Posts Tagged ‘November Nine’

November 2, 2012

WSOP Champ Embarks on New Poker Journey with $8.5M Win

Merson says he knows the gamble, dead ends of fast poker living

Greg Merson cried.

He stood at the poker table at center stage of the Rio’s Penn & Teller Theater, behind stacks of bundled $100 bills that simulated his first-place prize of more than $8.53 million, and let the tears flow.

At age 24, Merson, a professional poker player from Laurel, Md., was at the top of the poker world early Wednesday. He captured the Main Event of the 2012 World Series of Poker, topping a field of 6,598 players.

The final table of nine was a strenuous three-day stretch of poker that began Monday afternoon and included almost 11 straight hours of three-handed, back-and-forth, high-stakes, no-limit hold’em competition from 6 p.m. Tuesday to nearly 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Merson was supported by several hundred family members and friends, including poker standouts Phil Ivey and Jennifer Harmon, as well as text messages and tweets from his close friend, Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Michael Phelps. Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones also expressed his support for Merson via Twitter. Merson wore Jones’ orange-and-black replica jerseys during the poker competition.

More…


October 31, 2012

Instapoker

Greg Merson wins WSOP Main Event

Greg Merson wins the 2012 WSOP Main Event
Photo: WSOP.com

Greg Merson from Laurel, MD became the lastest WSOP Main Event Champion after a marathon poker session in the Penn & Teller Theater. The popular east coast grinder began 3-handed play with the chiplead, endured a few beats along the way, but eventually knocked out Jesse Sylvia to earn the title after 13 hours at the table. It was an exhausting evening for all involved but Merson and his supporters were not thinking about it as the final hand played out in the early morning.

WSOP staff changed the November Nine final day format from heads up to 3-handed play a few years ago to insure a decent amount of play on ESPN. Both were probably unprepared for an affair which started in primetime on the east coast but lasted until most other cable channels were well into infomercial time. The chiplead swapped several times throughout, bad beats happened, fortunes change. There were enthusiastic supporters (including his parents) and sleeping observers and class in the end when Merson held back his crowd until he could shake Sylvia’s hand.

Merson is the first player since Chris Ferguson in 2000 to win the WSOP Main Event after winning a bracelet earlier in the same year. He won the $10,000 NLH 6-Handed tournament just a few days before the Main Event kicked off and stayed hot through the Main. Merson picked up $8,531,853 and a pretty sweet bracelet for his efforts. This result also pushed him ahead of WSOP Europe champion Phil Hellmuth to top the 2012 WSOP Player of the Year leaderboard. Not too shabby.

1st Greg Merson – $8,531,853
2nd Jesse Sylvia – $5,295,149
3rd Jake Balsiger – $3,799,073
4th Russell Thomas – $2,851,537
5th Jeremy Ausmus – $2,155,313
6th Andras Koroknai – $1,640,902
7th Michael Esposito – $1,258,040
8th Robert Salaburu – $971,360
9th Steven Gee – $754,798

Link Dump

Tweet(s) of the Day – There were plenty of Tweets hitting the internet following the crazy long match from congrats to snark.

A Clean Getaway – Lance Bradley wrote this piece about Merson this summer about his recovery from substance abuse and his plans for the future.

Passion for poker ‘saved my life,’ Greg Merson says – Merson’s story is also being told by the mainstream media, this time by his hometown Baltimore Sun this weekend.

Greg Merson: Epic Comeback Spurs World Series of Poker Victory – Even popular, high traffic sports blogs picked up on the story. Most of them because it blasted through ESPN’s scheduled programming but this is a decent article by Bleacher Report.

