Las Vegas, NV
Phil Ivey? Yes, Phil Ivey. Meet the newest and most popular member of the next November Nine. He needs no introduction.
Maybe there should be a re-vote for the WSOP Player of the Year? Sure Jeff Lisandro won three bracelets, but Ivey won two and faded a field of 6,494 to advance to the November Nine.
I've witnessed many feats in the last five years, but nothing matched the enthusiasm and excitement and orgasmic buzz that nearly lifted the Amazon Ballroom off the ground when Phil Ivey made it to the final ten players.
I said this on Twitter... "Ivey is like the friggin' Beatles."
The final table area was jam packed. Fans. Suits. Media. Citizen paparazzi. ESPN crew. Security guards. Tournament staff. Every single inch of space was taken up in and around the featured TV table set. I had never seen it that claustrophobic before as a mob descended upon the center of the poker universe.
The one open spot on the rail included drooling fans who stood ten deep on the rail attempting to catch a glimpse of the one and only Phil Ivey. The area above the TV table in the beef jerky lounge was so densely packed that the floor shook a bit as I squeezed by the cluster of bodies. I was worried that the makeshift lounge was overcapacity and on the verge of collapsing so I stepped back a bit. It reminded me of the eerie calm moments before a wooden grandstand buckled a Guatemalan soccer game and thousands of fans were stampeded.
Tournament poker is rather boring as a spectator sport, but Phil Ivey made every second enthralling. It was sort of like watching Michael Jordan glide down the court take off from the foul line and throw down a dunk. Ivey is Jordan, Einstein, Picasso, and Mozart all rolled into a one professional gambler.
Every single poker fan rushed to the final table from all over the convention area. The few people in offices and the hallways scattered and dashed to the TV table. Entire parts of the casino emptied out, including the Hooker Bar. Even the harlots were intrigued when whispers that Ivey advanced to the final ten. Players spilled out of the poker room,and ven the guys sweeping the floors ran down to the Amazon Ballroom with their brooms and dustpans in tow. Players playing online poker in their hotel rooms quickly left in the middle of twenty-tabling and made a bee-line downstairs. Locals jumped in their cars and sped to the Rio.
Phil Ivey was on the cusp of the final table with history about to be made and no-one wanted to miss it.
However, that frenetic energy was short-lived when Jordan Smith bubbled off the final table when his Aces were snapped off by Darvin Moon's set of eights. And in the blink of the eye, the final ten transformed into the November Nine.
2009 November Nine:Darvin Moon will retain the chiplead for the next few months until the players return to the Rio in November to play out the final table.
Seat 1: Darvin Moon - 58,930,000
Seat 2: James Akenhead - 6,800,000
Seat 3: Phil Ivey - 9,765,000
Seat 4: Kevin Schaffel - 12,390,000
Seat 5: Steven Begleiter - 29,885,000
Seat 6: Eric Buchman - 34,800,000
Seat 7: Joe Cada - 13,215,000
Seat 8: Antoine Saout - 9,500,000
Seat 9: Jeff Shulman - 19,580,000
The WSOP as we know it is finally complete... for now. See you in November.
Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at www.taopoker.com. All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.