With the “November Nine” now officially set, ESPN have all the makings of a David versus Goliath battle. Except that David is widely regarded as the world’s best poker player and has already won two bracelets this series. While Goliath is a self-confessed lucky amateur, who is a little shy of all the media attention.
ESPN has been handed a gift, with the most anticipated final table at the World Series of Poker in years, and they still have until mid-November to hype the event to a climax.
Since poker has boomed in popularity, the Main Event final table has almost been the exclusive domain of previously unknown amateurs (with the exception of Allen Cunningham’s deep run in 2006).
This year they have names like Phil Ivey, Jeff Shulman, James Akenhead, Eric Buchman and Joe Cada all to add a bit of name value to the event.
Depending on your definition of “established name player”, a case could be made for upwards of an unprecedented two established pros on the final table this year – and that’s if you’re conservative.
The action was thick and fast on the final day of a long World Series of Poker. It took just 11 hours to progress from 27 players down to the “November Nine”.
The day before many of the pros we’re voicing their concerns on Twitter that the tourney may run 15 hours or later to decide the November Nine. The organisers would have the last laugh though.
Things started in fourth gear and never really slowed down, with last woman standing Leo Margets becoming the first elimination of day eight just twenty minutes into play. That set the tempo for the rest of the day with plenty of “all-in, call” action, with the bigger stacks pushing the issue against the less fortunate.
One player who can certainly be called unfortunate was online player Billy Kopp who was eliminated in a flush over flush situation despite having a fairly large stack. Kopp went out in 12th place.
Jordan Smith became the final table bubble boy, exiting in tenth place just shy of becoming one of the nine millionaires that now comprise our final table.
Amateur Darvin Moon, who won his way into the Main Event via a satellite at his local casino and doesn’t play online, leads the field with almost double his next opponent’s stack. Still the nature of tournament poker means that that lead can be erased in an instant.
Some of the contenders will be hungry to get their hands on his chips with established players like Phil Ivey and James Akenhead slightly short-stacked at the moment. Of the more name players, Eric Buchman and Jeff Shulman are well positioned to do some damage should they get on a good run.
Action will return to the Rio in Las Vegas on November 10th in the United States, as the players fight it out over three days to crown the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event champion.
As always PokerNews will be table side to catch all of the action as it happens. For now fill some time by building your roll for next years series, or watching the ESPN TV coverage as it comes to air in the next couple of months.
World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table – Seating and Chip Counts:
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