WSOP 2012: Main Event Champion Greg Merson – Even though ESPN didn’t bother having a decent interview by Kara Scott, PokerNews was able to grab an interview by Kristy Arnett

Posted by at 10:00 am

September 25, 2012

Instapoker

Esfandiari wins 3rd bracelet and Lederer reactions

Ben Mahmoud
Photo: WSOP.com


Today’s Boxscore

Ben Mahmoud €147,099 – WSOPE €2,700 6-handed NLHE
Antonio Esfandiari €126,207 – WSOPE €1,100 NLH Re-entry
Ben Hamnett $818,847 – World Poker Tour Borgata Open
Jeff Gibralter $133,648 – WSOPC Bossier City Main Event
Michael Harris $245,078 – HPT Golden Gates Casino


The World Series of Poker Europe is finally underway in Cannes and it didn’t take long for the excitement to ramp up. Antonio Esfandiari had a pretty decent summer with his Big One for One Drop win for $18 Million (minus paying off backers), seven WSOP cashes including the Main Event, and one other final table. After Event #2 at the WSOPE he can now be called a 3-time WSOP bracelet winner. There were 626 registered for the 2-day No Limit Hold’em Re-entry event and The Magician was the last player standing. He picked up €126,207 for his win and now leads the WSOP Player of the Year race.

Still a week of events remaining but now Greg Merson will need to finish 4th or better at November Nine to grab 2012 Player of the Year award.

The rest of the poker world is still talking about the Lederer Interview on PokerNews (except when the degenerates are complaining of lousy NFL replacement refs) and everybody with a website has posted their opinion, reaction, and theories. Some are insightful and some are drivel and some are humorous. You can find a few of the better ones listed below.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Haralabos Voulgaris is usually commenting on the NBA or NFL but this time points out the recent WCOOP Main Event winner freerolled into the tournament after his usually game is $1.50 tournaments. Now the player has nearly $1 million to move up in stakes.

Barry Greenstein responds to Howard Lederer Interview – Greenstein is one of those on the list of players who were loaned money that wasn’t theirs, and now he pseudo-defends Phil Ivey while also hedging his comments with this beaut: “…I think that anyone who received disbursements after the company was insolvent, which was probably 18 months before Black Friday, got money that wasn’t theirs.”

PokerStars Details Plans for Full Tilt Poker Re-launch and Payment of $184 Million to Players – The title says it all, PokerStars released a statement about the FTP relaunch, who can play, and most of the real world players will have their money available at that time. The light grows at the end of the tunnel.

The Mis-Lederer Files – Shamus is a Pokerati favorite (as well as my non-Pokerati self) and he has a great take on the Lederer interview released by PokerNews, not so much the information revealed but how it was told.

Howard Lederer Confesses EVERYTHING – by @SrslySirius – It didn’t take long for a bunch of Lederer mashups to make the rounds and the latest is from SryslySiruis.

The Lederer Files Parts 5, 6, and 7 – Rini was there in the early days of FTP and has a good look at the Lederer interview. Some interesting inside information but I’m still unhappy with the glossing over of how the Phil Ivey lawsuit changed the how things played out. Plus Negreanu agrees with him so I’m required to automatically find issues with it.

Posted by at 10:56 am

August 17, 2012

Instapoker

Anthony Gregg, John Dolan, and a new Mezrich poker project

Anthony Gregg
Photo: World Poker Tour


Today’s Boxscore

Anthony Gregg $416,127 – World Poker Tour Parx Open
Ashly Butler $13,850 – $365 NLH WSOP Circuit Biloxi
John Dolan $7,580 – $365 NLH WSOP Circuit Biloxi
Ronald Givens $11,675 – $365 NLH WSOP Circuit Biloxi


Anthony Gregg is no stranger to tournament success but he finally has his first major win after capturing the WPT Parx Poker Open title in Philadelphia. Even though this is his first win, it ranks as his 2nd biggest cash behind his $1,700,000 runner-up finish in the 2009 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Gregg is a regular east coast grinder and another top notch player from the state of Maryland, continuing his great run in 2012 as the win puts him over $1,000,000 earned for the year.

500 players registered for the first WPT event held at the Parx Casino in Philadelphia and the next stop is the Legends of Poker Main Event at the Bicycle Casino on August 24th. The defending champion at Legends is Will “The Thrill” Failla, who is responsible for my favorite winner’s picture ever.

Also having a good week was 2010 November Niner John Dolan who won his first WSOP Circuit event at the IP in Biloxi, MS. It wasn’t the biggest field in the history of poker but it does put a ring on his finger and has him in the early mix for the National Championship.

Link Dump

Macau Police Raid Casinos, Hotels After Deadly Attacks – Amy Calistri reported earlier that Macau whales seem to be leaving their Asian paradise for the desert. This may be why. Murder, assault, blackmail, bribes, good times in China.

