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  1. When Mark Newhouse (pictured) overcame staggering odds to secure a seat at his second WSOP Main Event final table in a row this year, hopes were high that the Chapel Hill native would take home a larger chunk of the prize pool than he did for his ninth place finish in 2013. But, after his all-in river bluff was called by William Tonking, Newhouse was once again the first November Niner to be knocked out of the tournament. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by William Hill Poker, one of the largest skins on the iPoker Network. The poker room offers a generous welcome package including a 200% deposit bonus up to $2,000 and a superb VIP program. Visit William Hill today! --- As the action went down, cameras from All In were on hand to film the second part of an episode of the magazine's "Off the Felt" documentary series and got an inside look at the pro's reaction immediately following the devastating hand. Watch the video. Before the start of the final table, the All In crew spent time with Newhouse while he relaxed in his hotel room with friends. "When I hopefully buy a house in the next month or so, this will be hanging up for sure," he said, holding a magazine featuring himself on the cover. "I feel great," he told the interviewer. "I'm not nervous, I'm not excited. Ready to play poker tomorrow, that's about it." In the first part of the series, Newhouse revealed that he planned to do little in preparation for the final table and hadn't played any poker since winning his seat back in July. When asked what he had been doing since the first episode was filmed, the Chapel Hill native responded, "a couple of more weeks of nothing," and added that he had spent a week in Hawaii. "I'm cool, I'm ready to play," he said. During the Main Event, the film crew was on stage to capture all of the action. But, after Newhouse dragged a big pot, the crew decided to take a break. It was then that someone told them that Newhouse had unexpectedly been knocked out of the tournament. "We're like, you've got to be kidding me," the interviewer had responded, before running back to the Penn and Teller Theater to film the aftermath. Fielding questions from the press, Newhouse rocked back and forth and gave short, one-word answers. "What does this mean for you and poker," he was asked. "Nothing," he responded. "We don't need to talk about it anymore." Back in the hotel room, the camera continued to roll as a dejected Newhouse came to grips with his second ninth place Main Event finish in a row. "Not going to be much interesting conversation; not really in the mood for that," he said. After discussing the hand, he was asked if there was any physical feeling from being knocked out. "No, I'm okay. I just want to start getting stuff done right now," he replied. In previous interviews, Newhouse had made it clear that he would not be making any grand plans for his future until the final table had been played out. "I need to finish up some tax stuff and figure out where I'm going to live. All that stuff was waiting on this." In contrast to the solemn scene inside the hotel room, the video cut to an interview with WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla, who added some words of encouragement: "He's a great player and he should take a lot of pride in what happened here. I think time will remind him about how special this was. The challenge is on you to become the first to make three consecutive final tables. We're all rooting for you Mark." Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. After a grueling 10 days, the World Series of Poker Main Event November Nine has been determined. Much to everyone's chagrin, the group does not include six-time bracelet winner and Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu, who busted in 11th place. However, the November Nine does have six Americans, two Europeans, and one Israeli. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- Joseph McKeehen (pictured), known as dude904on PocketFives, has a commanding chip lead entering the final nine with a stack of 63.1 million. He has more than twice as many chips as Zvi Stern, who is in second place at 29.8 million. McKeehen delivered several knockouts down the stretch, including Negreanu and Alex Turyansky in 11th place and 10th place, respectively. In the final hand of July's play in the Main Event, Turyansky 4bet all-in for 8.8 million and McKeehen, who had 3bet, insta-called. Turyansky showed Big Slick and McKeehen turned over pocket queens for a classic race situation, which ended with a jack-high board and the November Nine being determined. It took 22 hands after the elimination of Negreanu to reach the November Nine around Midnight in Las Vegas. Speaking of Negreanu (pictured), he fell in 11th place after moving all-in over the top of a bet from McKeehen on a flop of Ad-K-10d. Negreanu showed A-4 for top pair, while McKeehen flipped over Jd-3d for straight and flush draws. McKeehen picked up even more help when a three came on the turn and hit Broadway on the river to send the fan favorite away in 11th place. The number of re-Tweets and Favorites of anything Negreanu put up on Twitter was fairly amazing. Here's a sample: 276 re-Tweets, 1,200 Favorites for one Tweet and 510 re-Tweets, 1,500 Favorites for another. Negreanu's presence likely would have exploded interest in the November Nine similar to Phil Ivey's appearance six years ago. Nevertheless, McKeehen leads the November Nine this time around. He has $1.1 million in career online tournament winnings to go along with almost $3 million in live cashes not counting the Main Event. He's #8 on the all-time money list for his home state of Pennsylvania, according to the Hendon Mob, and finished in second place in last year's WSOP Monster Stack: 1. Joseph dude904McKeehen - 63,100,000 2. Zvi Stern - 29,800,000 3. Neil Blumenfield - 22,000,000 4. Pierre Neuville - 21,075,000 5. Max Steinberg - 20,200,000 6. Thomas Cannuli - 12,250,000 7. Joshua asdf26 Beckley - 11,800,000 8. Patrick Chan - 6,225,000 9. Federico Butteroni - 6,200,000 When play resumes, the final nine will pick up with 57 minutes and 36 seconds remaining in Level 35. The antes will be 50,000 and blinds will be 200,000-400,000. McKeehen has one-third of the chips in play. McKeehen is one of two PocketFivers in the November Nine. He's joined by New Jersey pokerplayer Beckley (pictured), who joined our site last November. In a thread on PocketFives, posters were calling for one of the regulated New Jersey online poker sites like PartyPokeror 888 Poker to sponsor McKeehen in the November Nine. This year's Main Event had 6,420 entrants, making it the seventh largest Main Event ever. With a prize pool of $60.3 million, here's how the final nine will get paid: 1st Place: $7,680,021 2nd Place: $4,469,171 3rd Place: $3,397,103 4th Place: $2,614,558 5th Place: $1,910,971 6th Place: $1,426,072 7th Place: $1,203,193 8th Place: $1,097,009 9th Place: $1,001,020 Everyone has already received the ninth place prize and will return to the Rio in November to jockey for the $7.6 million payday. There are three days of play in November this year beginning on Sunday, November 8. According to WSOP officials, television coverage of the event will start in two months: "Comprehensive WSOP Main Event television coverage will begin airing Monday, September 14 at 8pm Eastern on ESPN2. Coverage will continue in two-hour blocks each Monday at 8pm until October 4, when it moves to Sunday nights at 8:30pm with 2 ½ hour blocks and continues in that regular Sunday slot culminating with expanded three-night primetime Main Event Final Table live coverage on November 8-10, 2015." Special thanks to Tournament Poker Edge, one of the top poker training sites around, for sponsoring our WSOP coverage this year. Please check them out and support one of our close partners. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  3. A huge pot was shipped to Jorryt Van Hoof (pictured) on the 48th hand of final table play in the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event. On a board of K-K-10-5, according to WSOP coverage, "The river completed the board with the Ah and Felix Stephensen checked for a third time as Van Hoof bet out 3.4 million to make this pot bigger than three players' stacks - Martin Jacobson, Billy Pappas, and Bruno Politano. Stephensen deliberated for a few moments and then mucked while slipping to 24 million as Van Hoof climbed to over 46.5 million." A flush was possible by the river. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by William Hill Poker, one of the largest skins on the iPoker Network. The poker room offers a generous welcome package including a 200% deposit bonus up to $2,000 and a superb VIP program. Visit William Hill today! --- Stephensen check-called the flop of K-K-10 and check-called when the turn was a 5. When the cards were revealed on TV, Van Hoof had Q-Q for the nut flush, while Stephensen held A-10 with no heart. Van Hoof, who reclaimed the chip lead just before the first break, shot out in front by 20 million over the second place stack: Jorryt van Hoof - 46,525,000 Dan Sindelar - 25,450,000 Felix Stephensen - 24,325,000 William Tonking - 24,150,000 Andoni Larrabe - 24,150,000 Mark Newhouse - 16,200,000 Bruno Politano - 14,600,000 Billy Pappas - 14,200,000 Martin Jacobson - 10,875,000 A wild hand between Van Hoof and Andoni Larrabe (pictured) just before the first 15-minute break of the day saw Van Hoof shove the river of a 10-J-9-K-7 board with K-10 for two pair. Meanwhile, Larrabe, who had 9-8 for a straight, folded. Van Hoff reclaimed the chip lead from Stephensen as a result and Lex Veldhuis posted on Twitter, "If you're watching @WSOP Main Event right now, how good is @Jorryt_van_Hoof turning KT into a bluff. One of the illest live at work!" Scott Seiver, who is reportedly coaching Stephensen, said on Twitter of the hand, "IMO no way Larrabe is actually capped here. KT beats almost every hand that might fold." Antonio Esfandiari added when play resumed, "That was something else. I did not see that coming." Daniel Negreanu commented on what he expected to happen following the break: "What we'll see is chip dispersion… I think you'll see play pick up." Martin Jacobson was getting low on chips at the break, leading Phil Hellmuth remark, "I think he'll make a move soon." Jacobson was at 25 big blinds following the break, the first time anyone at the final table had slipped below 30. