The final table of the WSOP Main Event for 2013, otherwise known as the November Nine, is perhaps the most accomplished, talented final table since the delayed broadcast format began in 2008.
Nine players from varied backgrounds, (and representing five different countries), will take to the felt on November 4th to try their hand, and hands, at scoring the $8.35 million first place prize money.
Here are the players, in order of…well how I remember them.
With years of tournament experience and a healthy chip stack (the healthiest in fact), Tran is the odds on favorite to win the bracelet. In fact, you can’t help but wonder if anything less than becoming world champion would be a bitter disappointment for the native of Vietnam.
This native-born Israeli has 29.7 million in chip. In addition to becoming the first Israeli to make the WSOP November Nine, he also has the distinction of being the oldest player at this year’s final table – at the ripe old age of….38.
Lehavot, born near Tel Aviv but now living in Weston, Florida, is one of the more experienced live tournament players at the table, having won over $2.2 million in tournament winnings over his career. This figure includes the guaranteed $733,000 he’ll win if he busts out in ninth place.
Other than WSOP November Nine member JC Tran, Lehavot is the only other bracelet winner at the final table, having won his gold bracelet in the $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em event, good for $573,000.
It was part of an epic 2011, in which he reached a poker milestone, having won over $1 million in tournaments during that calendar year. Early that year, in February, Lehavot had made the final table of the WPT’s L.A. Poker Classic, taking home $421,000 for this 4th place finish.
Lehavot is married and has one child. In the 2009 WSOP Main Event, he finished 226th, marking his best finish in the “Big One” until this year.
A 28 year from Quebec, Marc McLaughlin hopes to become the second French-Canadian to win the WSOP Main Event, after Jonathan Duhamel claimed the 2010 bracelet.
A little known player, McLaughlin actually has one of the more impressive recent WSOP Main event resumes. In the past 4 years, he has finished in the final 100 players three times (including this year). In 2009, he finished 30th, and in 2011, he finished 86th. This year, of course, he’s guaranteed a 9th place finishing, marking this 4 year run as one of the most unheralded in recent memory.
Seated in the nine seat holding on to 25.9 million chips, Jay Farber is one of the most interesting of this year’s final table members.
Who else would have a raucous rail birding crowd that included strippers?
On his Twitter account, he describes himself as a “VIP Host, Poker Player,” and “degenerate gambler” amongst other titles.
The 28 year old Pennsylvania native loves his Las Vegas clubbing and restaurant scene. He’s sponsored by the poker site, 888 Poker, but his regular job is that of a VIP host, hence the stripper support for him as the final two tables got down to one.
Farber was born and raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and studied business at University of California at Santa Barbara. After graduation, he migrated to Sin City, where some friends in the entertainment business helped break him into the
lucrative world of the Las Vegas VIP host.
As the only Las Vegas resident in the November Nine, look for Jay Farber to have a pretty good (and loud) crowd rooting for him this November.
The 4 seat will be occupied by the November Niner with the all-time best nickname, “Riess the Beast.”
Ryan Riess is the youngest player at the final table, at just 23 years of age. The Michigan State graduate worked at a card room in East Lansing until finishing second at a World Series of Poker Circuit event at the Horseshoe in Hammond, Indiana. He collected $239,000 for that second place finish back in October of 2012.
Since then, “the beast” has been traveling the WSOP Circuit Event rounds, along with playing a hearty rotation of WSOP events this past June. And while he has several WSOP Circuit cashes and high finishes to his name, his paycheck this November will far surpass his career winnings to date.
In 6th place, with 19.6 million in chips, Sylvain Loosli has one of the least impressive poker tournament resumes of the November Nine. Yet Loosli, who was born in Toulon, France, is said to be a regular in some high stakes games in Europe, according to his biography posted at WSOP.com.
Incredibly, Loosli claims he’s only been playing poker for seven years. If he were able to wade through the minefield of JC Tran, David Benefield and the others, Loosli would become the first Frenchman to take down the WSOP Main Event.
Move over Marcel Luske – now there’s another Dutchman making noise at the WSOP: Michiel Brummelhuis.
Luske, as you may recall, helped put Dutch poker on the map with deep back-to-back runs in the Main Event in 2003 and 2004, and his bubbly personality and upside down sunglasses routine earned him a lot of airtime. But because he bubbled the final table in 2004, (the year Greg Raymer took home the championship), he’s enabled Michiel Brummelhuis to claim the title of “First Player from The Netherlands to Make the WSOP Final Table.”
The Amsterdam native in the 2 seat starts off play with 11.2 million in chips – good for seventh place. If there weren’t already enough on his plate for this fall, his first child is scheduled to be born in September.
Mark Newhouse, more famously known as Newhizzle online, is an online poker legend, and not just because of his play.
For being a young man of only 28, Newhizzle has been involved in a lot of poker drama, including relationship issues with the infamous “Brandi” who, along with a Captain Tom and Neverwin, otherwise known as Dustin Woolf, became the kings and queens of the poker gossip world during the height of the poker boom. I won’t cover all of the tawdry details, but you can Google the names involved for some interesting (and sad) reading.
In 2009, Newhouse won the biggest regular online poker tournament, the “Sunday Million” on Pokerstars.com, taking home over $245,000 for the win.
Even more impressive, Mark won the 2006 WPT event at the Borgata, good for over $1 million dollars. Newhouse later told PokerNews.com that we went a little crazy with the money, making some poor decisions at the Commerce. We don’t know if that was due to pit games or playing wild, but it seems Newhouse has learned from his mistakes.
Today, it’s said that for the past year, Newhouse has literally lived at the Commerce Casino, playing 50/100 No-Limit Hold’em.
Known online as “Rapor517”, David Benefield is one of the 2013 WSOP November Nine’s most successful players.
The online poker legend was one of the early high stakes stars back in the day, and he claims to have over $8 million in winnings.
After what appears to be some poker burnout, Benefield enrolled in Columbia University and is a partner in a Texas-based green energy company.