The 47th Annual World Series of Poker has its November Nine and Cliff Josephy, Griffin Benger and Kenny Hallaert headline as we take a break until 30 October when we will return to the Rio to crown an $8m World Champion.
It begins with a dream.
To win the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event.
But to get there, you have to make the November Nine.
It’s a dream that every professional poker player has. Every one who is someone plays this event. Even Phil Ivey left his mansion to flick in his $10,000.
The search for the nine began 10-days ago.
The penultimate day saw 27 players take their seats, amongst them were some of the giants of professional poker, such as Cliff Josephy, James Obst, Valentin Vornicu, Kenny Hallaert, Tom Marchese, Matthew Moss, Griffin Benger, and Antoine Saout.
All of them were seeking the $8m first prize and the title of World Champion.
Here is how the day unfolded.
Chris Kusha (27th) and Philip Postma (26th) are the only eliminations. Michael Ruane takes the chip lead from Vojtech Ruzicka after an 18-minute hand against the talented Australian James Obst.
Mark Newhouse remains the only player to reach the November Nine twice after Kakwan Lau eliminated Antoine Saout in 25th place. Adam Krach also lost his place in the tournament in that hand finishing in 24th place, and Jared Bleznick eliminated the eight-time World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) winner Valentin Vornicu in 23rd place. Michael Ruane kept the chip lead for the second successive level.
Cliff Josephy was the inspiration of Level 33 ending the level in charge after the tournament lost the likes of Jeff Hakim (22nd), Matthew Moss (21st), Kakwan Lau (20th), and Thomas Miller (19th).
Level 34 belonged to Qui Nguyen after he eliminated Tom Marchese (14th), James Obst (13th) and Mike Shin (12th). The two Brits Andrew Christoforou (18th) and William Kassouf (17th) also departed in this level. Jared Bleznick (16th) and Michael Niwinski (15th) were the other two eliminations.
The final level of the night began with blinds at 250k/500k Ante 75k and the busiest man on the last two tables was the short stacked John Cynn, who moved all-in twice without reply to pick up some much-needed blinds and antes.
With all 11 players desperate to make the final table, the speed of the action slowed so much that the Tournament Director, Jack Effel, withdrew the right for the players to call the clock, and instead put the decision in the hands of the tournament staff.
We reached the unofficial final table after John Cynn clashed with Gordon Vayo. Cynn moved all-in for 4m, and Vayo made the call from the big blind. Cynn turned over QTo and Vayo did the same to show AKo. The board ran out KdQc3sAh6d eliminating Cynn in 11th place.
Unofficial Final Table
Seat 1: Joshua Weiss – 3,700,000 (7 bb)
Seat 2: Griffin Benger – 38,825,000 (77 bb)
Seat 3: Vojtech Ruzicka – 27,750,000 (55 bb)
Seat 4: Fernando Pons – 9,000,000 (18 bb)
Seat 5: Qui Nguyen – 68,125,000 (136 bb)
Seat 6: Cliff Josephy – 61,000,000 (122 bb)
Seat 7: Michael Ruane – 30,200,000 (60 bb)
Seat 8: Gordon Vayo – 47,225,000 (94 bb)
Seat 9: Kenny Hallaert – 39,725,000 (80 bb)
Seat 10: Jerry Wong – 11,025,000 (22 bb)
Cliff Josephy opened to 1.1m from the first position, Griffin Benger three-bet to 3.4m in the cutoff and Josephy called. The flop was Tc5c5d; Josephy checked, Benger c-bet to 3.3m and Josephy called. The turn was the Td; Josephy changed tact and led for 5.5m; Benger called. The river was the Js; Josephy bet 13m, and Benger laid it down. Josephy moved up to 74.325m; Benger fell to 23.5m
Josh Weiss moved all-in for his final 850k, Michael Ruane called in the small blind, as did Gordon Vayo in the big blind. Both players checked the action down to the river on a board of Js7h3h5c4c; Weiss showed Ad8c for ace high, but it’s no good as Ruane tabled Jd5h for two-pairs. Weiss is out in 10th and we have our November Nine.
So Cliff Josephy will lead the final nine players when the action resumes October 30, 2016. The other headline acts include the 2015 Colossus fifth place finisher Kenny Hallaert, WSOP bracelet winner Cliff Josephy, and the Global Poker League (GPL) commentator, and former Counter Strike World #1 Griffin Benger.
November Nine Chip Counts
1. Cliff Josephy – 75,000,000
2. Qui Nguyen – 68,075,000
3. Gordon Vayo – 50,450,000
4. Kenny Hallaert – 43,325,000
5. Michael Ruane – 29,800,000
6. Vojtech Ruzicka – 27,450,000
7. Griffin Benger – 26,175,000
8. Jerry Wong – 10,325,000
9. Fernando Pons – 6,225,000