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  4. Daniel Negreanucalled what Joe 'dude904' McKeehen did the past three days the most lopsided performance at a Main Event final table since Stu Ungar won his third title in 1997. And it's easy to understand why. McKeehen was personally responsible for six of the eight eliminations at the final table on his way to winning the 2015 WSOP Main Event, $7,683,346, and the first WSOP bracelet of his career. "I was just focused and I didn’t want to get ahead of myself, I have been that way the whole tournament because it was working," said McKeehen. "I feel pretty good now of course." With over two-thirds of the chips in play when action resumed on Tuesday, McKeehen made quick work of the third and final day of play, needing only 41 hands to eliminate Neil Blumenfield in third and Joshua Beckley in second. Blumenfield fell on the 28th hand of the night when he ran his pocket twos in McKeehen's pocket queens. The final hand of the night was just 12 hands later when Buckley, facing an 8-1 chip deficit, pushed all-in with pocket fours. McKeehen called with Ah Td and watched the dealer spread out a Qs Tc 5s flop, giving McKeehen middle pair. The 5d turn and Jc river were both blanks and McKeehen's impressive run to the title was complete. The only two final table players that McKeehen didn't eliminate were Tom Cannuli and Zvi Stern. Max Steinberg, who was busted by McKeehen in fourth place, eliminated Cannuli in sixth and Blumenfield busted Stern in fifth. Before those two eliminations, McKeehen eliminated Patrick Chan in ninth, Federico Butteroni in eighth, and Pierre Neuville in seventh. If you want to trace his run back even further, he eliminated Alexander Turyansky in tenth and famously ended the run of Negreanu in 11th. WSOP Main Event Final Table Payouts Joe McKeehen- USA - $7,683,346 Joshua Beckley - USA - $4,470,896 Neil Blumenfield - USA - $3,398,298 Max Steinberg - USA - $2,615,361 Ofer Zvi Stern - Israel - $1,911,423 Tom Cannuli - USA - $1,426,283 Pierre Neuville - Belgium - $1,203,293 Federico Butteroni - Italy - $1,097,056 Patrick Chan - USA - $1,001,020
  5. In November, Joseph McKeehen (pictured), known on PocketFives as dude904, will hold the chip lead in the World Series of Poker Main Event as part of the 2015 WSOP November Nine. McKeehen has more chips than the second and third place players combined, so we caught up with the Pennsylvania native to get his thoughts just three months out. PocketFives: Tell us how you are feeling to have made the November Nine. Joseph McKeehen: It feels good. I don't think of it a lot, or at least I try not to, but it gets brought up quite a bit. I'm still the same old kid, just maybe a little more confident. PocketFives: Do you feel, or do you think there is, any added pressure being a pretty overwhelming chip leader? Joseph McKeehen: The media keeps trying to put added pressure on me, but I don't care really. I've been in this spot before; I'm not worried about it. All I can do is go and play. PocketFives: What were your emotions, and what was going through your head, on that final bustout hand to determine the November Nine? Joseph McKeehen: I felt like I was going to be there for a long time already, so I braced myself when the river card came. I was happy obviously, but I was in a mode where I was pretty focused, so I knew it wasn't over. PocketFives: What did you think about having Daniel Negreanu(pictured) around until he busted in 11th? Joseph McKeehen: He was just a player. I've never been in a situation like the Thunderdome before, especially where most of the people were rooting for him, but it surprisingly didn't bother me at all. It probably even helped me a little because it was easier to stay focused. If I get intimidated, I play worse, so I tried not to get intimidated. I got put in a good spot, so I took advantage of it. PocketFives: What has life been like since July? Joseph McKeehen: I've done a few interviews and played a couple of poker tournaments. I think I'm good at balancing my time for this stuff, but in reality not much has changed yet. PocketFives: What are your thoughts on the regulated New Jersey online poker sites? You're from Pennsylvania, but you're a regular in our New Jersey pokercommunity. Joseph McKeehen: They are what they are: not big or anything, but when I'm at Borgata playing, they're there if I get bored. They could likely do a better job. I would assume they are sustainable in the long-run, even if it's the same people passing all the money around. People have jobs and like to play, so the money pool probably won't ever die. PocketFives: What do you think of the November Nine concept? Joseph McKeehen: I'm undecided. I could have probably woken up and played the final table the next day, but it makes me feel a little bit more like a celebrity because the obvious reason they do this is to build the tournament up during the off-time. All the chip leaders in the past said the break hurt their momentum, but I don't know if that really matters. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  6. [caption width="640"] Gordon Vayo's journey to the November Nine is a familiar tale (WSOP photo / Joe Giron)[/caption] There have been plenty of documented cases of poker players lying about their age to play in cardrooms before they turned 21. Gordon Vayo, however, was lying about his age so that he could play online before he turned 18. At just 27 years old, the Illinois native cut his teeth on the virtual felt and has been playing poker professionally for over a decade. After earning over $1.4 million in online tournament earnings under the screen name “holla@yoboy,” Vayo comes into this year’s November Nine third in chips and has a chance to etch his name into live poker’s history books. Vayo found his love for the game during his time in high school. He was only 15 years old when the Moneymaker boom happened, but his core group of friends were a few years older and they got him involved. It started with a group of around 30 students from the three local high schools playing a regular game at rotating homes, but soon, Vayo found himself taking it much more seriously and putting in a ton of time honing his craft online. “I had another friend who started taking it seriously,” said Vayo. “He was playing online and everybody would go through that phase when you start playing poker that you think online poker is rigged or whatever. Then I saw him play and I was like ‘Okay, maybe it’s not rigged.’” After Vayo took down one of the home games, he gave one of his friends some cash to have it transferred online. Vayo took the deposit and ran up the stakes online. He was hooked and never looked back. As a 15 and 16-year-old playing online poker, Vayo met some resistance from his family when they found out what he was doing in his spare time. “I was hiding it as much as possible from my family,” said Vayo. “But I mean, when I started to actually have success at it, it was impossible to hide. I didn’t really try to hide it from people besides my parents, but once it kind of got out, there was no putting it back.” Despite his parents’ objection to his online poker playing, Vayo found ways to play and continue his success. From online winnings alone, Vayo was able to buy a car and rent an apartment before he was out of high school. “At that time, I was not going to not do It,” said Vayo. “I was too motivated to do so and it wasn’t that difficult for me to find places to play. It just wasn’t that difficult.” Like many young players at the time with little financial responsibility, Vayo’s main goals were to continue to play higher and higher and be the best he could be. The money and the gambling aspect of poker were not what was attractive to him. It was the strategy behind the game and the drive to get better. “For me, it was never about running up a bunch of money,” said Vayo. “When I was younger, I was barely cashing out. I was just trying to see how high my account could go. It was like a high score or something. “I was really active on PocketFives and stuff when I was really really young. The ratings and getting the respect of my peers and the people on the forums and the people that I was playing tournaments with, that was my motivation.” At one point during the early stages of his poker career, variance got the better of Vayo and he went on a prolonged downswing. One of his first poker friends, Jared Hamby, convinced him to reach out to a backer. Hamby suggested Vayo get in contact with the current chip leader of this year’s November Nine, Cliff Josephy. Josephy, better known as 'JohnnyBax' online, was well-known for his stable of successful tournament grinders. "I reached out to him on PocketFives and he gave me an email address,” said Vayo. “I sent him a hand history and he was very enthusiastic about wanting to back me. He said that this was the fastest he’s ever wanted to back someone. But I was like 16 at the time and he was like a king to me. That meant a lot and it boosted my confidence for sure." Vayo contends that Josephy had no idea he was underage and he told everybody that he was 18 and in college. After about a year of being backed by Josephy, Vayo went back out on his own and continued to crush online tournaments. Now, more than a decade later, they will be sitting across from each other playing for poker’s biggest prize. Even with some history between the two, Vayo tends to laugh the situation off, almost chalking it up to variance. “I don’t think there is going to be huge implications or anything emotionally,” said Vayo. “Cliff and I were always friendly and when he was backing me, we would like chat and stuff on a much more personal level. “We’ve been friendly ever since, but it’s not like this deep student meets master or anything. We almost never talk poker strategy really. I mean this endearingly, but he’s almost like a poker dad to me. Especially for me because I met him at a really young age. It was never really like a student-teacher relationship. It was more like a friendly relationship.” Like almost all online players of that era, Vayo was heavily affected by Black Friday. Vayo opted to stay in the country and start playing more live poker. Initially after Black Friday, Vayo, in his own words, was not very good at live poker. He left Illinois the following winter after Black Friday and headed out to the San Francisco area. He was able to play more live poker in both Northern and Southern California, which helped his growth as a live pro, eventually leading him to the 2016 November Nine. With over $2.5 million in live tournament earnings following a successful online career, Vayo has just as much poker experience as anybody else at the table. But dealing with emotions while playing for $8 million is the one question mark he has when cards get in the air. “I think that’s the thing I’m most anxious about because that is the one thing you can’t prepare for,” said Vayo. “At the end of the day, the one thing you can’t prepare for is the moment. I think it’s something I’m going to have to live and adapt to in the moment. You’re going to have to experience it and do your best to not let it be overwhelming.”
