The day of reckoning. Well, almost. It was the day before the day before the day of reckoning. A $7.6 million pay day loomed.
This year's WSOP Main Event Final Table was spread out over three days. The opening day of action at the November Nine saw the final table get trimmed from nine to six, while chip leader Joe McKeehen's monster stack got even more monstrous.
This year's November Niners did not waste any time to rumble after the 2014 champion Martin Jacobson uttered the words, “Shuffle up and deal!”
PATRICK CHAN OUT IN 9TH
On the second hand, Patrick Chan became the first player to bust at the final table when the short stack got squashed by a big stack. Joe McKeehen shoved and Patrick Chan called from the small blind. Chan trailed with K-Q versus McKeehen's A-4, but could not come from behind to stave off elimination. Brooklyn's Chan won $1,001,020 for ninth place.
I know… it's rough to wait four months to go out on the second hand, but as they say in Gambler's Anonymous meetings, “That's poker.”
FEDERICO BUTTERONI DUNZO IN 8TH
The second bustout occurred on the 35th hand. Italy wept.
The crowd thought short-stacked Federico Butteroni would have attempted to double up earlier, but he patiently waited until he found A-J. Unfortunately, the Italian ran into McKeehen's Big Slick. Butteroni could not keep the dream going and he busted out in 8th place.
Federico Butteroni is still an Italian hero and will be sainted by the Pope sometime next year.
WORLD SERIES OF VALIUM
The final table progressed at a rather slow pace. Snail-like. Plodding. Slogging. Like watching one of Terrence Malick experimental films while zonked on Valium. But hey, that's tournament poker. Like Texas Dolly said… “It's 99% boredom and 1% sheer terror.”
Zvi Stern was criticized for his slow play, but with millions on the line he was being methodical and precise in his decisions. The only warning WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel gave Stern was about blowing vape smoke too close to the tables.
Note to self… vaping is bad, but tanking is kosher.
PIERRE NEUVILLE BIDS ADIEU IN 7TH
Pierre Neuville could never get anything going. His stack kept getting shorter and slimmer as the night grew on. The Belgian former toy maker eventually made a final stand on the 72nd hand of the final table with Ac-Jc, but he was run down by Joe McKeehen's Jh-6h. McKeehen missed the flop, but turned a flush draw and promptly got there. Alas, Neuville got ambushed on the river by running hearts.
At 72-years young, Pierre Neuville failed in his quest to become the oldest player to win the world championship. Belgium's Pierre Neuville busted in seventh place and he won $1,203,293.
Play was suspended with six to go. McKeehen had almost as many chips as the other five players combined. Talk about fire power. Only five more players stand between him and $7.6 million.
2015 NOVEMBER NINE PAYOUTS
7. Pierre Neuville (Belgium) $1,203,193
8. Federico Butteroni (Italy) $1,097,009
9. Patrick Chan (Brooklyn) $1,001,020
NOVEMBER NINE CHIP COUNTS
The November Nine will be televised on ESPN2 starting Monday night at 8pm ET or 5pm PT. It will be broadcast with hole cards, but on a 30-minute delay. If you live outside of the USA, here's the overseas viewing information for international coverage of the November Nine.