Sunday, November 06, 2011

2011 WSOP November Nine - Sunday Live Blog

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

Photo courtesy of Flipchip

For a seventh year in a row, I'm covering the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event Championship. I'm fortunate to have witnessed the last final table inside Benny's Bullpen inside historic Binion's in 2005 when Joe Hachem got the sugar passed his way amidst an omnipresent chant of "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oy! Oy! Oy!" Since then, I caught final tables played out inside the Amazon Ballroom and had ringside seats during the apex of the poker boom when Jamie Gold and Jerry Yang respectively won their championships. I have also been in the orchestra pit for each incarnation of the November Nine, and watched 20-something baby-faced wunderkinds -- Peter Eastgate, Joe Cada, and Jon Duhamel -- slip the winner's bracelet around their wrist and hug a mountain of cash.

Now you can add this year's November Nine to my resume. Technology is improving, demand is vacillating, and the world's financial system is in ruins. Who knows if the November Nine will continue to exist (check out Change100's stellar article on that very subject -- The Last November Nine?), or if the WSOP Main Event reverts back to how it used to be played out -- from start to finish -- without any layoffs. Call me a purist, but that's how the Main Event should be played out. I never liked the concept of the November Nine because it weakened the integrity of the Main Event. Big Business entities determined that the most prestigious poker tournament of the year should be a made-for-TV event like the Oscars or Presidential elections. But as far as fabricated events go -- the November Nine is still one of the best spectacles you'll ever see.

The lines between sports and entertainment have always been blurred since the inception of televised poker. But something happened this summer during the Main Event that revolutionized poker coverage -- the live feed. It became insanely popular so the same concept has been added to the November Nine (with only a 15-minute delay and ALL hole cards instead of a 30-minute delay and hole cards past the flop). For the first time, the WSOP Main Event felt like a real sport because it was being covered like one on ESPN and ESPN2.

Generally speaking, Americans want their entertainment and art spoon fed to them. Best example is the popularity of the juvenile Jersey Shore, or why Michael Bay makes gajillion-dollar mind-numbing blockbusters (I admit, I like seeing shit get blown up) and Woody Allen has been banished to Europe to do his artsy-fartsy existential films.

TV programs are only in existence to sell shit. Just look back to the first "soap operas" that dominated the airwaves after the introduction to the TV. Dramatic stories with tepid acting were only created to sell... soap. Fifty years later, the same concept applied to the poker industry. Televised poker was created to sell online poker, masked as the grandiose American Dream. Alas, Black Friday squashed the lucrative televised poker market. Without PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker fighting for the hearts and minds of online poker junkies, a vacuum was created. Even though Ty Stewart is a masterful salesmen, he's really been the only one to persuade non-gambling companies to join the WSOP as a major advertising partner. The bottom line is that most Fortune 500 companies don't care about poker, otherwise all of the November Niners would look like NASCAR drivers with ads peppering their entire accouterments.

Without the proverbial carrot stick in front of the donkey cart, it's been hard to sell "packaged" poker programs to the masses. But, rabid poker fans love everything that has to do with poker. They'll flock anywhere to get their poker fix. The ratings during the live stream of the Main Event proved that watching poker "now" (even though it's on a delayed feed to protect the integrity of the game) is a profitable product. Let's put it this way, if it wasn't, there's no way ESPN would dedicate an entire Sunday during football season to a poker tournament. Yet, that's what happened. If the live feed continues to be a smashing and profitable success, the November Nine's future is in jeopardy. Alas, the future of the November Nine will come down to the fate of so many projects in Hollywood -- ratings.

I will be tweeting from inside the Penn and Teller Theatre at @taopauly. I will be also be providing some updates here on Tao of Poker and if/when Michalski shows up, we'll record episodes of Tao of Pokerati podcast. I gotta be honest -- the November Nine scheduled on a Sunday is utter torture for a sports bettor and NFL fan like myself. It will be hard to focus on the final table while NFL games are in action. I can't promise I'll stay inside the Penn and Teller Theatre. It won't be surprising if you find me walking back and forth between the press box and the sports book. Besides, between Twitter and ESPN2, there's really no reason for me to add to the static and regurgitate information you already know about. But on a good note, that will allow me to float around and dig up the juicy dirt behind the scenes, in the hallways, and in the farthest corners of the Penn and Teller Theatre.

But the November Nine is always a wild ride so stay tuned for the hijinks. We're playing from 9 players to 3 tonight.

You can watch the final table on ESPN2 this afternoon on a 15-minute delay. You can stream it online on ESPN3 and if you live outside America, you'll find options at

* * *

9:45am... "It was a gloomy day."

It was a gloomy day as I gazed out the window of my hotel. The washed put grey skies covered the Las Vegas valley with a faint outline of the mountains in the distance. Sunday morning. Most God-fearing citizens were sitting in church, while sports fanatics were settling in for a long Sunday grind. I dressed quietly as to not wake up my girlfriend. I walked into the hallway and got dizzy at the erratic patterns on the carpet -- something like MC Escher and Kandinsky on mescaline. Three old ladies lumbered down the hallway. I squeezed by and sniffed a familiar aroma. Someone on my floor was waking n' baking. I was jealous. Even one of the old ladies made a crack about the "ciggaweed."

* * *

9:55am... Mayhem at the Book

The fucking elevator stopped at every floor. I got antsy. I needed to get to the sports book ASAP. Note to self... never go to a sports book ten minutes before kickoff. It was a zoo at the Gold Coast with four lines of disheveled gamblers in football jerseys at least fifty deep on each line. I popped down to see if any lines moved in my favor. The GC had the SF Niners at -5.5. I got it in at -4 at the Palms the night before. I also liked Kansas City against the hapless Miami Dolphins.

