It is done! The most famous names in poker (at least for the next four months) have been decided. Nine players will return to Vegas in November with a shot of winning over $7m and becoming the 2015 Main Event Champion. All players have locked up their biggest live cash ever, and in this article we’re going to look at each of the November Niners, and find a bit more about them.
1. Joseph McKeehen, 24
Current chip-leader and much maligned Daniel Negreanu eliminator, McKeehen has over 30% of the chips in play. As a matter of fact he could have had more, after he doubled Joshua Beckley and chopped another pot with November Nine bubble boy Alexander Turyansky.
McKeehen has total live cash earnings of just shy of $2m, with his biggest cash coming in the 2014 WSOP Monster Stack event, where he finished second for $820,863.
2. Zvi Stern, 36
The sole Israeli player at the final table also happens to have the least total live earnings, totalling around $50,000. The majority of this came when Stern finished 34th in the PCA High Roller this year for $44,540. Stern also has one other cash, and that was in a 2008 WSOP $1,500 Shootout event where he finished 63rd.
Stern came into the day with just under 10 million chips and he slowly grew his stack. A major boost came when he 4-bet jammed with Ts8s and got called by George McDonald’s QhQc. However the board ran out AdAs7s, with the Ks on the turn giving Stern the flush and the 5d meaning that he eliminating McDonald.
Late on in the day he even managed to get it in kings vs kings against fellow November Niner Patrick Chan. Needless to say they both chopped, and you know what they say…
3. Neil Blumenfield, 61
Blumenfield is one of five Americans in the field, and he already has one 2015 cash to his name, finishing 268th in the Seniors Event. Having already cashed the Main Event once in 2012, where he finished 285th, Blumenfield is looking to make his fourth career WSOP cash end with a bracelet.
4. Max Steinberg, 27
With 10 WSOP cashes, and the only player to already have a gold bracelet, Steinberg goes into the November Nine fourth in chips. His bracelet came in 2012 when he won the $1,000 NLHE (Event #33) for $440,238. Like McKeehen, he also has just under $2m in lifetime earnings, and his previous best finish in the Main Event was a 131st place finish back in 2013.
5. Pierre Neuville, 72
The stand out name and the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the European Poker Awards in Malta earlier this year, Pierre Neuville is a popular player and many are looking for him to add to his already illustrious poker career. At 72 he is already the oldest ever November Niner, and he has come close to a bracelet before, finishing 2nd in a $5,000 6-handed event last year, but this year will be looking to go one further. Last year was already a great one for Neuville, as it saw him rack up an impressive 8 WSOP cashes. This year he already has one, finishing 179th in the Millionaire Maker, but making the November Nine has to top that.
6. Thomas Cannuli, 23
With the second lowest in life time earnings, Thomas Cannuli goes into the November Nine with 12,250,000 chips, almost exactly double how many he started Day 7 with. The most exciting hand for him came as he was all-in with AT of spades against the pocket queens of Day 6 chip leader Thomas Kearney.
The flop gave some hope to Cannuli as it read 8sKc9s, and the 5s came on the turn. The meaningless 4h completed the board and Cannuli secured the double and eliminated Kearny in 15th place.
Cannuli’s biggest cash came in last year’s Main Event, as he finished 691st for $18,406. This year however he’s locked up slightly more than that!
7. Joshua Beckley, 24
With two 2015 WSOP cashes already including a 17th place in Event #36 the $1,500 PLO for just under $10,000, Beckley came into Day 7 with just under 4 million in chips and will now look to win the Main Event with just over 10 million to his name.
Beckley, who hails from Marlton, New Jersey, secured a vital double up late in the day. Beckley shoved from middle position with AsQh and McKeehen called from the cutoff with pocket nines. The board ran out Ac6c2d, the turn was the 4h and the river was the 4c giving Beckley the double.
8. Federico Butteroni, 25
With a name like that it’s unsurprising that Federico Butteroni is the sole Italian in the November Nine. With just over $100,000 in live cashes, including tournaments in Italy, Australia, the Czech Republic and the US, Butteroni has bettered his biggest cash of $45,633 which he got for finishing 20th in this year’s Monster Stack.
Butteroni eliminated Matt Guan in 13th place earlier in the day. He 3-bet to 1,825,000 from the cut-off over McKeehen’s raise. Guan moved all-in from the big blind and Butteroni called. Guan was dominated holding QdQc against the Italian’s AhAc. The flop of JsTh8c gave the American some help, but the board bricked with the 5c being dealt and then the Kc sealing his fate.
9. Patrick Chan, 26
Both Chan and Butteroni have work to do as they go into the November Nine with just over 3% of the chips in play. This equates to only 15bb, so we may see fireworks at the beginning of play. Chan has one cash from the WSOP this summer, and also finished 12th in the 2014 Millionaire Maker for $100,689.
Chan is in fact the only player that lost chips on Day 7. He came into the final day before the November Nine with 7.4m chips and is now the short-stack with just 6,225,000.
Some interesting facts:
- The nine players have nine cashes in the 2015 WSOP so far. The biggest was Joseph McKeehen’s 30th place in the $5,000 NLHE Turbo (Event #56) for $12,376.
- Pierre Neuville has the most lifetime WSOP cashes (19). His best finish was a 2nd place in the 2014 WSOP $5,000 Six-Handed (Event #24) for $385,041
- Each player has secured $1,001,020 for a 9th place finish
Remaining WSOP 2015 Main Event Payouts
Picture credit to Remko Rinkema, Joe Giron, Jayne Furman and Jamie Thomson