Online gamblers handed four months in prison – Just a little reminder. No matter how bad we think we have it in the States, you could be living some place like Jakarta where these guys were sentenced to 4+ months and fined Rp 7 million (that’s a whole $735 US) for gambling on Facebook. (h/t @Kevmath)

Maryland General Assembly passes legislation for Prince George’s casino – Some good news for east coast grinders and the hotbed of poker in Maryland as their General Assembly passed legislation to allow casinos, real honest-to-god table gaming casinos, within the state. It still needs to get past the voters in during the November elections.

Mezrich’s Next New Project: Online Poker – A new book about online poker from the author who brought us Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions, The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding Of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal, and other books with insanely long titles. Jess Welman looks forward to it, Haley Hintze not so much. I’m leaning Haley’s way if Mezrich’s premise is the AP/UB boys created online poker and are now being persecuted (not prosecuted) for it.


Be sure to check out our new sponsors at Face Up Gaming. Legal, subscription-based online poker with plenty of great prizes including cash, WSOP seats, and poker trips. Sign up with Bonus Code pokerati.

Posted by at 9:00 am

July 17, 2012

Instapoker

2012 November Octo-Nine, Baumann and Hille Miss Final Table

2012 WSOP Main Event Final Table
Photo: WSOP/Jay “WhoJedi” Newnum

Day 7 of the WSOP Main Event began with a lot of promise. While there was not the big time list of names in the final 27 player, there was the possiblity of two female players making into the November Octo-Nine. With 11 players remaining and both Gaelle Baumann and Elisabeth Hille still alive, it looked like one or both could make it.

Unfortunately, Hille was eliminated in 11th and a shortstacked Baumann in 10th even after a double up. Both would have made for a great story for the final table, but we are now left with doing research for a final table without the pop of past Main Events. All remaining players are deserving but we were looking at major history.

More details on the players over the next few days. Until then, here are your 2012 November Octo-Nine.

Jesse Sylvia – 43,875,000
Andras Koroknai – 29,375,000
Gerg Merson – 28,725,000
Russell Thomas – 24,800,000
Steven Gee – 16,860,000
Michael Esposito – 16,260,000
Robert Salaburu – 15,155,000
Jacob Balsiger – 13,115,000
Jeremy Ausmus – 9,805,000

Posted by at 12:18 am

November 9, 2011

Pius Heinz Wins WSOP Main Event

Heinz relishes his $8.7m victory

Pius Heinz

 

Germany’s Pius Heinz eventually wore down the Czech Republic’s Martni Staszko after over 100 hands of heads-up play to win the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event, earning a cool $8,715.638 and coveted gold and diamond bracelet. Staszko settles for runner-up money of $5,433,086 as Ben Lamb earns $4,021,138 after playing only four hands Tuesday night.

 

If you want to read about what happened Tuesday night, check out Pauly’s live blog from the Rio. Nolan Dalla also has a final table recap and a review of the 2011 WSOP chock full of information. Short-Stacked Shamus’ 15-minute delayed live blog gives a view of the action from the comfort of his home.  You can also catch a replay of the final table at ESPN3.com.

Finally, catch up on Pauly and Michalski’s Tao of Pokerati podcasts from Nov. 9 weekend here.

Posted by at 5:18 pm

November 8, 2011

And Then There Were Three Two

Lamb 3rd, Heinz v Staszko for the title

Phil Collins is no longer at the WSOP Main Event final table, but that doesn’t stop me or many others from breaking out a classic Genesis album from the 1970′s. Around 5:50pm PT tonight (8:50pm ET, 2:50pm in the UK) Pius Heinz, Ben Lamb and Martin Staszko will return to the Penn & Teller Theatre in a battle where the winner earns $8.7 million while second and third place will have to settle for $5.4 million and $4.0m respectively.

Here’s the chip counts when action kicks off again tonight with the blinds starting at 600,000/1,200,000 with an ante of 200,000:

Seat 1: Pius Heinz – 107,800,000
Seat 2: Ben Lamb – 55,400,000
Seat 3: Martin Staszko – 42,700,000

 

Hand for hand updates at PokerNews and WSOP.com. PokerNews also has a chat going off the ESPN broadcast here.

