The annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) No-Limit Hold’em Championship, also known as the Main Event, is down to its final nine players. The “November Nine” are all that’s left from the starting field of 6,683 players.
The final nine players will return to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino on November 10 to compete for poker’s ultimate prize, a WSOP Main Event gold bracelet and a guaranteed first-place prize of $10,000,000.
The players along with their respective seat assignments and chip counts are:
Seat 1 – Billy Pappaconstantinou – 17,500,000
Billy is 29 and an unlikely finalist because he has no previous WSOP experience. Most of his live poker tournament earnings of $16,379 came mainly from a $500 buy-in event at the 2010 World Poker Finals where he took eighth place and won $15,341.
Seat 2 – Felix Stephensen – 32,775,000
Felix is a 23-year-old originally from Norway but who is now living in London, England. This is his second year in a row playing the Main Event.
Seat 3 – Jorryt van Hoof – 38,375,000
Jorryt is a 31-year-old with only three previous WSOP cashes and $27,956 in earnings but has won over $358,000 in live poker tournaments worldwide.
Seat 4 – Mark Newhouse – 26,000,000
Mark is a 29 year old Las Vegas resident and the first ever November Nine player (the November Nine concept began in 2008) to make back-to-back WSOP Main Event final tables. Mark finished in 9th place in 2013 and collected $733,224.
Dan Harrington was the last player to make back-to-back Main Event final tables in 2003 and 2004. Making back-to-back final tables in the main event is a great feat anytime, but it’s even more impressive in Mark’s case because he had to get through fields of 6,352 last year and 6,683 this year, compared to Dan having to get through fields of 839 in 2003 and 2,576 in 2004.
Seat 5 – Andoni Larrabe – 22,550,000
Andoni is a 22-year-old Spaniard who is now living in London, England. He’s the youngest player left in the field and has $20,068 in career WSOP earnings. He also won a tournament in the Bahamas in 2013, taking home $218,710.
Seat 6 – William Tonking – 15,050,000
William is a 27-year-old from Flemington, New Jersey, who has $13,421 in career live poker earnings by way of three previous WSOP cashes. This will be his first cash in his third try in the WSOP Main Event, having played in it in 2008 and 2013.
Seat 7 – Daniel Sindelar – 21,200,000
Daniel is a 30-year-old poker professional who is originally from Nebraska but is now living in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has 17 previous WSOP cashes and more than $227,000 in earnings from those events.
Seat 8 – Martin Jacobson – 14,900,000
Martin is the only player at the table with more than $1 million in career WSOP earnings, from 15 previous cashes. He’s 27 and now lives in in London. In total, he has won $4,807,316 in worldwide tournament winnings.
Seat 9 – Bruno Politano – 12,125,000
Even though Bruno is starting the final table with the shortest stack, he still holds the distinction of being the first Brazilian ever to make the WSOP Main Event final table. He is 31 and plays poker as a hobby.
In addition to the first-place prize of $10,000,000, prize money* for the remaining eight spots is as follows:
2nd place: $5,145,968
3rd place: $3,806,402
4th place: $2,848,833
5th place: $2,143,174
6th place: $1,622,080
7th place: $1,235,862
8th place: $947,077
9th place: $730,725
When play resumes November 10, the players will pick up with antes of 50,000 and blinds at 200,000 and 400,000.
*The final nine players each received ninth-place prize money upon reaching the final table; the remainder of the prize pool will be placed in an interest-bearing account to be added to the prize pool on a percentage basis for the final eight finishers.
The 45th annual World Series of Poker officially begins Monday, May 27,2014 with an expected $200 million up for grabs and the winner of the WSOP Main Event walking away with $10 million as well as the cherished diamond bracelet.
The World Series of Poker which began in 1970 will be televised from the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV and consists of a comprehensive collection of the game’s most popular poker variations. The events will run through July 14, 2014.
A total of 65 WSOP bracelets are in play, (three more than last year) so you have 65 chances to make your poker dreams come true. As usual, the WSOP offers something for everyone, satellites, cash games, bracelet events and the return of the $1 million buy-in, Big One For One Drop Event.
The full 2014 World Series of Poker tournament schedule can be found here:
Ryan Riess beat runner up, Jay Farber in a terrific heads-up battle to win the 2013 World Series Of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. He had Jay on the ropes earlier, but Jay was able to hit a nine to make a straight and keep his hopes alive.
With the blinds at $600,000/$1,200,000 and the antes at $200,000, the final hand came down to Jay (on the short stack with less than $15,000,000) having few options and going all in with Q9 of spades.
Ryan called instantly with AK of hearts and was a 65% favorite. When the flop came 4 of clubs, J of diamonds and 10 of diamonds, Jay lost some of his outs as a queen would have given Ryan a straight. Jay, dead to a 5 watched as the 3 of clubs came on the turn and the 4 of diamonds came on the river making Ryan the latest main event winner and $8,361,570 richer.