  7. [caption width="640"] Poker fans can bid on a chance to play an important role on poker's biggest stage.[/caption] For poker fans and players alike, making it to the WSOP Main Event final table is a dream come true and, for most, completely unrealistic. Now, thanks to Charity Buzz, a site that puts once-in-a-lifetime experiences up for auction in the name of charity, some lucky soul is going to get a chance to get exclusive access to the 2016 November Nine. Dubbed “Shuffle up and Deal,” the package promises the winner front row seats to the taping of the WSOP final table plus a behind-the-scenes tour of the WSOP production facilities. Also included is a private poker lesson with pro Frank Kassela, a former WSOP Player of the Year. But maybe best of all is that the auction's winner will be the one giving the "Shuffle Up and Deal" command prior to the start of poker's most prestigious final table, and the moment will be part of the ESPN broadcast. All proceeds from the auction benefit the One Drop organization. The winner will spend three nights in a deluxe room at The Cromwell, “Las Vegas’ newest boutique hotel,” and dine at Giada, an exclusive restaurant opened by famed chef Giada De Laurentiis. Finally, the highest bidder will get the chance to have his photo snapped holding the coveted Main Event gold bracelet. According to Charity Buzz, the package has an estimated value of $10,000. At the moment, viewers have made seven bids, bumping the price up to $2,502. On March 18, the auction will go offline and conclude at a live event called “One Night with One Drop.” The One Drop charity was founded by the billionaire creator of Cirque du Soleil, Guy Laliberté, and strives to provide clean drinking water to communities in need. It views water as a “transformative force to improve living conditions,” which also helps give the vulnerable the ability to better care for themselves. Those who attend the annual One Night for One Drop event will be treated to a one-night-only exclusive Cirque du Soleil performance and hobnob with celebrity sponsors like Michael Phelps, John Legend, Shania Twain and Pamela Anderson. "We’ve worked with One Drop since 2012 and have seen first-hand that the cause they are working hard to address has a real meaningful impact," said Seth Palansky, Caesars VP of Corporate Communications. "So for us, when One Drop asks us to support their silent auction, it really was an easy decision." One Drop and the WSOP have worked together for years to raise money for the nonprofit. Leveraging his connections in the high-stakes poker world, Laliberté partnered with Caesars to create the Big One for One Drop, a $1 million buy-in WSOP tournament which set aside a portion of players’ buy-ins for charity. The event debuted in 2012 and quickly sold out, creating a massive top prize of $18.3 million, with $5.33 million going to One Drop. Poker pro Antonio Esfandiari bested the tough field that night and walked away from the inaugural event with the eight-figure first place payday. The WSOP VIP package is just one of many which Caesars has graciously donated. "We’re happy to help, and as you will see on Charity Buzz, Caesars as a whole has offered several different experiential packages for this cause," continued Palansky. "We are fortunate that we have some very unique and engaging entertainment options and we are sure bidders will enjoy the opportunity to get up close with the WSOP and our other unique options." Poker legend Phil Hellmuth raised money for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Foundation on a similar website in 2014. The package included five different levels of experiences with the 14-time bracelet winner. Prices ranged from $16,700 to $42,900, with the high level giving you the chance to set up a two-hour private game with the pro and your closest friends.
  8. [caption width="640"] Antoine Saout is one of 11 former November Niners who started Day 4 of the 2017 WSOP Main Event with chips.[/caption] At the start of Day 4 of the 2017 World Series of Poker there were 11 players who had, at one point in their careers, been a part of the now retired November Nine. The top three from that group were Antoine Saout, Kenny Hallaert and Ben Lamb. It really shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see those three running deep in the Main Event. Along with their final table appearances, each one of them has also had a top 125 finish. Saout finished 25th last year, Hallaert was 123rd in 2015 and Ben Lamb got 14th in 2009, a year before his final table appearance. “I learned a lot when I made a deep run in 2015 when I finished 123rd place,” said Hallaert. “I was really tired and exhausted already on Day 5 and I was disappointed when I was knocked out on Day 5 because I got down to approximately 2% of the field and I had a field that I had ruined my only chance to ever make a deep run in this event.” Hallaert knew that fatigue was a big factor in his downfall in 2015 and took steps to correct that or 2016. He worked on eating better, lost some weight, put some effort to improving his focus all while continuing to improve his game as much as possible. “I could see it in my results already. I was improving. I was working a lot on my game as well but I was feeling better when I was sitting at the table, I was less tired, I was just a happier person in general. So I found, more or less, the key to success,” said Hallaert, who finished sixth last year. Lamb knows that the Main Event offers a very different type of player than any other tournament in the world. The abundance of amateur players, many playing the Main Event for the first time, make mistakes with the weight of the moment upon them. “I think a lot of people get deep in this tournament and the pressure gets to them and they end up making a horrible decision for all of their chips, said Lamb. “Some kind of weird force takes over them and they end up making a mistake.” Having two top-14 finishes in his career, Lamb believes he has a solid understanding about what types of players are in the tournament and how best to take advantage of each of them. “I’ve been deep before and it helps. I know what to expect, know how the tournament is going to play out, know how other people are going to react,” said Lamb. “You know who’s going to play ABC and who’s really going to try to put pressure on.” Each of them were in the enviable position on the bubble to have a lot of chips. While a lot of players were simply folding everything, hoping to squeak into the money, Lamb, Saout and Hallaert were on the other end of that equation, applying pressure to players not wanting to bust early. “The bubble is actually about getting more chips, so I abused the bubble. I got like 200,000 chips,” said Saout. For Hallaert, having a big stack at the stage afforded him the opportunity to do something that others couldn’t: relax and enjoy the moment without worrying about busting. “I had the luxury to have had chips three years in a row on the bubble. Once we were down to 1,500 (players), I was 90% sure I was cashing given my chip stack. So I could already start putting a lot of pressure on opponents,” said Hallaert. Even though they’ve had their fair share of success in the Main Event, making it past the bubble was still something worth savoring. “The Main Event is the most beautiful tournament in the world, there’s nothing else that can compare,” said Hallaert. “Even though it’s already my fourth cash, I think I would want to die to make a cash in the Main Event because it’s so unique.”
  9. Mark Newhouse (pictured), who finished ninth in last year's World Series of Poker Main Event as a member of the November Nine, leads entering Day 6 this year, when 79 remain. The Main Event cash will likely push Newhouse over $1 million in career WSOP earnings and his ninth place finish last year was worth nearly three-quarters of a million bucks. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by Real Gaming, a regulated online poker site in Nevada. Play Real Gaming, real money poker on any device. Play now for Final Table Freerolls. Skip straight to the final table and win cash daily. --- What records is Newhouse chasing? He could become the first person since Dan Harrington to make back-to-back WSOP Main Event final tables; Harrington did so in 2003 and 2004. And, according to WSOP.com, "Newhouse has already lived the reality of being a November Niner and is trying to become the first player in history to become a November Niner for a second time." As WSOP.com outlined, Newhouse had a rock solid Saturday in Las Vegas: "He started the day 27th in chips and rocketed up the leaderboard quickly throughout the day. Late into the day, Newhouse took a hold of the chip lead and was able to hold it all the way until the end. Newhouse will be returning for Day 6 with 7,400,000 chips, almost a million more than his nearest competitor." In second place behind Newhouse is Kyle Keranen (pictured), who took 38th in the Main Event in 2012. He has 6.6 million in chips and will look to crack the top 40 for the second year out of three. The title of Last Woman Standing in this year's Main Event belongs to Maria Ho, who was the Last Woman Standing five years ago as well. She earned the honors this time around after the elimination of Mikiyo Aoki, who also finished as the runner-up in this year's Ladies Event. Aoki ran tens into Eddie Sabat's kings on her final hand and no help came when the board rolled out J-3-2-3-6. Ho will have her work cut out for her, though, as she's the tournament's short stack. Brian Stinger885Hastings (pictured) is still alive in the Main Event and has the 29th largest stack at 2.9 million. Hastings drew out on A-Q with A-J late on Day 5 to eliminate Thomas Applegate after making jacks-up on the flop. That hand boosted Hastings' stack by 600,000; he has already made two final tables at this year's WSOP. Here are the top 10 chip stacks in the 2014 WSOP Main Event right now: 1. Mark Newhouse - 7,400,000 2. Kyle Keranen - 6,670,000 3. Scott Palmer - 6,595,000 4. Bruno Politano - 5,475,000 5. Andoni Larrabe - 5,470,000 6. Dan KingDan Smith - 5,360,000 7. Dan Sindelar - 5,240,000 8. Tony Ruberto - 5,235,000 9. Iaron Lightbourne - 4,975,000 10. Leif Force - 4,745,000 Other PocketFivers remaining include, but are not limited to: 11. Craig mcc3991 McCorkell - 4,355,000 16. Bryan badbeatninjaDevonshire - 3,830,000 21. Ryan toetaguFair - 3,500,000 28. Isaac mr. menlo Baron - 3,000,000 29. Brian Stinger885Hastings - 2,945,000 38. Clayton NinemilHamm - 2,250,000 41. Chad evechadEveslage - 2,115,000 57. Paul SenterpiedSenter - 1,350,000 69. Kyle kwob20Bowker - 920,000 Sunday will likely see the field trimmed from 79 to 27. Then, on Monday, the group will play down to its November Nine. Keep it dialed to PocketFives for the latest WSOP news, sponsored by Real Gaming. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  10. On Sunday, as the Green Bay Packers were eviscerating the Chicago Bears on NBC, the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event was playing down to its November Nine on ESPN. The final two prepackaged episodes aired before Monday's near-live final table begins at 8:00pm ET on ESPN2. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by William Hill Poker, one of the largest skins on the iPoker Network. The poker room offers a generous welcome package including a 200% deposit bonus up to $2,000 and a superb VIP program. Visit William Hill today! --- There were 16 players left when the action began on Sunday, meaning we only needed seven bust-outs for our November Nine to be determined. The first player to bite the dust was Eddy Sabat, who called all-in on the river with J-10 of hearts on a three-heart board against Jorryt Van Hoof (pictured), who had the nut flush. Sabat called Van Hoof's exact hand while tanking and told ESPN, "I had a blast every day… I learned a lot. I'm definitely a better player coming out of this." The critical pots shown for Mark Newhouse, who made the November Nine last year, pretty much all involved hitting sets. He flopped three deuces against Bruno Politanoto scoop a pot of 10 million. Later, Newhouse raked in 14.9 million in chips after flopping another set against Politano, who paid Newhouse off with second pair. ESPN poker commentator Norman Chad correctly discerned, "That pot might carry Mark Newhouse to another November Nine." Felix Stephensen(pictured) 4bet pre-flop to put Thomas Sarra all-in. Stephensen had A-K and Sarra curiously called all-in with K-Q despite starting the hand with a comfortable stack of 50 big blinds. Sarra told his tablemates that he "spewed" and the group watched as he was drawing dead by the turn. Stephensen nearly doubled up as a result and raked in a pot of 24.2 million. To start the second one-hour episode on Sunday, Oscar Kempsran K-J into Van Hoof's aces to end his Main Event run, pushing Van Hoof into the chip lead. Then, Christopher Greaveswas crippled after doubling up Billy Pappas with A-Q against K-K. Pappas pushed his chip stack to 18 million and Greaves was gone shortly thereafter. Also exiting short of the November Nine was PocketFiver Craig McCorkell, who was all-in with K-5 of clubs pre-flop against Newhouse, who had A-9. Neither player improved and McCorkell exited stage right. Maximilian Senft lost a race with K-Q against Newhouse's threes to end his Main Event run. Newhouse hit another set in that hand to seal Senft's fate and the 10 remaining players circled around the feature table for one final elimination. New Jersey poker player William Tonking(pictured) doubled with J-9 after drawing out on Martin Jacobson's A-J. Tonking flopped a straight, but had to duck a club on the river. With the entire crowd chanting for the November Nine, Dan Sindelar told Tonking, "You had to fade the entire room." Luis Veladorwas crippled after calling the all-in of Andoni Larrabe with A-K. Larrabe had aces and Chad commented, "Ten-handed on the November Nine bubble, you have to lay that down." Velador was eliminated shortly thereafter with 4-4 against Newhouse's 5-5. Politano folded 10-10 in the hand and Velador became the November Nine Bubble Boy. According to Chad, the odds of one person making back-to-back November Nines like Newhouse did in 2013 and 2014 were 1 in 524,000. Check out our exclusive interview with Mark Newhouse in which he talks about what might be the greatest feat in poker history. The November Nine begins on Monday at 8:00pm ET on ESPN2 on a 30-minute delay and will continue until three players are left standing. On Tuesday, three-handed play begins at 9:00pm ET on ESPN and will continue until the 2014 Main Event champion is crowned. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  11. Holding the sixth largest stack in the World Series of Poker Main Event when play resumes on Monday will be William Pappaconstantinou, better known as Billy Pappas (pictured). The Massachusetts poker player has 17.5 million in chips and told us, "I'm feeling pretty good. I'm quite nervous too. Some people are starting to recognize me. When that stuff happens, it starts to set in." Special thanks to 888 Poker for setting up our interview. --- PocketFives' WSOP coverage is brought to you by William Hill Poker, one of the largest skins on the iPoker Network. The poker room offers a generous welcome package including a 200% deposit bonus up to $2,000 and a superb VIP program. PocketFivers will love playing in the site's €1 million guaranteed iPOPS series, which runs through November 9. Visit William Hill today! --- On Pappas' rail at the Rio will be none other than PocketFiver Steve MrSmokey1 Billirakis, whom Pappas has known since he was 10 years old. "His stepdad and mom are two of the best all-time foosball players in their categories," Pappas said. Who knew? Back to poker now. When asked what his plan of attack is with a middle-of-the-road chip stack, Pappas told PocketFives, "I'm going to play poker as best I can. I don't know exactly what I should be doing. I haven't done much strategy-wise. I was planning on doing more during the WSOP itself and I'll have people there helping me along." One of Pappas' defining hands to this point occurred on Day 5, when he quadrupled up with 4-4 against A-K, A-J, and J-J. Pappas spiked a four and set himself up for a deep run in poker's most prestigious tournament. "It was a big boost for my tournament," Pappas commented. "It was a big momentum change. Up until Day 7, I ran that thing. At the time, I was at 110th place, so it was a huge payday already. I was pretty satisfied. I didn't want to go out, but I was okay going out in that spot." It can be difficult to believe that people can actually make money playing foosball, but that's exactly what Pappas did. "I started playing foosball (Pappas is pictured without facial hair) because my mom and her boyfriend taught me how to play when I was seven," he recalled. "We got a table when I was eight and played all the time. I still play. Right after the WSOP, I went to Germany for a foosball tournament. I went to Luxembourg and England during the break as well." If you're trying to hit it big in foosball, one of the keys is passing from your five-bar, or the bar with five players on it, to your three-bar. And, in case you think spinning the bars frantically is the way to go, Pappas said that foosball is actually a pretty slow game when played professionally. Again, who knew? At the final table, Pappas expects chip leader Jorryt van Hoofto give him the most trouble. "He's in position and we have played the most together," Pappas said. "He probably knows me better than he knows anyone else. He is an awesome player too. It's a horrible combination for me." The final prepackaged episodes of the 2014 WSOP will air on ESPN on Sunday night before Monday's restart on ESPN2. Pappas said he has seen every episode that has aired thus far and noted, "They haven't shown too much on anyone except for Mark Newhouse (pictured) because his story is amazing, so it's hard to get too much information from them on anyone else." Speaking of Newhouse, the first two-time November Niner has been the talk of the town in our industry, and rightfully so, having barreled through fields of over 6,000 entrants in 2013 and 2014. "It is, by far, the best feat ever in poker," Pappas said of what Newhouse has accomplished. "I'm a huge Dan Harrington fan too. I think it's amazing." Finally, we wanted to send a shout out to 888 Poker. Pappas will be donning a badge from the site during the November Nine and said, "They seemed interested in sponsoring me and I was interested as well. We have been talking for a while. Thank you to 888 for helping me with this great opportunity since this opportunity probably won't happen again, unless you're Mark Newhouse." Catch all of the action from this year's November Nine right here on PocketFives. If you don't have an 888 Poker account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get an enhanced 100% up to $600 deposit bonus (regularly 100% up to $400), $88 free in most locations, and a free PocketFives t-shirtdelivered to your doorstep. Click here to get started. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  12. Early in Sunday's opening session of the 2015 WSOP Main Event final table, Pierre Neuville, who was eliminated in 7th place, folded pocket tens pre-flop after Neil Blumenfield put in a sizable three-bet while holding pocket aces. Those two hands ran into each other early in Monday's session of the World Series of Poker Main Eventfinal table, with Tom Cannuli going from a big favorite to double, to out in the matter of one untimely flop. After a slightly uneventful first night of November Nine play, Cannuli returned for Monday's restart as the shortest stack with just over 17 big blinds to his name. On the second hand of the night, Cannuli got that short stack in the middle after he opened from UTG to 1,400,000. The table folded around to the big blind, where Max Steinberg moved all-in. He had Cannuli well covered and the New Jersey native wasted no time getting his chips in the middle before he turned over As Ac. Steinberg, who started the night with 16,000,000 chips, was drawing to just two outs, as he held Td Th. One of those two outs arrived when a Jc Ts 6c flop fell, turning the tables on the short stack, as he was then left drawing to two outs to save his tournament life. The Qd brought some additional equity for Cannuli on the turn, but after the 8s completed the board, he was eliminated in 6th place. Cannuli earned $1,426,283 for his finish and, for the second session in a row, a player was eliminated from the final table on just the second hand of the night. After the knockout, the first of the final table that wasn’t scored by chip leader Joe McKeehen, Steinberg was sitting behind over 31,000,000, good for an over 50 big blind stack and neck-and-neck for second place on the final table leaderboard.
  13. Coming into Sunday night, all eyes were on the short stacks. The shortest of those stacks, Patrick Chan, had his work cut out for him if he were going to make a final table run. After over three months of waiting, Chan's World Series of Poker Main Event final table run lasted just two hands, as he was quickly dispatched by chip leader Joe McKeehen. On the second hand of the night, the table folded around to the big stack, who moved all-in from the button. Chan and Federico Butteroni, the two shortest stacks at the table, were in the blinds and after the former called to put himself at risk from the small blind, while Butteroni folded in the big. McKeehen held Ad 4h to Chan's Ks Qc and the short stack had to hit to stay alive. He didn't, as McKeehen’s ace-high held through the 10c 6h 5s 3h 9c runout, confirming Chan's 9th place elimination and extending his chip lead on this Main Event final table. Chan makes $1,001,020 and his elimination means the eliminations from here on out will initiate individual pay jumps. The next player eliminated earns $1,097,056.