ESPN will start their 15-minutes delayed coverage at 6:00pm PT, 9:00 ET. Streaming will be available at www.watchespn.com as well as the WSOP.com site.

Some twitterers to follow tonight for live updating:

@taopauly, @oskargarcia @howardstutz @casekeefer @pokernews @jesswelman @bluffmagazine @pokerlistings @lance_bradley @eric_ramsey @donnie_peters @avpoker

Live blogging from Pauly while Shamus will be blogging a few minutes behind the coverage.

Expect Tao of Pokerati episodes throughout the night.

 

6:35pm UPDATE: Ben Lamb was eliminated on the 4th hand after Staszko doubled up on the first hand: 77 >KJ to become crippled. Lamb shoved with Q6 into Staszko’sJJ and didn’t improve to earn $4,021,138 as Staszko takes the chip lead.  Here’s what Lamb got shortly after being eliminated:

Ben Lamb gets punk'd (photo courtesy @BenbaLamb

 

6:50pm UPDATE: Heinz has dominated the early action heads-up to regain the lead with 132 million chips to Staszko’s 73 million.

7:40pm UPDATE: Staszko has gone on a rush as the blinds are now at 800,000/1,600,000/200,000 to retake the lead 110.65m – 95.25m

8:30pm UPDATE: Staszko gave up his lead, but turned up the aggression once again to hold a 113.6m – 92.3m chip lead. Heinz appears tired while Staszko has renewed confidence.

9:25pm UPDATE: The lead has now changed hands for a seventh time heads-up as Heinz wins several hands in a row to hold a 116.9m to 89m chip lead as the blinds go up to 1,000,000/2,000,000 with a 300,000 ante.

10:20 UPDATE: Now Staszko takes the lead once again as he wins several hands in a row as he now takes a commanding lead again: 146.6m to 59.3m.

11:30pm UPDATE: The poker media is getting restless as the heads-up battle rages on. Staszko had Heinz under 45m in chips, but the gap has been narrowed. Staszko leads 132.8m to 73.1m for Heinz.

12:00am UPDATE: Over 100 hands of heads-up play and not a single hand featured an all-in and call. That would change shortly after the blinds went up to 1,200,000/2,400,000 with an ante of 300,000. Heinz shoved with Ah Qh on a Ks Tc 7c flop. Staszko called with Qc 9c. The turn and river bricked out and Heinz now leads with 161.5m chips to Staszko’s 44.4m.

Posted by at 4:09 pm

November 6, 2011

Welcome to the November Nine (9)

Tao of Pokerati

So the biggest shiznit of the poker year is underway … please bear with us as some of us “old school” poker media try to find our place and purpose in covering an event that poker nuts can follow officially via WSOP.com, near-instantly on Twitter, and near-live (15 minutes, shmifteen minutes) on ESPNs 1, 2, and 3.

In the spirit of kicking things old-school, we’re going really new school … on the fly no less … and moving to SoundCloud, which we think will work in really neato ways.

November Nine – Evolution (Ep 1) by taopokerati

November Nine – Evolution (ep. 1)
Dr. Pauly and Dan are back with a new episode of Tao of Pokerati live from the Rio in Las Vegas. Dan showed up late, but watched some of the live feed at home. The WSOP coverage is evolving and the two discuss the latest nuances in poker reporting.

And of course to follow an old-school blogger with faster typing skills than mine, be sure to read actual writing from my partner in podcast crime at Tao of Poker.

Posted by at 5:01 pm

October 10, 2011

WSOP November Nine Prop Bets Approved for NV Sportsbooks

Red/black, hand counts, Gigli wagers allowed

Won’t this be extra fun when you can make these kinda wagers on your mobile phone? Oh, wait, with Leroy’s app you can, anywhere within Nevada state lines, so the army of Aliens camped out at Area 51 should have no problem betting on Ben Lamb and/or Badih Bounahra without revealing themselves to all of humankind.

Nevada Gaming just approved some new wagers for the November Nine … some of which are obv, and others that may or may not be a little more silly.