The rest of the final table and their respective payouts finished in the following manner:
After more than a week of play, a field of 6,352 players has been reduced to the final nine who will meet again in November to determine who will become the WSOP Main Event champion.
The winner will not only get the coveted bracelet but will also take home over $8 million. All of the final nine players are already in good shape, being guaranteed at least $700,000 just by making the final table.
The players and their chip stacks are as follows:
J.C. Tran $38,000,000 from the United States
Amir Lehavot 29,700,000 from Israel
Marc McLaughlin 26,525,000 from Canada
Jay Farber 25,975,000 from the United States
Ryan Riess 25,875,000 from the United States
Sylvain Loosli 19,600,000 from France
Michiel Brummelhuis 11,275,000 from the Netherlands
Mark Newhouse 7,350,000 from the United States
David Benefield 6,375,000 from the United States
Former World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Carlos Mortensen from Spain, finished in 10th place just missing the final table.
Tune in November 4, when the battle for the bracelet resumes.
The heads-up challenge between the pros from Team PokerStars and Team Full Tilt ended with with Team PokerStars crushing their opponents 3-0 and picking up the $150,000 in prize money.
Playing at the European Poker Tour London, each player competed in a best-of-three heads-up No-Limit Hold’em online match. Team Full Tilt,
made up of Gus Hansen, Tom Dwan and Viktor Blom played heads-up against the Poker Stars team of Daniel Negreanu, ElkY Grospellier and Ike Haxton at $50,000 per match. The first player to win 2 out of 3 in each match would win a point. The team winning 2 out of 3 matches would take the total prize money.
Blom played Grospellier, Dwan played Haxton and Negreanu would face off against Hansen. After the dust settled, Tom Dwan was the only Full Tilt player to win a game as Team PokerStars walked away with the cash. Negreanu beat Hansen despite timing out twice with the nuts.
Daniel Negreanu commented, “Well, I did predict that we’d win all 3 matches and it went just as I’d predicted. When asked if there would be a rematch, Negreanu replied, “Ah well, it’s up to them!” He laughed and said, “If they’d like to donate some more to our fund, we’d be more than happy to play them again.”
ElkY added, “It went amazingly well. The whole PokerStars team had dinner together the night before and Daniel Negreanu, Eugene Katchalov and above all Isaac Haxton – because he’s played a lot against Isildur and had a lot of information to share – all gave me advice. I had also watched a lot of his matches from when he did the SuperStar Showdown on PokerStars, so I had a lot of information about his style, more than he did on mine, since I haven’t been playing as many heads-ups as I used to. I think it was very important to win the first match, it put more pressure on him. We also worked on finding what aspects of his game I could use to my advantage, and what I could do in certain situations to make him feel even more frustrated.”
This $150,000 match all started from a tweet by Gus Hansen where he teased Negreanu about a hand from High Stakes Poker from a number of years ago where Negreanu’s full house ran into Hansen’s quads. Daniel responded by issuing this challenge to Hansen and the rest, as they say, is history.
Team Full Tilt Poker player Gus Hansen has agreed to a challenge from Team Poker Stars player Daniel Negreanu for a three-on-three online heads-up match. The challenge is a battleship-style tournament to be held at PokerStars’ London event in March.
Negreanu surveyed fans as well as other pros from Team Poker Stars to help him in his decision on who to choose for his team. Eventually Negreanu arrived at Isaac Haxton and French poker star, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier to play against Gus Hansen’s team of Tom “durrrr” Dwan and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom.
Negreanu is suggesting that each player put $50,000 into the pot ($150,000 per team) with the plan being a three table No-Limit Hold’em heads-up freezeout on laptops. Hansen and Negreanu are team captains so they will play each other but we will have to wait to see how the other parings match up.
A player wins an individual match by taking two of the three tables. The team who wins will have to take two of the three individual matches overall.
This is the first time there has ever been an official competition between Poker Stars pros and Full Tilt Poker pros. Interestingly, Daniel has even agreed to play the event on Hansen’s Full Tilt Poker site instead of Poker Stars. It’s set to take place during the EPT Main Event in London, which is March 10-16.
Here’s a video of Daniel Negreanu talking about how it all got started:
Australia has seen huge growth in the sports betting arena but poker remains the star attraction. Business analysts IBISWorld report that poker accounted for over 60% of total betting spent by gamblers during 2011 and 2012. The sports betting sector has seen phenomenal growth and is becoming increasingly popular. At present it’s only 1.6% of the total gambling market but it has seen 14.7% growth over the past five years, which is more than lotteries and horse racing.