  14. [caption width="640"] Qui Nguyen walked away with a little bit more than ,000,000 but that wasn't the only interesting number coming out of the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table (WSOP photo/Jayne Furman)[/caption] You know the headlines, you know the bustouts, you saw what happened on TV. But there were many untold and unexplored stories of the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event final table, so we decided to break some down and crunch some numbers. -45: Average temperature in the regions of Antarctica inhabited by polar bears. The bears are built for the cold, which is perhaps why Kenny Halleart’s rail chose to have someone dress as one to cheer their friend on at the notoriously cold Rio. 4: Number of players lost on the first day of November Nine play. While the plan was originally to play from nine down to six, the producers and tournament staff elected to play a little longer, perhaps because it did not take long to lose three players and, as a result, the table did not get far along in the structure. Because of the extended play, Halleart exited in sixth place on the first day of action. Then, on the second day of play, the table played three-handed for a little while because it took so little time to get from five players to three. 9: Number of years since an Asian player has won the WSOP Main Event. Laos-born Jerry Yang won in 2007, but since then the list of winners has been exclusively Caucasian and exclusively under the age of 30. Nguyen, who is 39, bucked both trends. 16: Number of hands it took before losing a player. Fernando Pons didn’t quite make it twice around the table before exiting in ninth place. 58: Number of hands it took at the final table before Griffin Benger managed to win a pot. The Canadian struggled at the final table and blinded off much of his stack. He also failed to flop much of anything, resulting in the very long stretch without dragging chips in his direction. The celebration was short-lived though. He busted in seventh place nine hands later. 60: Going rate in dollars for four pints of ice cream from the boutique Tin Pot Creamery, a Palo Alto ice cream provider Gordon Vayo promoted with a patch at the final table. Boasting flavors like Earl Grey and Sweet Barbeque, the creamery produces small batches of ice cream at quite the price, which also doesn’t include tax or shipping and handling. 69: Starting bid on eBay for the New Era brand Rocket Raccoon ball cap similar to the one wore by Qui Nguyen throughout the final table. The Guardians of the Galaxy hat was one of the more memorable pieces of headgear in Main Event memory. Now the hat is difficult to come by, but that is largely because of the popularity of the now two-year-old movie as opposed to Nguyen’s ability to influence style. 182: Number of hands heads-up play lasted. It is also the number of hands it took for the final table to get from nine down to two players. By comparison, last year the entire final table took 184 hands, with Joe McKeehen besting Josh Beckley after 13 hands. 1,046,965: Difference between $4.5 million and what Cliff Josephy collected for finishing in third place. Much has been made of the fact Josephy staked Joe Cada when he won the 2009 WSOP Main Event. Though the number was never confirmed, most assume Josephy took home half the $9 million payday. If that is the case, turns out this wasn’t his most profitable WSOP Main Event after all.
  15. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"] Leon Tsoukernik found himself the center of the attention in the high stakes cash game world for all the wrong reasons.[/caption] As the final days of 2017 slowly tick by, it's time to take a look back at the year in poker. Over the last 10 days of the year, PocketFives is taking readers on a trip back in time to recap the last 12 months in a fun and unique way. We'll get things started by looking back at the five biggest off the felt news stories of 2017. #5 - Australian Government Bans Online Poker American poker players know all too well how it feels to have the government step in and take away online poker. In March, the Interactive Gambling Amendment 2016 passed through the Australia Senate and effectively banned online poker Down Under. Over the course of the next six months, PokerStars, 888poker, and partypoker all exited the Australian market, leaving grinders there to play on black market offshore sites, much like most of their American counterparts. There does appear to be some appetite from politicians to regulate online poker or at least carve the game out, but there's no real timeline for either of those options. #4 - The End of the November Nine & Launch of PokerGO A major shift in how poker fans watch the WSOP was announced just a couple of weeks before the 2017 WSOP started. In partnership with ESPN, Poker Central announced they had acquired the global television and digital media rights for the WSOP and would be launching their own subscription-based streaming service, PokerGO. The WSOP Main Event would be broadcast live on a combination of ESPN, ESPN2, and PokerGO, and the final table played out in July, ending the November Nine concept after a ten-year run. While the decision to take the Main Event back to its roots was met with praise from poker fans, one of the major complaints those same fans had was that not all final tables were live streamed, as had been the case in years past when WSOP.com aired them. PokerGO later added the Poker Masters series and brought back Poker After Dark as part of their original programming and signed on the World Poker Tour as part of their streaming coverage. #3 - UB & AbsolutePoker Money Returned to Players Most players who had money on UB.com or AbsolutePoker.com on Black Friday had long given up any hope of getting that money back. So to say the news that the Garden City Group had begun the remissions process for those players was met with delight back in April would be a massive understatement. With little to no fanfare, GCG announced that players could begin filling out the necessary paperwork to potentially get their money back. The process was nearly identical to the one used by GCG to pay Full Tilt Poker players back following the U.S. Department of Justice settlement with PokerStars. Most believe the UB/AP refunds process was only possible because of funds leftover from that settlement after all Full Tilt refunds were processed. #2 - High Stakes Drama: Leon Tsoukernik vs. Matt Kirk It’s rare that poker fans get any sort of reliable information out of the world of nosebleed cash games. So when Matt Kirk sued Kings Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik after he failed to pay back a $3,000,000 loan Kirk gave him, everybody seemed to salivate over the details contained in the court documents. According to Kirk’s suit, the pair were part of a high stakes game at the Aria Hotel & Casino on May 27 when the other players quit the game. Kirk and Tsoukernik both wanted to keep playing allegedly but Tsoukernik had lost his stake earlier and asked Kirk if he could borrow money to continue playing. Over the next hour or so, Kirk loaned Tsoukernik $3,000,000 and quickly beat him for all of it. According to the court documents, just 15 minutes after the two finished playing, Tsoukernik texted Kirk that he had no intention of paying the debt. In October, the Clark County judge overseeing the case agreed with Tsoukernik that under Nevada law a gaming debt between two individuals is unenforceable and threw out eight of Kirk’s 10 counts. However, Kirk is still suing Tsoukernik for “fraudulent inducement and unjust enrichment.” #1 - Pennsylvania Legalizes Online Poker In late October online poker players in Pennsylvania were willingly watching the live stream coverage of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives as HB 271 came up for vote. The bill, which regulated online poker, casino games and daily fantasy sports in the Keystone State passed by a 109-72 vote. Governor Tom Wolf signed the bill into law just four days later. While there is still no timeline for when players will be able to play legal online poker in Pennsylvania, some observers believe mid-summer to be a best guess. Those same observers point to 888poker, partypoker and PokerStars as likely candidates to be operating within the state. PokerStars applauded the legislation. "We applaud the Pennsylvania Legislature for taking decisive action to legalize online gaming," said Eric Hollreiser, VP of Corporate Communications for PokerStars. "This is common sense legislation that will protect consumers, help close Pennsylvania’s budget gap, and make the state more competitive within the regional gaming industry. The Stars Group looks forward to working with Pennsylvania and its gaming regulators and competing in the future marketplace."
  16. [caption width="640"] 2016 WSOP Main Event champion Qui Nguyen is the last November Niner (WSOP photo)[/caption] Poker fans used to have to wait until August to start watching World Series of Poker coverage on ESPN and for the last nine years have had to wait until November to see a new world champion crowned. That's not the case anymore. As part of a groundbreaking announcement made Monday morning, PokerCentral has become the owner of the global television and digital media rights for the WSOP and has partnered with ESPN to bring the WSOP broadcasts into a more modern era. ESPN will broadcast roughly 40 hours of coverage of the WSOP Main Event on a 30-minute delay, including full coverage of the final table from July 20 - 22. The shows will be split between ESPN and ESPN2. “We are thrilled to add the preeminent poker brand, the World Series of Poker, to our growing portfolio of poker-related content,” said JR McCabe, chief digital officer, Poker Central. “We have major plans to reinvent the WSOP offering to greatly expand how, when and where fans of the game of poker can watch and engage with the game.” PokerCentral will also produce 130 hours of original programming each year. Plans to stream coverage of other events will be revealed closer to the start of the 2017 WSOP. In recent years the live streaming of preliminary event final tables was available on WSOP.com. The agreement also extends the WSOP on ESPN partnership through 2020, a move that WSOP executives, including the man responsible for creating the November Nine concept in 2008, are quite happy with. "ESPN has been our home since 2002, and we’re delighted to extend the relationship into the next decade," said Ty Stewart, executive director, WSOP. "Having every day live coverage of the WSOP Main Event is truly a huge commitment on behalf of ESPN and Poker Central, and we look forward to delivering to our faithful audience wall-to-wall action from the outset for the very first time." WSOP on ESPN broadcast schedule DATEDAYTIME July 81a4pm-8pm July 91b2pm - 6pm July 112a/2b8pm-11pm July 122c8pm-10pm July 1448pm-11pm July 1552pm-4pm July 1662pm-6pm July 1777pm-9pm July 19Final table preview10pm-11pm July 209 down to 69pm-TBD July 216 down to 39pm-TBD July 223 down to 19pm-TBD Days not broadcast on ESPN will be made available via PokerCentral's online platforms. The 2017 WSOP begins May 31.