The list of approved wagers, at house odds:

  • Player to Win 2011 World Series of Poker
  • Will There Be More Red or Black Cards in the First Flop at the Final Table
  • What Will the Final Winning Hand Be
  • Will Chip Leader at Start of Final Table Win Event (Yes or No)
  • Who Will Finish in Ninth Place
  • Total Number of Hands Dealt at the Final Table
  • Posted by at 4:42 pm

    July 20, 2011

    Wynn Releases Opening November Nine Sports Book Odds

    WSOP chip leader is favorite, short stack the longshot

    wsop november nine odds

    One of the new things with this latest World Series of Poker (as significant as ESPN’s live coverage, imho) was the introduction of sports-book bets on WSOP outcomes. Think about how much effort went in to making that possible — first, changing the law such that Nevada sports books could expand their offerings to include non-athletic contests … then running specific bets through Nevada Gaming regulators … all so non-Caesars casinos could spread action on the WSOP? That’s not exactly the kinda thing done on a whim … especially when the introduction of “live” TV coverage adds a whole new element of necessary oversight for GCB enforcement.

    The Wynn seems to be wanting to take the lead on spreading such non-athletic “exotics”, with Race and Sports Book Director Johnny Avello establishing himself as the go-to guru for entertainment-based wagers — having set for-entertainment-only odds (with remarkable accuracy) for the Oscars, beauty pageants, Dancing with the Stars … even fashion at the British Royal Wedding, and the breed of dog to win the Westminster Dog Show.

    Read below for more official word on Wynn Las Vegas/Encore’s WSOP offerings:

    More…

    Posted by at 6:00 pm

    2011 WSOP November Nine

    Model UN edition?

    2011 wsop november nine
    Poker at its sexiest: The November Nine is (L to R) Badih Bounahra, Phil Collins, Matt Giannetti, Pius Heinz, Samuel Holden, Ben Lamb, Anton Makiievskyi, Eoghan O’Dea, and Martin Staszko.

    I knew one of their names to start … think maybe I had previously heard of a second … and over the last few days got to know (as characters) about three more. It apparently looks to be another one of those “skill” tables in November. Should be interesting to see how they set the lines at Wynn or anywhere else offering newly legalized November Nine sports book bets.

    Dramatis Personae:

    Martin Staszko 40,175,000
    Eoghan O’Dea 33,925,000
    Matt Giannetti 24,750,000
    Phil Collins 23,875,000
    Ben Lamb 20,875,000
    Badih Bounahra 19,700,000
    Pius Heinz 16,425,000
    Anton Makievskyi 13,825,000
    Samuel Holden 12,375,000

    The line-up consists of six kids and an “old guy” (at age 49) … two Vegas pros and the Irish son of a Paddy Poker legend … a colorful Ukrainian, the Richard Lee of Belize (hat-wise), the pride and joy of the Czech Republic, an apparently hard-to-crack German, an Italian-sounding Longhorn who got his schooling in Austin, TX … The group is so diverse that you can mix-mash any combo of them and string together various descriptors to show their global reach with ease … all that from a group that’s virtually all white and unemployed with bad posture.

    Poker really is amazing.

    Here’s the WSOP report from yesterday’s close of business.

    And below are more official details, with a beginner’s breakdown of the nine names you’re supposed to memorize and the prizepool they all return to fight for.

    More…

    Posted by at 10:46 am

    July 17, 2011

    Nevada Approves November Nine Sportsbook Wagers

    Exacta combos promise big payouts

    The fully licensed and regulated prop bets available in Nevada sports books for the November Nine are out. And this go-round seems much more sensible than their pilot WSOP wager offerings.

    Punters here will now legally be able to bet on:

    The Winner
    Top Two Finishers

    Click here to read official notice of the newly allowed wagers. I’m guessing it didn’t look good for the WSOP to be championing monster prop bets that existed in a “gray area” of Nevada Gaming regulations? Or they were simply pissed that so many of these wagers were going to Bodog? Or they wanted to provide November Niners an ability to hedge their bets. But unlike the case with Pete Rose, it doesn’t necessarily seem like in poker, that betting on one of your opponents will automatically keep you out of the Hall of Fame.

