WSOP 2011: November Nine set
Way back in 1991, popular Irishman Donnacha O'Dea finished ninth in the WSOP Main Event. This year, his son will hope to go even better after sealing his place at the final table when the November Nine was set early this morning. The O'Deas are the first father-and-son combo to reach the last nine, and that achievement illustrates dramatically just how poker has exploded as a sport. In 1991, O'Dea senior got $17,250 for ninth, whereas that spot this year will be worth $782,115.
A lot more has changed since 1991, of course. Back then the WSOP was held at Binion's in downtown Las Vegas. Now at the Rio, the tournament stops at the final table, takes a four-month break, and reconvenes in November for the conclusion, all of it screened live on TV. In 1991, Brad Daugherty won the title for $1,000,000 as opposed to the $8,711,956 for this year's champion. O'Dea, meanwhile, was the only non-American to finish in the top 22 places. This year, proving just how much poker now has global appeal, only three of the final tables players come from the United States.
The road to reaching the final nine was a long one. Starting out today with 22 players still standing from the original 6,865 field, there was a succession of quick bust outs, with Lars Bonding the first of the fallers. But the pace of eliminations slowed as the pay jumps soared and the final table, with all the recognition and commercial rewards that goes with it, loomed large. They got down to ten-handed, all crammed around the one table, and stayed that way for hours.
Finally, at 2.05am, short-stacked John Hewitt was sent to the rail when his pocket threes were overtaken by O'Dea's K-J, a king falling on the river. With that, the November Nine was set.
The November Nine chip counts:
Martin Staszko, Czech Republic, 40,175,000
Eoghan O'Dea, Ireland, 33,925,000
Matt Giannetti, US, 24,750,000
Phil Collins, US, 23,875,000
Ben Lamb, US, 20,875,000
Badih Bounahra, Belize, 19,700,000
Pius Heinz, Germany, 16,425,000
Anton Makievskyi, Ukraine, 13,825,000
Samuel Holden, UK, 12,375,000
November Nine payouts:
10 John Hewitt, $607,882
11 Khoa Nguyen, $607,882
12 Bryan Devonshire, $607,882
13 Konstantinos Mamaliadis, $478,174
14 Scott Schwalich, $478,174
15 Andrey Pateychuk, $478,174
16 Ryan Lenaghan, $378,796
17 Sam Barnhart, $378,796
18 Kenny Shih, $378,796
19 Aleksandr Mozhnyakov, $302,005
20 Gionni Demers, $302,005
21 Chris Moore, $302,005
22 Lars Bonding, $302,005
So that completes our coverage of this summer's WSOP in Las Vegas. My sincere thanks go to colleagues Brad Willis and Stephen Bartley for their professionalism in bringing it all to life for you. If you have a spare few hours, you can review our WSOP reports at your leisure.