WSOP 2009 Update – Main Event


This brings our updates up to the big one – the 2009 WSOP Main Event. I’ve been checking all of my favorite poker sites such at and like a dope fiend trying to keep up every day. The main event started with 6,494 players from 115 countries (there would have been more but Harrah’s turned away several hundred that waited until the last second to play). Every player had the dream of being the next Main Event champion but looking out over all those table and seeing the throngs of opponents had to be cause for a reality check.



Several big name players did not make it past their first day including Daniel Negreanu (at least he as under the weather). However, a couple of big name pros made it to the final day with one of them making the November nine. Antonio Esfandiari started the final day with over 4,000,000 in chips but the magic left him when he was knocked out in 24th place taking home $352,832. Just who could the other big name player be?? How about the one that most top pros consider to be the best poker player in the world right now – Mr. Phil Ivey. Ivey has already won 2 bracelets this year and has played like a man on a mission. Even though he will start out 7th in chips, he is still thought to be the favorite when the cards go in the air in November.


The player eliminated on the final table bubble was knocked out in dramatic fashion. After Darvin Moon called a preflop raise from the button, Jordan Smith re-raised to 2,600,00 and Moon called. The two players saw a flop of 8c 4d 2d. Smith checked and Moon bet 4,000,000. Smith shoved all-in and Moon made a snap call showing a set of eights. Smith had pocket aces and was not able to improve on the turn or river. Ouch, what a way to go!


Here are your November Nine along with their chip counts for 2009:


Seat 1: Darvin Moon – 58,930,000

Seat 2: James Akenhead – 6,800,000 (qualified through PokerStars)

Seat 3: Phil Ivey – 9,765,000

Seat 4: Kevin Schaffel – 12,390,000 (Pokerstars sponsored player)

Seat 5: Steven Begleiter – 29,885,000

Seat 6: Eric Buchman – 34,800,000

Seat 7: Joseph Cada – 13,215,000

Seat 8: Antoine Saout – 9,500,000

Seat 9: Jeff Shulman – 19,580,000


Here are some interesting facts about each player:


Darvin Moon is a 45 year old self employed logger from Maryland. He admits that the deck ran him over for the duration of the Main Event.


James Akenhead is a former train driver that has been compared to a young Stu Ungar.


Phil Ivey needs no introduction to poker players. Ivey has 7 WSOP bracelets including 2 this year. He was the youngest player to ever win 5 bracelets. Ivey has 4 top 25 finishes in the Main Event.


Kevin Schaffel is a father of 2 that recently lost his job. His winnings will come in handy right about now.


Steven Begleiter is a 47 year old who won his entry at a local poker league in New York. He will give 20% of his winnings to the other members of his league. Perhaps the most interesting thing about Steven is he is a follower of The Gamblers Edge on Twitter. Thanks Steven! You can follow us too…


Eric Buchman has 9 prior cashes at this year’s World Series of Poker including a 6th place finish at the Omaha – 7 card Stud – Hi-Lo event.


Joseph Cada is a 21 year old professional poker player. Joseph would be the youngest player ever to win the Main Event. That would move Phil Hellmuth down to 3rd on that list.


Antoine Saout was an aspiring engineer before turning pro last year. Antoine earns a $1 Million bonus from Everest Poker to be split among 51 other qualifiers for making the final table.


Jeff Shulman is the editor of CardPlayer magazine. This is his second final table at a Main Event. Jeff was knocked out in 2000 by the eventual winner – Chris “Jesus” Ferguson.


Now we know a little about each of the November Nine. All that remains to be seen is just how will Ivey knock the rest of them out and take home the most coveted championship in poker. This would be a defining moment in one of the best players storied careers.



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Tags: 2009 november 9, Antoine Saout, Darvin Moon, Eric Buchman, James Akenhead, Jeff Shulman, Joseph Cada, Kevin Schaffel, Phil Ivey, Steven Begleiter, wsop 2009 main event, wsop 2009 november nine

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