Qui Nguyen: 2016 World Champion
Fun November Nine Facts
It’s poker’s marquis showcase, the World Series of Poker main event final table. The much heralded November Nine today on High Roller Radio. Since 2008, in a bid to generate publicity and worldwide excitement, the WSOP has paused play in July, when the tournament gets down to 9 players, taken a 3-and-a-half month break, and reconvened in November to decide the winner, hence the phrase November Nine.
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Players have used that time off to hire coaches, study, play more poker or simply go on vacation. Not everyone is a fan of the extended break. ”it ruins the integrity of the tournament,” said Ylon Schwartz, one of the first ever November Niners, Class of 2008.
ESPN isn’t complaining. That 2008 version got great ratings and an Emmy nomination for ‘Outstanding Live Turnaround’.
In 2009, November Niner Jeff Schulman, president of Card Player magazine, openly stated that if he won the bracelet he would throw it in the trash. “Everything to do with how the tournament is run,” Shulman said. “It used to be run by people who loved and really cared about poker. That mission has been derailed by executives.”
He later recanted, saying he wouldn’t toss the bracelet but instead pursue one of four options; hold an auction for charity, give it away as part of a magazine promotion, hold a tourney and give it to the winner, or give it to tv personality Stephen Colbert. Schulman finished 4th that year. Joe Cada won it at the tender age of 21, making him the youngest ever to do so.
Phil Ivey was there in 2009, but was ousted in 7th when his ace king lost to Darwin Moon’s ace queen, when a queen hit the flop. Moon, the amateur logger from Maryland finished 2nd. Did you know he gaimed entry into the main through a $130 satellite tourney in Wheeling, West Virginia, and briefly considered re-investing that 10k score into his business instead of taking his seat in Vegas. Well, 2nd got him $5 million so good decision and great parlay Darvin Moon.
Herer’s a quirky fact – 2010 main event champ Jonathan Duhamel and 2013 November Niner Marc Etienne McLaughlin, who finished 6th, play on the same dodgeball team. Also, for just the second time ever, 2010 featured a final table without someone who resides in Las Vegas.
In 2011, Irishman Eoghan O’Dea made the November Nine. His legendary, poker playng father, Donnacha, reached the main event final table in 1983, then again in 1991, so they become the first father-son duo to ever accomplish that feat.
In 2012, thanks the US presidential election, the final table was held early, so it was the ‘October Nine’. 2012 was also the year the women got close; Gaelle Baumann and Elisabeth Hille, finsihed 10th and 11th respectively, effectively bubbling the Octo 9. The only woman to ever reach the main event final table? Hall of Famer Barbara Enright in 1995.
Then there’s the MarK Newhouse story! In 2013, the American made the final table but was first one out in 9th. Fast forward one year, 2014, and he sent out a tweet:
“Just bought into the main event day 1c. Not f’ing finishing 9th again!’ he wrote. Incredibky, Newhuse outlasted another monster field to make the final table again. Think about that; he survived more than 13,000 runners over a two year period. This time, he had good chips, one of the leaders heading in, but nothing seemed to work that night, just couldn’t get anything going. After losing a few big pots heeventually shoved with pocket 10’s on the river only to be called by pocket Queens. Guess what? Ninth again!
Now let’s break this down:
The odds of being struck by lightning in any two-year period are 1 in 480,000, according to the National Weather Service. Bowling a 300 game? 11,500-to-1. A hole-in-one is 6,000-to-1. Winning an Olympic medal? 650,000-to-1. Well, finishing 9th at the WSOP two years running can be calculated at roughly 4 million-to-1, the experts suggest.
Also in 2014, The November Nine featured Builly Pappas, who between the time of the tounrey getting down to 9 and the actual final table playing out, went out and won a World Foosball Championship, his 4th since 2005, nobody has won more. More fun facts; Britain has had two November Niner’s, both James Akenhead in 2009, and Sam Holden in 2011, started from ninth position and both lasted just a few hands.
Oldest November Niner? Pierre Nueville of Balgium. Second oldest? Neil Blumenfield of San Fransisco. And, they were at the same final table – 2015. Average age of all November Niners since 2008? 31. 2015 was also the first time in history that all players had previously cashed in a WSOP event.
The player entering in 2nd chip position had never won (until this year and Qui Nguyen).