  17. [caption width="640"] 888 poker is sending Four Lucky Winners to watch the 2016 November Nine up close (Joe Giron/WSOP photo)[/caption] Every poker player dreams of entering the World Series of Poker Main Event and making an appearance in the November Nine. And each year hundreds of thousands of those same players watch from home as somebody else completes their dream. With the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table now less than a month away, 888 poker is sending four lucky winners to Las Vegas tor an up close experience as a new world champion is crowned. To win one of the four packages available, simply play in the 888 poker Facebook Trivia Game from October 2 - 7 and answer eight questions correctly. Trivia game winners will be emailed a ticket to an exclusive tournament on 888 poker which runs on October 11. Players can win only one entry to this tournament and the field is capped at 18,000 players. The top four finishers in this tournament will find themselves heading to Las Vegas. Each winner gets flights for themselves and two friends, accommodations at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, $900 spending money and tickets to all three days of final table play inside the Penn & Teller Theatre. Due to the U.S. Presidential election, the 2016 November Nine actually starts in October. The final nine players reconvene on October 30 for the first of three days of play. The 2016 WSOP Main Event champion will be crowned on November 1. The entire three days of play will be aired live on ESPN. The four winners of the 888 poker trivia tournament won’t be the only ones representing the online poker room that week. Two players at the final table will be wearing 888 patches after qualifying on the site for the Main Event earlier this year. Spaniard Fernando Pons is the shortest stack still in the tournament, but after qualifying for €30, he easily has the best ROI of any player. Meanwhile, former #1-ranked PocketFiver Griffin Benger also satellited his way into the Main Event on 888 poker. Benger had no intentions of travelling to Las Vegas for the Main Event before taking a last shot on 888 poker and winning a seat. Benger comes into the final table with the seventh-best stack. 888 poker WSOP qualifier Fernando Pons hoping to be the Chris Moneymaker of Spain For more information on how to enter this contest, visit the 888 poker Facebook page. *Note: contest is not open to players in the United States.
  18. After the nearly immediate elimination of final table short stack Patrick Chan, the torch was passed to Federico Butteroni. While seemingly everyone else played some pretty sizable pots, with big stacks mixing in three-bets, four-bets, and even some all-in shoves, Butteroni remained quiet and patient, looking for opportunities to get his short stack in the middle. The Italian couldn't find any of those opportunities through the rest of Level 35, but a few hands into Level 36, he did. The table folded to Butteroni, who moved all-in for 3,200,000 from the cutoff with Qc 9c. With the big blind being worth 500,000, the shove was for just over six big blinds, but despite the relatively small all-in amount, Pierre Neuville, who was in the big blind, eventually folded Ah 7h. That gave Butteroni a pass and a much needed bump to his short stack. That pass helped, but after another full orbit of folds, Butteroni found himself even shorter than he was at the start of the level. Midway through Level 36, Joe McKeehen added to his final table kill list. McKeehen opened to 1,000,000 from the button and, with just 2,400,000 left in front of him in the small blind, Butteroni moved all-in. The big blind folded and McKeehen called, having the Italian dominated with As Ks to Ah Jc. McKeehen scored the first final table elimination with ace-high and ace-king-high was good enough for the second knockout as well, with McKeehen’s kicker sealing Butteroni’s eighth place finish on a runout of 10c 6d 3d 9s 7d. The Italian took home $1,097,056 and McKeehen is now up and over the 70,000,000 chip mark, hovering near 150 big blinds.
  19. [caption width="640"] The WSOP Main Event returns to ESPN beginning September 11[/caption] The wait is almost over for poker fans waiting to get their annual fix of World Series of Poker Main Event coverage on ESPN. The 2016 WSOP Main Event begins airing on Sunday, September 11 and will run for seven straight weeks as a lead up to the annual November Nine coverage. The first six one-hour episodes will air on ESPN2 with coverage then switching to the ESPN main network. A total of 14 one-hour episodes will provide the lead-up to the 2016 November Nine allowing viewers at home the chance to get to know the players who make the final table before it airs live October 30 - November 1. The November Nine was moved to late October this year to avoid conflicting with the U.S. Presidential Election. This isn't the first time the network has moved the broadcast to avoid this conflict. In 2012 the November Nine was broadcast October 29 - 30 with Greg Merson emerging as World Championship. The final table will air nearly-live across ESPN and ESPN2 networks beginning Sunday, October 30 at 8:30 PM ET. The opening night will be going up directly against Sunday Night Football on NBC which features the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys. The next night the WSOP coverage moves to ESPN2 as ESPN will air the Monday Night Football game between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears. Just like in past years, ESPN coverage begins on Day 4 to allow producers more time to showcase players who make deep runs, in particular the final nine players who comprise the 2016 November Nine. Long-time commentators Lon McEachern and Norman Chad return to the call the action as does roving reporter Kara Scott. Expert analysis will come from poker pros Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Laak. Fans will also notice the feature table has an updated look and feel compared to the set used the past few years. EPISODEDATETIME (ET)NETWORK Main Event - Episode 1September 118:30 PMESPN2 Main Event - Episode 2September 1110:00 PMESPN2 Main Event - Episode 3September 1810:30 PMESPN2 Main Event - Episode 4September 1912:00 AMESPN2 Main Event - Episode 5September 258:30 PMESPN2 Main Event - Episode 6September 2510:00 PMESPN2 Main Event - Episode 7October 028:30 PMESPN Main Event - Episode 8October 0210:00 PMESPN Main Event - Episode 9October 098:30 PMESPN Main Event - Episode 10October 0910:00 PMESPN Main Event - Episode 11October 168:30 PMESPN Main Event - Episode 12October 1610:00 PMESPN Main Event - Episode 13October 238:30 PMESPN Main Event - Episode 14October 2310:00 PMESPN Main Event - FINAL TABLE - LIVEOctober 308:30 PMESPN Main Event - FINAL TABLE - LIVEOctober 3011:00 PMESPN Main Event - FINAL TABLE - LIVEOctober 318:00 PMESPN2 Main Event - FINAL TABLE - LIVENovember 018:00 PMESPN2 Main Event - FINAL TABLE - RecapNovember 209:00 PMESPN The 2016 Global Casino Championship, which was taped in August, will kick off the 2016 WSOP season on ESPN. The final table will air over two one-hour episodes beginning at 8 PM ET on Tuesday, September 6 on ESPN2.
  20. [caption width="640"] Cliff Josephy has an advantage heading into the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table - he's the chip leader - but how has that played out over the years? (WSOP photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] Cliff 'JohnnyBax' Josephy has the chips and the experience on his side when he returns to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker Main Event, but is that enough to guarantee him a seat at heads-up action for the bracelet? Josephy was on hand to see chips don’t always matter, like in 2009 when small stack Joe Cada rallied to beat the Goliath stack of Darvin Moon and win the title, but last year Joe McKeehen gave a dominating performance which reminds how dominant players can be when skills and stacks collide. So, in order to better suss out Josephy’s chances, let’s take a look at the past decade of final table chip leaders Number Crunch: 2: Number of chip leaders who had bracelets going into the final table. Both leaders, JC Tran and Cliff Josephy, each had two to their name and were (or in Josephy’s case are) going for a third in November. 3: The average finishing position of the November Nine start of play chip leaders. There have been three champions, three runners-up, two third-place finishers, one fifth, and one ninth. 4: Number of non-American chip leaders over the past decade.Philip Hilm, Jonathan Duhamel, Martin Staszko, and Jorryt van Hoof are the quartet of big stacks who help contribute to the distinctly international flair of the November Nine. Interestingly, that time period has produced four non-American champions as well, but the only player on both lists is Duhamel. 5: Consecutive days Jamie Gold reigned as chip leader, taking the top spot on Day 4 and never relinquishing it. Only Darvin Moon and Dennis Phillips also held the chip lead with 27 left as well as once the final table was set. 6: Number of Main Event chip leaders who have yet to cash in the Main Event again. Jamie Gold, Philip Hilm, Darvin Moon, Martin Staszko, Jesse Sylvia, and Jorryt van Hoof have failed to make the money again since their deep runs. The player who got closest to a return to the November Nine was Phillips, who took 45th place in 2009. 17.3: The smallest stack in percentage of chips in play of chip leaders of the past decade. That player? Philip Hilm, who came in first and went out first, busting in ninth place in 2007. 30: The percentage of chips in play that seems to make heads-up play a foregone conclusion. In the past four years, there have been four monster chip stacks of this size, Jamie Gold, Darvin Moon, Jonathan Duhamel, and reigning champ Joe McKeehen. All for made it to heads-up and only Moon failed to win the bracelet. 117: Number of days Dennis Phillips got to spend as the first final table chip leader of the November Nine era. As a result of the novelty of the concept and a recurring joke on Wicked Chops Poker that he actually won the 2008 Main Event, Phillips is arguably the most recognizable non-champion on the chip leader list. 2,525,000: The total number of chips Martin Staszko accumulated after beginning the 2011 final table as chip leader. He made it to the final three as the low man on the totem pole, while eventual winner Pius Heinz accumulated tens of millions of chips as he played his way from seventh to first in the counts. 33,300,000: The difference in first and second place stacks in last year’s Main Event. Joe McKeehen’s lead was so substantial, the difference between his 68 million-chip stack and the next closest player in the field, Zvi Stern, was greater than the chip stacks themselves of the2006, 2007, and 2008 big stacks. The smallest difference in the standings was 2007, where Hilm outpaced Tuan Lam by a mere 775,000 chips.
