The November Nine at the World Series of Poker is set, and it is a year for youth to prevail. I am one of the strongest believers in experience when it comes to poker, but this year the oldest player in the November Nine is 36, with none of the others even having reached 30 yet.
Below is a breakdown of the November Nine, along with my personal predictions for the outcome.
In Seat 1, we have Jason Sentl, a professional poker player from Minnesota. At 25, he is one of the senior citizens at the table. He starts with 7,625,000 chips, and a slim to none chance of winning it all. In fact, since he is in last place in chips, chances are he will look for a spot to shove all in within the first hour, and be gone pretty quickly.
Seat 2 is reserved for Joseph Cheong, a 24 year old poker pro from California. Cheong has a WSOP circuit victory under his belt already, so he is a proven winner. With 23,525,000 chips to start with, he will be a factor, and should be considered a threat to win it all.
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In Seat 3 we have John Dolan, a 24 year old poker pro from Bonita Springs, FL. Dolan has six WSOP cashes already, including three this year, so he is used to making the money. He has also been among the leaders in this tournament since day one, and he starts out with 46,250,000 chips. While that is normally a big number, it is actually second this year. It is still strong enough though that you must consider him a strong candidate for winning the bracelet this year.
Seat 4 is reserved for Jonathan Duhamel, a 22 year old poker professional from Quebec. No, in the interest of full disclosure, I have never found Canadians to be great poker players. I know, people can cite Daniel Negreanu all they want, but for the most part Canadians play a brand of poker that doesn’t equate well to tournament play. That being said, Duhamel has 65,975,000, and could call the all in of any player, lose, and still have a monster chip stack. With that sort of confidence backing him up, you would be hard pressed to convince me that he won’t go on and win the main event in November.
Seat 5 will be utilized by Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi. Although he sits down in November with 14,450,000 chips, I still put him in the category of “Player to Be Most Feared”. He is a terrific poker player, and an all around great guy. He has 19 WSOP money finishes, one WSOP bracelet, and two World Poker Tour championships under his belt, with over $8 million in lifetime tournament winnings. He is also a much feared cash game player. In recent times The Grinder has had some much publicized financial problems, but with 5 cashes in this year’s WSOP, including now his fourth final table, I think his problems have been eliminated. Just two days ago he was down to near the bottom of the remaining players, and looked to be on the ropes, but fought his way back to play in November. If there is one name for you to remember, make it Michael Mizrachi. One double up early and he will take down this field of kids and win the title of World Champion.
In seat 6 we have another Canadian (so, another player I won’t pick to win it all), in Matthew Jarvis; a 25 year old poker pro from Surry, British Columbia. Jarvis has zero big game experience, and 16,700,000 chips, and wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he is the first to bust out in November.
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In the year of Florida at the WSOP, John Racener, a 24 year old poker pro from Port Richey, FL takes seat 7. John is a well known player in the WSOP circuit events, with one Main Event win at Harrah’s Atlantic City in 2007. He doesn’t have many chips, but must still be considered a factor given his experience.
Seat 8 goes to the only European player in the final nine; 26 year old Filippo Candio, from Italy. He is now the first Italian player ever to reach the final table in the Main Event. Candio is well known on the WSOP Europe circuit, and has cashed many times there.
And finally, in seat 9, we have Cuong Nguyen, a 37 year old amateur player from Santa Ana, California. Nguyen is the elder statesman at the table this year, but comes to the table with only 9,650,000 chips, and absolutely zero chance of winning the bracelet. I’vewatched his chip stack the last few days though, and I can assure you that he is not the kind of player to shove it all in with 6-8 offsuit. At least three other players will probably bust out before he does.
Look for the November Nine to resume the tournament on November 6, 2010, where they will play that first day until there are only two players left. The final two will then return two days later to play for all the marbles. Ninth place is guaranteed $811,823; while the winner will receive $8,944,138.