The 2013 World Series of Poker November Nine has been set after 10 full days of play to take the field of 6,352 players down to the final table. Nine players remain — the first place prize of $8,359,531 and the gold bracelet are beacons in the not so distant future.
The 2013 WSOP November Nine*
Two-time WSOP bracelet winner and World Poker Tour World Poker Challenge champ, JC Tran, is the November Nine chip leader with 38 million. Tran was down to just 12,500 when the blinds were at the 1,000/2,000 level on Day 3. He overcame that and eventually took the chip lead in Level 34 in a hand against Jay Farber, who also made the final table.
Tran spoke with PokerNews.com about the struggle with family and poker.
"It’s been really, really tough," Tran said. "My wife has been absolutely amazing. She’s pregnant at the moment so her body is exhausted. Plus we have a two year old so things can get pretty hectic. She even wakes up to make me breakfast, prepare my coffee, drop me off, and meet me on dinner break. Right now she’s not feeling well but still trying to do things for me. I told her right now just rest and relax. Once this is over, it will be all family time for a long time. I might make one stop for that big $10 million guarantee (in Florida) but other than that I’m not going to Asia, not going to Europe, nothing. That will be it."
Tran is joined by: 2011 WSOP Event #7 $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em Championship bracelet winner Amir Lehavot; WSOP Circuit regular Ryan Reiss; and online legend David "Raptor" Benefield, just to name a few.
Play resumed on Day 7 in Level 30 (60,000/120,000/15,000) with 27 players taking their seats at three tables. One by one, the players dropped out of the fight and headed for the cashier's cage. James Alexander left in 19th place ($285,408) and had this to say after his elimination when he talked to PokerNews.com's Pamela Maldonado:
"It never even occurred to me that I was in the World Series of Poker, the biggest and best tournament around. I was relaxed the entire time and I played to win the entire time. I’m a loose and aggressive player. That’s the way I’ve always played and that’s how I’ll continue to play. I never once had someone ship all in and I look down and see aces. I had to fight the entire time. It was fun and I know some of the plays I made will look questionable, but like I said I was playing to win. I was picking spots where I could gamble. I’m sure I’ll look back and think of the mistakes I made but at the end of the day I am very happy. It was a great run and lots of fun."
The unofficial final table of 10 was established; the first 18 hands of 10-handed play found 2001 WSOP Main Event winner Carlos Mortensen losing a few chips before going to war with Tran on the 19th hand.
Mortensen raised to 800,000 in the cutoff and Tran called from the big blind. The flop hit with the and Tran check called 800,000 from Mortensen to see the on the turn. Tran pushed for 3.575 million and few seconds Mortensen called all-in.
Tran made a straight on the turn and Mortensen needed a club to survive. The dealer burned and sealed Mortensen's fate with the . Mortensen fell in 10th place for $573,204. And the final table was set.
All the heat and noise that goes with a field of 6,352 players in action is over until next year. Check back for more November Nine news as it becomes available.