  21. [caption width="640"] Chance Kornuth was an integral part of "Team Bax" (Photo Credit: Allen Rash)[/caption] Cliff Josephy came into the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event final table with arguably more experience than anybody else at that table with him. That didn’t stop the man more commonly known by his online name, ‘JohnnyBax,’ from enlisting the help of a coach. With the implementation of the November Nine and the extended layoff between making the final table and playing the final table, players who have a chance at winning poker’s biggest prize generally hire another player to help improve their game during the layoff. Josephy, an online poker legend with now over $6.2 million in live winnings as well, made the decision to have Shaun Deeb and Chance Kornuth coach him during the downtime. They ultimately helped guide him to a third place finish for over $3.4 million, more than doubling his lifetime live earnings. “Bax approached Shaun and Shaun said that ‘Since this is a live tournament, we need Chance,’” said Kornuth about how he was brought onto the coaching team. “I’ve known Shaun a long time and it was very flattering. Shaun actually paid me out of pocket since him and Bax had already agreed upon an amount. It was really cool to be part of the team.” Deeb has two WSOP bracelets to his name already and nobody would argue Josephy’s decision to hire him, but Kornuth brought other abilities to the table that made the team stronger. “It was partially just live reads,” said Kornuth about why he was brought on. “But also, Shaun and I have talked poker for a really long time and we respect each other’s opinions on different situations. We work well together, we think about the game differently, and there were a lot of different spots where I was like ‘Well, what if we did this in this spot?’ And we were able to talk about all of those different options.” While Kornuth and Deeb were the official coaches, Josephy had plenty of other players and friends that helped. Josephy runs one of the most well-known staking operations in the game and has, at one time or another, staked many of the games bet players, including eventual Main Event runner-up Gordon Vayo. Kornuth and Deeb used the extra bodies and poker minds to run online simulations as to how the final table would play out. “It was mostly simulations and if there was a spot that we wanted to talk about, we would discuss it,” said Kornuth. “At first Shaun set up online sims on PokerStars home games and we would like dump stacks, so they would be close to where they need to be and we would kind of anticipate who the final six would be and stuff. We ran tons and tons of simulations.” The two coaches used the other players involved in the simulation to represent the other opponents at the table. They did their best to forecast how certain players would be playing in certain spots and had the players participating in the simulation to play that style, to create the most realistic scenarios. “We would just say ‘Hey, you’re Gordon Vayo’ or ‘You’re Qui [Nguyen]’ and we want you to do this in these spots with these hands,” said Kornuth. “Unfortunately, we mis-prepared for Qui. I doubt anyone prepared correctly for how he played. He actually played really well and deserved to win.” Josephy was one of the original grinders that was making a lot of money playing online poker tournaments. He was making millions online before either of his coaches had become an elite player. With that kind of background and pedigree, Kornuth was surprised at how easy he was to coach. “I was actually expecting him to be quite rigid in his approach since he has been playing for so long,” said Kornuth. “But I was really impressed with his willingness to do whatever we recommended. It was always ‘Great. Sounds good.’ It was great.” In terms of changing Josephy’s game, Kornuth and Deeb had one big adjustment for him – play more hands. “We were just trying to find spots to loosen him up,” said Kornuth. “Going into the Main Event final table with the chip lead, you should be playing a lot of hands. So, we were trying to help him defend certain combos from the big blind more and three-bet more hands. Basically, widening his ranges and playing more aggressive in those spots.” With regards to Josephy's execution of the strategy, Kornuth was pleased overall. “He’s kind of a momentum player and since he didn’t get off to a great start, losing the first hand,” said Kornuth said. “But towards the end of Day 1, he won a few pots and got a few bluffs through. He was doing exactly what we were looking for and it was fun to watch.” Josephy ended up getting cold-decked three-handed with set under set against Vayo to leave him short and eventually finish in third, but Kornuth hasn’t stopped coaching. Kornuth launched Chip Leader Coaching shortly after the Main Event finished and is continuing to help players get better through his own program. The idea of running his own coaching website was brought to him by his business partner, and fellow WSOP bracelet winner, John Beauprez. Beauprez has experience coaching online cash game and they developed the idea for coaching live tournament players. The two launched their website shortly after the Main Event finished, and they have begun taking on their first wave of students. Unlike other training sites and coaches, where players pay a fee to be trained, regardless of results, Kornuth’s new coaching site only takes on players that they screen and accept. They take a five percent freeroll of their students’ future tournaments in exchange for the coaching they receive. The difference in their business model is what keeps Kornuth and his other coaches invested in the students’ success. “If our players don’t succeed, then our five percent is worthless and we don’t really make anything,” said Kornuth. Kornuth can rival anybody when it comes to poker experience and results. He’s got over $4.8 million in live tournament earnings, a WSOP bracelet, was a consistent winner online, and beats high-stakes cash games as well. His new business venture is only dedicated to tournament poker, and there is a reason for that. Money. “Right now, all the money is in tournaments,” said Kornuth. “There is a reason that all the nosebleed cash guys play tournaments now. It’s because it’s the softest aspect of poker. It’s the spot where all the money is and we are just focusing on the market where we think the most money is.”
  22. [caption width="640"] There are more numbers in play at the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table that just the November Nine (WSOP Photo / Joe Giron)[/caption] You’ve seen plenty of numbers related to the November Nine. You’ve seen ages and chip counts, number of bracelets and final tables. Let’s not forget lifetime tournament earnings and number of big blinds. Rather than examine the obvious stats, let’s get to know this final table by the not-so-apparent numbers in this edition of The Number Crunch. 0 – This number applies to quite a bit of Fernando Pons’ resume. Prior to this Main Event, he had never played a World Series of Poker tournament, he had never even been to Vegas. He also has zero players behind him on the leaderboard, as the Spaniard is coming in with just a handful of big blinds amounting to 6.15 million. 2 – Spot on the Czech Republic all-time money list for Vojtech Ruzicka, who has already been credited with at least ninth place money. If he wins, he can take the top spot away from Martin Staszko, who finished second to Pius Heinz in 2011. 3 – This is the third career WSOP final table for Gordon Vayo. While he may not be a household name to casual poker fans, he actually came up just shy of a bracelet in 2014, finishing second to Davidi Kitai in a $3,000 Six-Handed No Limit Hold’em event. 25 – Position of Qui Nguyen in the counts with 27 players remaining. He began near the bottom of the counts, but after doubling through Michael Ruane early, he went on to eliminate Tom Marchese, James Obst, and Mike Shin to take the chip lead and go on to bag the second-biggest stack going into November. 407 – Total number of runners in the 2016 Unibet Belgium Poker Championship in September of 2016. Kenny Hallaert was on hand as the Unibet tournament director for the event, and does not appear interested in quitting his full-time day job after making the final table. 519 – Number of days chip leader Cliff Josephy was ranked #1 on the PocketFives Rankings. One of the OGs of online poker, the man known as 'JohnnyBax online joined P5s in 2005 and quickly ascended the ranks of online poker to take the number one spot. He is not the only top PocketFiver in the pack though. Griffin Benger was also ranked #1 in P5s World Rankings. Bax isn’t just a token member either. He has posted over 1,300 times in the forums as well as backed numerous other P5ers, including a former Main Event winner, Joe Cada. 26,158 – Total dollars confiscated by US Customs when Michael Ruane tried to fly back into the States after the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Then 23, Ruane and his brother and cousin did not properly declare the amount of money they were returning with, so officials confiscated it at the Nassau Airport. 98,683 – Dollars in earnings for Griffin Benger in his career as a professional Counter-Strike player. His career-high score came in 2007 when he and four teammates won a Competitive Gaming Series (CGS) event for $250,000 total, amounting to $50,000 apiece. 1,380,000 – Number of chips Jerry Wong lost over the course of two days of play as the field winnowed down from 80 to the November Nine. He was chip leader at the end of Day 5 with over 11 million, but lost steam late in play, bagging just over 10 million and coming into November eighth out of nine in the chip counts.