    Posted by at 2:41 am

    July 12, 2011

    Approved: World Series of Propositions

    Nevada regulators allow sports book action on WSOP results

    Maybe this is old news and the press release is buried somewhere in the slush pile … but it seems the WSOP has found a way to allow even more gambling, officially, on World Series tournaments. Last week the Nevada Gaming Control Board approved five separate, specific prop bets related to the WSOP. That means now any sports book in Nevada can set their own lines and take action on:

    • Players from one of two groups of 13 to last longest
    • Will at least one player from a box of 3 make the money
    • Will a woman finish in the top 40
    • Will at least one of a group of 7 men last longer than all women
    • Age of the winner

    Kinda a strange bunch of props imho … but hey, they do seem to support Rule #2 of Poker Life, which is, of course, “Never Stop Gambling.”

    Should be interesting to see what kinda action Caesars wants to wrap around these newly approved fully legal prop bets … and what additional props show up in future lines.

    All this became possible, btw, in January of this year, when Nevada Gaming approved and adopted amendments to Regulation 22, allowing the state’s casinos to offer wagers on events other than just horse races, greyhound races, and athletic events. So now, you can bet in Nevada on the outcome of non-sporting events such as The Academy Awards or American Idol … or whether or not one man out of a group of seven can outlast all women in a $1,500 no-limit hold’em tournament.

    UPDATE: @OskarGarcia was all over this one last week, and noted that the Wynn became the first ever Nevada casino to offer non-sporting bets in their sports book with the above wager options on the WSOP. He also talks to a regulator who says this new practice should have big implications for betting on the November Nine.

    Posted by at 2:56 pm

    March 9, 2011

    Darvin Moon Signed

    Sponsor-resistant November Niner selling out to Heartland Poker Tour?

    Darvin Moon stood out among the ’09 November Nine not for the play that got him 2nd place (and $5.2 million) … but because he stood alone. The logger who had never been on a “big airplane” before the WSOP refused to accept upwards of a half million dollars to simply wear a patch for the likes of Full Tilt, PokerStars, or anyone else … because, basically he didn’t wanna be anyone’s bitch. (I’m paraphrasing, of course.)

    But soon to be announced and official, the hapless poker multimillionaire from western Maryland has apparently caved — signing a deal with the Heartland Poker Tour to serve as their “ambassador” and wear HPT gear in all tourneys, including the WSOP.

    This comes from a plenty reliable source; however, said source would not confirm (nor deny!) that Darvin Moon is near-broke and thus rethinking his aversion to wearing poker-related patches … but did confirm that no poker agents were involved in signing the agreement.

    Moon, of course, was the unsignable runner-up at the 2009 WSOP … making him pretty much the opposite of Dennis Phillips, and the only November Niner ever not to be patched up at the main event final table. He also snubbed the WSOP this past November by turning down repeated invitations to be part of 2010 November Nine festivities in Las Vegas, opting instead to play a $1k HPT event at the Meskwaki Casino Bingo Hotel in Tama, Iowa.

    One of my favorite fights with Katkin is on the value of Darvin Moon as a sponsored player. I dig the dude as a character … and consider him good for … nay, great extra=solid for poker — while Katkin (clearly stuck in his ’06-’07ish glory-days poker-world mindset) I think believes his donk play and non-pro, non-online nature make him the wrong guy for the WSOP to celebrate in their commercials. To which I say … hater.

    Posted by at 8:11 pm

    February 8, 2011

    November Nine Reunion Underway at Foxwoods

    Greetings, Pokerati faithful. I’m coming to you live from Foxwoods somewhere deep in the Connecticut wilderness. Today’s reunion of all nine members of the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event final table is the first of its kind in modern times. For the first time since the inception of the November Nine, the entire group has gotten together to play in the same event, along with 18 very lucky Foxwoods winners.

    They’re playing a $15,000 freeroll, and its been rumored that there might be quite a bit more on the line for the November Niners. In order to keep things interesting and competitive, there are last longer bets and a few other interesting props that I’ll try to keep track of.

    The tournament just got underway, and with 30 minute levels and a 10k starting stack, this freeroll looks like it will take quite some time.

    Stay tuned for a couple of updates throughout the day here, as well as a comprehensive post of the Tuesday’s events coming up. To keep up to date with the action, as well as watch a live stream featuring Joseph Cheong, Michael Mizrachi, Matt Jarvis and Lon McEachern, head on over to Foxwoods Live.

    Posted by at 12:04 pm