IBISWorld predicts Australian gambling will grow to $22.5 billion, with an average of $1,256 wagered per person in 2012. Customers are displaying an increased awareness of where they are placing their bets. And they are taking full advantage of the benefits and convenience of online casino services. Along with sports betting, gamblers now have access to a wide selection of casino games and multi-player options such as online poker tournaments. All can be accessed direct from the Internet and increasingly also on mobile devices and smartphones.
Sally Gainsbury, from the center for gambling, education and research at Southern Cross University commented that: ‘The prominence of new technology, such as the rising penetration of smartphones, enables people to place a bet anywhere’. Gaming Club’s official representative said, “The gambling industry has been very strong in Australia for many years now. This has clearly been helped by the growth of several online gaming websites that offer hundreds of online casino games.”
Revenue from Internet gambling can no longer be ignored by states. Illinois state lawmakers are leading the way by checking with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) to see whether they can expand their lottery to include online gambling.
There is already proposed legislation that would expand gambling in Illinois bars and video machines would become legal under the legislation. They also have another proposal that would allow off-track betting on horse races. Illinois lawmakers also went out on a limb by proposing controversial legislation that would allow residents in Illinois to play the lottery from home by logging onto the Internet and picking numbers electronically.
Other states allow Internet lottery options but they do so through lottery subscriptions, which mean residents must sign up to play the same numbers every month. Those states didn’t had any problems with this form of Internet gambling until 2006, when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed. Unfortunately, the law prohibits online gambling but doesn’t specify exactly which forms of Internet gambling are illegal. The government has put the burden on financial institutions to determine that.
As a result, state lotteries that were selling subscriptions started having problems. Credit card companies began denying payment for these subscriptions, fearing that they were against the law. This happened because the credit cards lumped lottery subscription sales into a larger group of Internet-gambling-related processing. The states involved have since filed lawsuits to force the credit card companies to pay these charges and stop blocking residents from having lottery subscriptions.
Opponents of Illinois online lottery gambling say the funds generated would not be significant enough to warrant changing state law. But plan proponents want to see what the DoJ ‘s take on the matter is, and then they’ll decide whether they want to move ahead with the legislation.
Image of lottery balls in an Illinois parade by rcktmanil via Flickr
Some forms of Internet gambling got closer to being legalized this week when Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey unveiled S 1597, the Internet Poker and Games of Skill Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act. The legislation would legalize and regulate games of skill, most notably poker, bridge, mahjongg, backgammon and chess, and define them as games in which player skill is a major factor.
According to the bill text, “While each of these games contains an element of chance, over any substantial interval, a player’s ultimate success is determined by that player’s relative level of skill.”
Under the new legislation, federal and state governments would each reap 5 percent of licensees’ deposits in tax revenue during each calendar month. Unauthorized gambling would be subject to a 50 percent fee.
Menendez’s S 1597 is similar in scope to last session’s S 3616, the Internet Skill Game Licensing and Control Act, except would focus on consumer protections. It’s also similar to HR 2267, which was proposed by Rep. Barney Frank. But HR 2267 would legalize and regulate all forms of online gambling, not just games of skill.
Frank and Senator Menendez are united in overturning the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006, which has created confusion because of its lack of clarity about what constitutes online gambling. Frank already tried once to overturn the UIGEA and the first attempt was denied by a Republican Congress. But this time around Frank and Menendez have the majority in their respective chambers and unlike last time, they also have wide Republican support.
With six of the November nine busting out the previous Sunday, the WSOP main event title was up for grabs Tuesday night airing on ESPN.
The six players to exit Sunday and their respective winnings are:
4th Matt Giannetti $3,011,655
5th Phil Collins $2,268,909
6th Eoghan O’Dea $1,720,396
7th Badih Bounahra $1,313,851
8th Anton Makiievskyi $1,009,910
9th Sam Holden $782,115
That left Pius Heinz, Martin Staszko and Ben Lamb left from the starting field of 6,865 players to fight it out for the title on Tuesday night.
It didn’t take long for the fireworks to begin. On hand #1, Ben Lamb on the short stack, pushed all in with KJ off suit and was called by Staszko’s pocket sevens. The sevens held up and Lamb is crippled with just 10 big blinds left. On hand #4 Lamb has little choice but to shove with Q6 off and is called again by Staszko’s pocket pair, this time jacks. They hold up and Lamb finishes in third.
Heads up between the 22 year old Heinz and the 35 year old Staszko then begins on hand #5 with the blinds at $800,000/$1,600,000 and a $200,000 ante. Heinz, the more aggressive of the two is looking to become the 2nd youngest player to win the WSOP main event. (Joe Cada age 21 in 2009)
Heinz had trouble making hands in heads up play and fell behind to Staszko but the aggressive Heinz hung in and eventually pulled ahead.
The final hand saw Staszko, down to just over $44,000,000 in chips, pushing all in with 10c-7c against the As-Kc of Heinz. When neither player hit a pair, Heinz was the champion, winning $8,715,618. Staszko collected $5,433,086 for second.