The 15th was the last day of the WSOP Main Event before the return of the last Nine contenders in November. 27 poker gladiators returned to the Amazon Room of the Rio Casino to play down to the final nine, regardless of how long it was going to take.
We had a collection of well known players hoping to be able to be one of the returning heroes to play for the $8,359,531 first prize to go with the title and inevitable sponsorship package.
All eyes were on Carlos Mortensen, the 2001 WSOP Main Event Champion, as he tried to make his way to a second WSOP Main Event final table, with a goal of being the first two time winner since Johnny Chan in 1987.
He started the day sitting 8th in chips, and had a day of swings and roundabouts. The biggest disappointment possible was to bubble the final 9, and unfortunately for Mortensen, that’s exactly what he did.
Carlos min raised from the cuttoff of the 10 handed table, and was called by JC Tran in the big blind. The flop was dealt, and was flipped over to show T63. JC Tran check lived up to his nickname of “Just Call” by check calling Mortensen’s flop bet of 800k. The turn brought the 9, and Tran obviously thought it was a good card as he pushed his stack over the line, enough to place Mortensen all in. Carlos took a few seconds, and made the call for his championship life.
JC Tran had turned a straight with his 87 while Mortensen was left holding A9, and hoping to see a club on the river. The river was the 2, and Mortensen bubbled the November Nine, but picked up $573,204 as a consolation.
All of the final nine are guaranteed $733,224, and this is how they stack up going into the final table:
- JC Tran (USA) – 38,000,000
- Amir Lehavot (Israel) – 29,700,000
- Marc McLaughlin (CAN) – 26.525,000
- Jay Farber (USA) – 25,975,000
- Ryan Riess (USA) – 25,875,000
- Sylvain Loosli (FRA) – 19,600,000
- Michiel Brummelhuis (NL) – 11,275,000
- Mark Newhouse (USA) – 7,350,000
- David Benefield (USA) – 6,375,000
JC Tran is obviously the most well known of the players coming back in November, and while that may give him more leverage in sponsorship negotiations, it may be a detriment at the table, given the other players have so much more material to research before the action starts again. Tran already has two WSOP Bracelets, one in PLO, and the other in NLHE, and is probably where the smart money is going to go in bookies around the world.
JC isn’t the only player with WSOP history in the final nine, Amir Lehavot also has a WSOP Bracelet, his for Pot Limit Hold’em back in 2011. With over $2.2 Million in live tournament winnings, Lehavot is going to be a danger at the final table, he has the skill and the experience to make things very difficult for the other eight players at the table.
Marc McLaughlin on the other hand has just made his biggest live cash of all time. His previous best was a 3rd in a $1,500 NLHE WSOP Event back in 2011 for $292,634. Given this year at the WSOP seems to be the year of the Canadian, we’ll have to see how he channels his nationality, and how good the luck of the Canadians really is.
Given this is Jay Farber’s first live cash (according to The Hendon Mob anyway) we don’t have much information on the man. I’m sure that’ll change as we get nearer to November, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him return covered in sponsorship patches.
Ryan Riess also seems to be a bit of a man of mystery, with his previous biggest cash being a second place in a 2012 WSOP Circuit event in Chicago. Expect him to return in November with patches showing his undying allegiance to a US facing Poker Site.
Frenchman, Sylvain Loosli, has only got two live cashes including this year’s Main Event. The other one is for €2,350 in a side event at EPT Deauville in 2011. Loosli will be back in November with the goal of being the biggest name in French poker, and probably wearing a discreet patch for a French licensed site.
Michiel Brummelhuis has had a decent live career so far, with two previous WSOP final tables, and a 4th place in the PCA $25k High Roller in 2010. I’m expecting him to be a contender if he manages to double up in the first two levels of the final table.
Mark Newhouse won a WPT title back in 2006, but his last registered live cash before this Main Event was in 2011, and that was a satellite to a WPT event. Given his short stack, I’m expecting Mark to be one of the first causalities in November, but he has the experience to prove me wrong.
David Benefield seems to only cash live when playing the WSOP, with his biggest cash being a $150,035 cashout during the WSOPE last year. David calls himself an Ex-Pro Poker Player, and appears to be a victim of Black Friday. Could be a threat if the cards go his way early in the final table.
This brings to an end our daily coverage of the 2013 WSOP, but we’ll be back in November to bring you the low-down on the final nine players, and update you on what they’ve been doing leading up to their return to the Rio.
FTR is constantly bringing you new information, so keep an eye on our Twitter account to stay up to date.