After the second day of play in the 2016 November Nine, Qui Nguyen is still in the lead. A big lead.
Nguyen started the day with nearly 40 percent of the chips in play and then dealt both eliminations for the day to bring his share closer to 60 percent.
Nguyen’s a gambler, and if things go his way, he wins big. That’s exactly what happened today.
Nguyen used his stack to his advantage and played often. When it came time for a showdown he often had it.
He’s calm, he’s cool, he’s collected. There’s no sweat on his brow and at the end of the day he just wanted to go up to his room.
He said the way he plays isn’t going to change and he’s just going to play it out without much hesitation
“I’m not nervous,” Nguyen said. “I’m never nervous. I’m so lucky to be here right now. Whatever happens, happens.”
Right now Nguyen is just going to go back to his room to hang out with his friends.
Most of them were wearing matching t-shirts and spent much of the day shouting “Who wins? Qui Nguyen.”
It was catchy enough for Jack Effel to remind them to say it if they forgot.
The Contenders: Josephy and Vayo
The Nguyen rail equipped themselves with a few banners and got louder as the day progressed, challenging the seemingly dominant Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy rail.
Josephy started the November Nine as the chip leader and the crowd favorite.
He’s a charming old-schooler with a bright smile and a seemingly endless number of poker pros vouching for his kindness.
When play started yesterday there was basically a small store handing out Team Bax apparel.
But while his crowd’s enthusiasm hasn’t dropped, his stack has. Josephy is now entering Day 10 as the short stack with 50 million.
That leaves Gordon Vayo as the middle stack with 89 million. Vayo is also like the middle child of the event, caught between two dominating personalities and rails.
Vayo’s fans are more subdued and the 27-year-old pro also has a calm personality.
Two of them will hit hit the rail tomorrow and one will become the 2016 World Series of Poker Champion.
Vojtech Ruzicka Out in 5th
While Nguyen dealt both eliminations, Gordon Vayo was responsible for taking the majority of Vojtech Ruzicka’s chips.
In that hand Vayo raised to 2.3 million from the button and Vojtech Ruzicka made it 8.15 million from the small blind.
Vayo called and the flop came Q♣ 8♦ 3♣. Ruzicka bet 6.2 million, Vayo called and a 7♦ came down on the turn.
There was another bet, another call and a #5s on the river.
Ruzicka moved all-in for just 27.9 million and Vayo called. Ruzicka had a whiffed A♠ K♦ while Vayo tabled 8♣ 8♠.
Eights won again.
The hand put Vayo up to 108.9 million while Ruzicka was left with less than a big blind.
Ruzicka put his puny pile of chips in from the button the following hand and Nguyen raised to 5 million from the small blind. Josephy folded his big blind and Ruzicka showed A♦ 7♠ while Nguyen had him dominated with A♥ Q♥.
The 6♦ 4♠2♠ 5♠ 4♦ board gave Ruzicka a straight draw on the turn, but nothing with showdown value.
Ace-queen high took down the pot and the tournament shrunk.
Michael Ruane Out in 4th
Michael Ruane started the day as the short stack and while he scored a double up early on, he couldn’t make it through the day.
Nguyen opened to 2.7 million from under the gun and Ruane moved all-in for 15.7 million from the small blind in his final hand.
Action folded back to Nguyen and he called.
Ruane showed K♥ Q♥ for his tournament life and Nguyen was ahead with A♥ J♠.
The 9♥ 9♠ 2♠ flop wasn’t much help for Ruane and neither was the J♣ on the turn.
Ruane had a few outs but the 8♦ that landed on the river wasn’t one of them.
That was it, Michael Ruane’s Main Event was done. Ruane’s rail exploded and cheered one last time before they flowed out of the tournament area along with him.
The day ended soon after that and the final three players will come back tomorrow at 5:30pm PST to play down to a world champion. Follow all that action with our live updates.
Day 9 Results
1. Qui Nguyen - 197,600,000
2. Gordon Vayo - 89,000,000
3. Cliff Josephy - 50,000,000
4. Michael Ruane - $2,576,003
5. Vojtech Ruzicka - $1,935,288