WSOP 2015: The 2015 November Nine
After a long 11 days, and an even longer summer, the World Series of Poker is at an end, for now at least.
The four month hiatus between the last hand of the Summer and the start of the November Nine starts now. The names of those players are now known, but it is perhaps the name that isn't there that garners the most attention the morning after.
Team Pro Daniel Negreanu came within two places of the final table, busting in 11th place after a dramatic day long rear-guard fight, during which Negreanu played immaculately. It seemed at the start of each new level it was assumed Kid Poker could hold on no longer, but hold on he did.
But he couldn't overcome the final table chip leader Joe McKeehen, whose enormous advantage allowed him to speculate a little easier than the others. He finally put an end to Negreanu's campaign in last card style.
You can read that story here, which sums up the air of disappointment, but also the triumph of this event in providing such a wonderful spectacle. But now it's time to give the final nine their due.
For they deserve their place in the spot light, and fought hard to earn it. Here's how they'll line up later this year.
1. Zvi Stern (Israel) 29,800,000 (74 big blinds)
2. Pierre Neuville (Belgium) 21,075,000 (52)
3. Joshua Beckley (United States) 10,800,000 (27)
4. Max Steinberg (United States) 20,200,000 (50)
5. Thomas Cannuli (United States) 12,250,000 (30)
6. Joe McKeehen (United States) 64,100,000 (160)
7. Patrick Chan (United States) 6,225,000 (15)
8. Federico Butteroni (Italy) 6,200,000 (15)
9. Neil Blumenfield (United States) 22,000,000 (55)
They'll become familiar names in the coming weeks as the media tell their stories. But before we sign off from the 2015 World Series a word on a couple of them, starting with chip leader Joe McKeehen.
You could say that McKeehen ran hot, got cards and found an easy route the final table. But that would not tell the full story of this talented young player. The proof of that comes in the a stack worth 64 million, more than double that of second placed Zvi Stern. McKeehen might feel that the break works against him, such is his form right now. We'll find out later in the year.
Then there is that other name that of Pierre Neuville, the EPT regular, astounding the poker world whether they like it or not with his enthusiasm and ability. He is three times the age of some of his opposition - proof were it needed, of poker's universal appeal. Neuville may be older that the youngsters who claim poker as their own, but he will return in November chasing his own dreams.
Others we saw today will give them a fight when the Rio comes to life again, all of whom are about to be beamed around the world in the build up to one of the richest prizes in world poker.
For now, let the curtain fall on the WSOP summer as we turn our attention to things closer to home. That said, it was a great summer in Las Vegas.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.