunst (50)

2009 World Series of Poker Main Event

Antonio Esfandiari

How different would 2009 have been with The Magician at the table?

  • 10. Jordan Smith
  • 11. Jamie Robbins
  • 12. Billy Kopp
  • 13. James Calderado
  • 14. Ben Lamb
  • 15. Nick Maimone
  • 16. Ludovic Lacay
  • 17. Ian Tavelli
  • 18. Andrew Lichtenberger

Other Notables: Tommy Vedes (19), Warren Zackey (22), Antonio Esfandiari (24), Marc-Etienne McLaughlin (30), Grayson Ramage (35), Eugene Katchalov (39)

2008 World Series of Poker Main Event 

Tiffany Michelle

What if Tiffany Michelle broke the gender barrier in 2008?

  • 10. Dean Hamrick
  • 11. Joe Bishop
  • 12. Chris Klodnicki
  • 13. Nicholas Sliwinksi
  • 14. Gert Andersen
  • 15. Owen Crowe
  • 16. Tony Scherer
  • 17. Tiffany Michelle
  • 18. Jason Riesenberg

Other Notables: Brandon Cantu (20), Niklas Flisberg (25), Mike Matusow (30), Phil Hellmuth (45)


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Hank 2014-07-28 18:10:08

Ms. Baumann or Ms. Hille in 2012 would have made things very interesting but I doubt it would have had much impact on the overall number of female players in the game. More interesting would be if some of the average joes at the final table had won it all instead of say a Joe Cada or Peter Eastgate.


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