It started like any other high pressure, nerves on edge, the world-is-watching type of day. There were 22! They were playing down to nine, not just nine, THE NINE! But these 22 players were a miniscule spark of the heat that started the whole thing boiling into the World Series of Poker Main Event 2011. It started with 6,865 people with a $10,000 buy-in.
If one were to take into account all of the satellites played online and live, home games, and bits and pieces of poker that draw together like metal filings to a magnet and stack them end on end, those 22 players are nothing but a few smatterings of dust in the wind as to how it all started. It all started at the beginning, but whose beginning?
To say these 22 players were poker's best would be a blatant lie. To say they learned an immense lesson on how to handle pressure as it stretches beyond the scope of thinking to the levels of physical endurance would be an understatement. To say they wanted to make the final table and be in one of the most coveted spots that poker player’s dreams are made of would be the complete truth, nothing but the truth, so help us all!
As Day 8 wore on, one by one they fell:
22nd place - Lars Bonding went first when he got all of his chips in holding A-A and ran into 4-4 held by Konstantinos Mamaliadis. The flopped set of fours on a 3-4-7 board found nothing on the turn or the river that could beat them. Bonding won $302,005.
21st place - Chris Moore three-bet to 1,000,000 when Anton Makievskyi raised to 350,000. Makievskyi moved all-in and Moore snap called showing K-K to Makievskyi's . The board ran out and Moore was gone with $302,005 for his main event payday.
20th place - Gionni Demers moved all-in from the button. The small blind gave up but Konstantinos Mamaliadis insta-called from the big blind. The board came and Demer tabled to Mamaliadis' K-K. It was time to say goodbye to Demers and the $302,005 he picked up from the cashier's cage.
19th place - Aleksandr Mozhnyakov ran into Sam Barnhart's when he reraised all-in with the in answer to Barnhart's cutoff raise to 560,000. Obviously Barnhart called and they saw a flop of followed by the . And just like that Mozhnyakov was out, collecting $302,005 and the memories of 'almost' running through the drift of time.
18th place - Kenny Shih was under the gun and came out with a raise to 525,000. Everyone folded to John Hewitt in the big blind. Hewitt called and then checked the flop. Shih continued with a bet of 700,000. Hewitt check-raised to 2 million and Shih put all of his chips in the pot. Hewitt called. Shih turned up the . Hewitt tabled the . Shih couldn't dodge a bullet, it came in the form of a copper jacketed hollow point to give Hewitt the flush. The on the river was just for good measure. Shih went to the cashier's cage to collect $378,796.
17th place - Sam Barnhart raised to 550,000 from middle position. Pius Heinz reraised all-in from the small blind for 5.51 million. Barnhart called, all-in for 4.025 million. Barnhart had the in an uphill battle against the of Heinz. Barnhart was finished when the board came . He collected $378,796 for his main event finish but his 2011 tournaments earnings are up over $835,000. He won the WSOP Circuit Harrah's Tunica Main Event for close to $150,000 and then won the $1,000,000 National Championship freeroll to claim another $300,000.
16th place - Ryan Lenaghan came into Day 6 as the chipleader but many things happen as the cards are shuffled and spread and bets are called and raised. And so it was when Samuel Holden opened to 400,000 from early position and Lenaghan responded by moving all-in for 4.635 million. The action came back and Holden called, tabling . Lenaghan had the . The board was no help to Lenaghan, showing . The popped off on the turn, pairing Lenaghan but giving Holden a flush. Before the hit river Lenaghan was already shaking hands and heading to the cage to collect $378,796.
15th place - Andrey Pateychuk pushed all-in for 4.3 million under the gun with the . Pius Heinz made the call from the cutoff with the . The board was no friend to Pateychuk when it came . Stacks of cash in the amount of $480,000 replaced the November Nine final table dream for Pateychuk.
14th place - Scott Schwalich ran into Eoghan O'Dea after Phil Collins raised to 550,000 under the gun and Schwalich moved all-in for 25,000 more. Martin Staszko called from the cutoff but Eoghan O'Dea's was in the big blind and reraised to 2 million narrowing it down to Schwalich and O'Dea.
As the cards turn, the board showed and Schwalich was taking home $478,174.
13th place - Konstantinos Mamaliadis moved all-in for about 4 million from the button in answer to Eoghan O'Deas opening bet to 625,000. O'Dea called and showed the to Mamaliadis' . The flop brought the . The on the turn meant that Mamaliadis was drawing to a river deuce for the win. He made a pair of eights when the hit the river but it gave O'Dea a straight. Mamaliadis was off to the payout window to collect $478,174.
|1st ||$8,711,956 |
|2nd ||$5,430,928 |
|3rd ||$4,019,635 |
|4th ||$3,011,661 |
|5th ||$2,268,909 |
|6th ||$1,720,396 |
|7th ||$1,313,851 |
|8th ||$1,009,910 |
|9th ||$782,115 |
12th place - Bryan Devonshire picked up a $607,882 main event payday when Eoghan O'Dea opened for 650,000 from the hijack seat and the action folded to Devonshire in the big blind. After checking his cards, Devonshire shoved all-in for around 3 million with O'Dea making the call.
The flop slid off . The turn brought the - the wrong paint to help Devonshire - and the river ended his run for the November Nine.
11th place - Khoa Nguyen pushed in a raise to 1.75 million from the hijack seat in answer to Martin Staszko's opening raise to 675,000 under the gun. Everyone folded back to Staszko who paused and then announced that he was raising all-in. Nguyen called with his entire stack - a little over 7 million.
Nguyen had the to Staszko's . Staszko walked away but Nguyen stayed at the table to watch the flop come . The turn hit like a lead balloon with the and the river followed with the . Staszko went to around 30 million in chips and Nguyen went to the cashier's cage to collect $607,882.
At level 36 with blinds at 250,000/500,000 and a 50,000 ante, the average chip stack was 20,595,000 and the next payout was $607,882 for 10th place.
John Hewitt accepted the $607,882 that went with 10th place, perhaps not with a happy heart or a jubilant smile but he was severely short stacked after Badih Bounahra doubled through him, leaving him with 4,125,000 and soon to face the big blind.
From the big blind position Hewitt found the and after Eoghan O’Dea opened to 1.1 million from middle position, everyone folded to Hewitt who moved all-in for his last 3.875 million. O’Dea called with the .
The flop appeared giving O’Dea an open-ended straight draw with the and two over card draws to a pair. The appeared on the turn, giving O’Dea a Broadway. The crowd went crazy. The dealer put up the river and the November Nine bubble was burst with the table offering condolences to John Hewitt.
Each of the November Nine are guaranteed a payout of $782,115. What they're playing for:
|1 ||Martin Staszko ||40,475,000 |
|2 ||Eoghan O'Dea ||29,400,000 |
|3 ||Matt Giannetti ||24,850,000 |
|4 ||Phil Collins ||21,425,000 |
|5 ||Ben Lamb ||20,725,000 |
|6 ||Badih Bounahra ||19,950,000 |
|7 ||Pius Heinz ||16,475,000 |
|8 ||Anton Makievskyi ||15,325,000 |
|9 ||Samuel Holden ||13,725,000 |
The chip counts of the November Nine:
Out of the 6,865 players that started, tonight there are Nine that are 'living the dream' and completely ecstatic as they are elevated to a position that most of us will never even come close to touching. Congratulations to everyone that took a seat in the 2011 WSOP Main Event!