  23. [caption width="320" align="alignleft"] Vojtech Ruzicka could become the first Czech winner of the World Series of Poker Main Event (WSOP photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] You get the impression from 2016 November Niner Vojtech Ruzicka that he really loves poker. He's already promised that he won't be retiring if he wins the Main Event and that he would continue to play high buy-in tournaments all around the world. But since the end of this year’s World Series of Poker, and the final table eventually getting underway, Ruzicka has been spotted playing in a variety of different destinations. The Czech pro has certainly been honing his game ahead of the most important final table of his life, not only in tournaments! Ruzicka admitted over the summer that he wasn’t much of a cash game player, but that certainly didn’t stop him from heading to Rozvadov for the King’s Casino Cash Game. After a rough couple of days playing against the likes of Tony G and Igor Kurganov, he managed to turn it back around in the final session and finish the trip as a winner. Since then King’s Casino have announced that they intend to build a new hotel, spa and a new huge poker room. Ruzicka was quick to praise Leon Tsoukernik and the recent expansion plans at King’s. “I couldn’t be more excited about it! It looks like King’s could become the biggest European poker room really soon and the plans look awesome,” said Ruzicka of the host casino for WSOP Europe in 2017 and 2019. “King’s has some special memories for me. I actually played my first big live tournaments there, and I have won the German Championship of Poker there twice.” “I am really excited to represent Rozvadov in November." READ: Five Questions with Vojtech Ruzicka As well as playing at King’s, Ruzicka also headed to the European Poker Tour stop in Barcelona where not only did he finish 18th in the €25,000 High Roller, but managed a deep run in the Main Event only to finish 24th. Ruzicka said that it was great to have the experience of running deep in another tournament so soon. “When I was deep in the EPT Barcelona Main Event, I was really excited, but not nervous at all. It felt great,” said Ruzicka. “I’ve never thought self-confidence makes much of a difference, but the fact that you will play a final table in a much bigger tournament in three months’ time made me much more relaxed.” “I definitely felt much better at the table and I was just like ‘Wow, wouldn’t it be awesome to win the EPT while waiting for the November Nine?’” In Barcelona it was announced that the EPT is soon to rebrand into PokerStars Championships. Ruzicka’s poker resume is littered with cashes, as well as a High Roller win at EPT Deauville in 2013 for €313,000. Ruzicka says that he hoped that the new format will work as well as the EPTs have done. “I honestly think that the EPT had a great name around the poker world, and I personally would never have renamed those tournaments. But we will see. I will definitely give them a shot,” said Ruzicka. This year there are three Europeans at the Main event final table, with Ruzicka joined by Spain's Fernando Pons and the Netherlands' Kenny Hallaert. This is an increase from 2015 where just Federico Butteroni and Pierre Neuville were from the other side of the pond. In 2014, however, there were four Europeans at a final table which was eventually won by Swede Martin Jacobson. And with four of the last eight Main Event Champions being European, does Ruzicka think that it would mean anything special to become yet another European Main Event winner? “I think everyone wants to win the Main Event really bad, but I think that people care more about how the winner plays and behaves. I don’t think that nationality is that important," said Ruzicka. “However, I do feel that following these results American players are starting to respect us Europeans much more at the tables and when we come to the World Series of Poker.” And with the November Nine right around the corner, Ruzicka will have a gang of rowdy Czechs railing him at the final table. “Now that I’m a November Niner, everybody has been really nice to me. It’s been actually quite pleasant so far,” admitted Ruzicka. “I would like to thank the entire Czech poker community. Everyone has been so supportive to me and I hope that I will make them proud!”
  24. [caption width="640"] Qui Nguyen has 8 million reasons to smile after winning the 2016 WSOP Main Event (WSOP Photo / Jayne Furman0[/caption] When the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event final table began on Sunday night, nobody thought Qui Nguyen had a chance at overcoming a field that included two former #1-ranked players on PocketFives, a talented European poker pro, a former PokerStars SuperNova Elite and two young American poker pros who cut their poker teeth online. On Tuesday night in Las Vegas, Nguyen beat Gordon Vayo after a lengthy heads up battle to win the 2016 WSOP Main Event and the accompanying $8 million. Just like they did on the first night, when Nguyen and Cliff Josephy went at each other, things got crazy on the first hand Tuesday night. Nguyen started things off by raising to 2,700,000 with [poker card="as"][poker card="4c"] from the button. Josephy re-raised to 8,500,000 from the small blind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="qd"] and Gordon Vayo got out of the way before Nguyen four-bet to 20,900,000. Josephy immediately moved all and after getting a count, Nguyen called. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="qh"][poker card="7c"] flop gave Josephy top two pair. The [poker card="3s"] turn clinched the pot for Josephy with the [poker card="qs"] falling on the river. Nguyen’s stack dropped to 147,600,000 while Josephy more than doubled to 101,400,000. He also had momentum that proved to be short lived. Just four hands later the three players clashed in the biggest pot of the tournament to date and it nearly meant the end of the road for Josephy, the longest reigning #1-ranked player in PocketFives history. Josephy raised to 2,500,000 with [poker card="2d"][poker card="2c"] from the button, Vayo called from the small blind with [poker card="3d"][poker card="3s"] before Nguyen made 7,700,000 from the big blind with [poker card="as"][poker card="jc"]. Josephy and Vayo both called to see a flop of [poker card="kd"][poker card="3c"][poker card="2s"]. Nguyen bet 9,900,000 and both Josephy and Vayo called. After the [poker card="4d"] turn, Vayo and Nguyen both checked and Josephy bet 21,000,000. Vayo eventually moved all in for 75,100,000. Nguyen folded and Josephy called. The river was the [poker card="6d"] and Vayo doubled up while Josephy was left with just eight big blinds. Josephy doubled up through Nguyen on the very next hand and then again four hands later through Nguyen to get his stack back to 46,200,000 - just 3,800,000 less than he started the final day with. Josephy’s roller coaster ride continued five hands later when Nguyen took half of his stack and officially ended on the very next hand. Nguyen folded the button, Josephy moved all in for 18,700,000 with [poker card="qd"][poker card="3d"] and Vayo called with [poker card="kh"][poker card="6d"]. The board ran out [poker card="kc"][poker card="8c"][poker card="3h"][poker card="4c"][poker card="2c"] to eliminate Josephy in third place. After his elimination, Josephy discussed the set-vs-set confrontation with Vayo. “If he had played a small pair out of the small blind yesterday, I would’ve easily folded, due to his image, his reputation and my perception of him” said Josephy. “But he had folded a small pair against cutoff open against me, so it was easy to pull small pairs out of his range,” said Josephy. “The way he played the hand, he had to have a set of threes, but I don’t have him on threes, so it’s so hard because I couldn’t figure out what he could have.” When heads up play began Vayo had 200,300,000 chips to Nguyen’s 136,300,000. The two players exchanged the chip lead back and forth six times over the next 25 hands before Nguyen took the lead for the final time. Over the next seven hours of play, Vayo did everything he could to stave off elimination from the hard-charging Nguyen, but in the end, Nguyen’s aggression and unique approach that left his opponents dazed and confused over the final three days of play, ended up leading him to victory. After leaving Vayo shaking his head after numerous folds, the tournament ended in anti-climatic fashion. Nguyen opened to 8,500,000 with [poker card="kc"][poker card="tc"] and Vayo shipped in his 53,000,000 stack with [poker card="js"][poker card="ts"] and Nguyen called. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="9c"][poker card="7d"] flop gave Nguyen top pair and Vayo a boatful of extra outs but the [poker card="2s"] turn and [poker card="3h"] river were complete bricks for Vayo and after 181 hands of heads up play, Nguyen eliminated Vayo in second place to win the 2016 WSOP Main Event. Nguyen eliminated four of the final five players on his way to the win. Final Table Payouts Qui Nguyen - $8,005,310 Gordon Vayo - $4,661,228 Cliff Josephy - $3,453,035 Michael Ruane - $2,576,003 Vojtech Ruzicka - $1,935,288 Kenny Hallaert - $1,464,258 Griffin Benger - $1,250,190 Jerry Wong - $1,100,076 Fernando Pons - $1,000,000
  25. [caption width="640"] Gordon Vayo sits third in chips at the final table of the 2016 WSOP Main Event (WSOP Photo/Joe Giron)[/caption] Before the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table PocketFives is providing extensive coverage of the 2016 November Nine including player features, interviews, previews, and statistics. In this edition of Five Questions we introduce you to Gordon Vayo. Gordon Vayo was one of the most feared online tournament player on the planet pre-Black Friday. Known as “holla@yoboy” online, the Illinois native racked up over $1.4 million in online earnings before Black Friday forced him to the live arena. After moving to San Francisco, Vayo began honing his skills playing more live tournaments. Including the $1 million he has taken home already for making the 2016 November Nine, Vayo amassed over $2.5 million live tournament earnings. The 27-year-old poker pro infamously started playing online at the age of 16 and was one of the most successfully players on the internet before he was of age to play. He comes into the Main Event final table third in chips, behind Quy Nguyen and the man who has previously backed him online, Cliff Josephy. PocketFives: You were paid $1,000,000 for finishing ninth back in July. If you were forced to bet that money on one player other than yourself to win the Main Event, who would you bet and why? Gordon Vayo: I’d either take the obvious choice with Bax or take the price on Jerry Wong who I know will play with no fear and can easily run up his stack. PocketFives: If you knew you were going to be stranded on a deserted island for one year and could only bring three non-living things with you, what you bring and why? Gordon Vayo: According to the movies, there’s going to be an evil ex-pat somewhere on the island who hunts humans for sport, so probably a gun. But also two jet skis just in case we become best friends. PocketFives: If you win the Main Event and the $8 million, what is the first extravagant purchase you will make? Gordon Vayo: The notion of winning the Main Event is still so surreal I can’t even imagine. But we’ll be in Vegas so probably not exactly something dignified. PocketFives: If a major Hollywood movie studio were to make a movie about your life, who would you cast in the lead role? Gordon Vayo: Definitely Matt Damon so I could pretend it was Rounders 2. PocketFives: Everybody at the final table gets to choose a walk-out song. What song did you choose? What was your thought process and what were the final choices? Gordon Vayo: Haven’t fully made up my mind yet, but probably something from Run The Jewels.

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