* * *

10:20am... The Hallway

The hallway connecting the Rio's gaming floor to the convention center was semi-crowded. Unlike previous years, I didn't see a vast array of costumes from contingency of fans related to the November Niners. In 2008, Dennis Phillip clones were everywhere it seemed and it felt like I was in a bizarre Charlie Kaufman film with beer-guzzling Midwesterners in red St. Louis Cardinals hats and white dress shirts. In 2009, it was yellow fever in the hallways with all of Joe Cada's crew decked out in yellow U of Michigan shirts. Last year, the French Canadians made their presence known by supporting Jon Duhamel with red Montreal Canadiens hockey sweaters.

This year is a little subdued. I ran into a small group of rowdy folks from Belize wearing all black with hats sporting the colors of the Belize flag. I've never been to Belize, but I hear it's lovely this time of year. Why the hell would anyone leave paradise to fly into dreary Vegas? Nationalistic pride. That's why. Belize is not what you call a heavy hitter on the international sporting scene, but the group of supporters are here to cheer on their native son -- Badih Bounahra. His nickname is "Bob" if you don't know. If he wins the Main Event, he'll become the next king of Belize.

* * *

10:30... The Calm

I snuck into the Penn and Teller a little early. Only Mickey and Julio were among my fellow media reps already inside. The theatre was quiet with production people dressed in black scrambling across the main stage. One guy was mopping an area for fifteen minutes. The "Mothership" that was parked inside the Amazon Ballroom appear on stage --well at least half of the saucer, which was arranged in a semi-circle.

Lance Bradley, my editor of Bluff walked inside and showed me a sports betting ticket -- the lines have moved. The chip leader Martin Staszko from the Czech Republic went from 4-1 to 8-1 at the Rio sportsbook. Wow, talk about a huge adjustment in the lines. It's safe to assume that very little money was placed on Staszko in Vegas. The bookies here are sweating hard. So, it made sense to run down to the sportsbook and drop a c-note on Martin Staszko, right?

* * *

11:15am... Gates Open

The crowd was allowed inside and the theatre quickly filled up with late-arriving media and supporters of the November Nine. A mixture of thunderous hiphop and selections personally picked by November Niners blasted on the sound system. The first wave of chanting started from the Belize crew. "Bob! Bob! Bob!" echoed inside. The green-shirt people filtered inside -- both Eoghan O'Dea and Ben Lamb's crew wore green t-shirts. Kinda tough to distinguish the two from afar. But up close, you can tell the Irish by their thick brogues and the rapid pace of their booze consumption. I know it's not even noon in Vegas, but there's already a bunch of sloppy drunks keeping things interesting.

The scantily clad girls with t-shirt guns made the rounds. The crowd soaked it up like starving pigeons. I had to look up every few seconds whenever I heard the "POP!" to make sure I wasn't pelted by a rolled-up schwag t-shirt.

* * *

11:30am... Updated Odds

I rushed over to the Rio's sportsbook. Here's the current odds...
Staszko 7/1
Odea 5/1
Giannetti 9/5
P Collins 3/1
Lamb 4/1
Heinz 7/2
Bounahra 6/1
Makievskyi 15/1
Holden 25/1
I think every citizen of Belize flew into Vegas to bet on Bob. His line dropped from 12/1 to 6/1. O'Dea shot up to 5/1 and I put down another bet on him. My McCatholic Irish-side of the family would be proud I'm backing Ireland's native son. Can he become the second ever player to win the Big One? Noel Furlong was the other. Andy Black came close in 2005. Ah, I miss my friends in the Irish press corp -- Tom Murphy and Mike Lacey -- they know how to cover a poker tournament -- with a bevy of f-bombs and pounding nonstop Coronas.

* * *

11:46am... Unleash the Freaks

One of Ben Lamb's crew is dressed up like... a lamb.

"In the Air Tonight" is now playing and the Mothership's lights are sparkling as the November Niners make their way through the tunnel. A rowdy applause was unleashed from the entire crowd. Dissonant shouting, cheering. Hard to make out exactly what is going on. Phil Collins crowd is singing along to Phildo's anthem.

* * *

12:20pm... Players Seated

Player introductions already happened. The circus is almost underway. We've gone through the arduous process of setting up everything. At this point, we're waiting for TD Jack Effel to officially kick everything off. Shuffle up and deal honors go to Norman Chad. as JC Alvarado mentioned to me on Twitter, he thinks Bruce Buffer isn't doing the honors because no more Full Tilt.
November Nine - Seating Assignments and Chip Counts:
Seat 1: Matt Giannetti (USA) - 24,750,000
Seat 2: Badih “Bob” Bounahra (Belize) - 19,700,000
Seat 3: Eoghan O'Dea (Ireland) - 33,925,000
Seat 4: Phil Collins (USA) - 23,875,000
Seat 5: Anton Makiievskyi (Ukraine) - 13,825,000
Seat 6: Sam Holden (U.K.) - 12,375,000
Seat 7: Pius Heinz (Germany) - 16,425,000
Seat 8: Ben Lamb (USA) - 20,875,000
Seat 9: Martin Staszko (Czech Republic) - 40,175,000

* * *

12:25pm... Phil Collins Wins First Pot

Collins won the first pot. One of Lamb's crew yelled "Get in the hole!" I love random shit like that blurted out, especially Caddyshack quotes. Collins crew busted into "I can feel it coming in the air tonight."

The crowd is rowdy, boisterous, and energetic. I wonder if they can keep up the frenzied pace? If you got extra Adderall on you to sell, you can make a killing slinging pharmaceutical grade speed in the hallways on the break.

* * *

12:30pm... Fear the Fro

Sam Holden's mates brought curly wigs. They're binge drinking and sitting right behind the Irish contingency. Wonder if the Brits and Irish will rumble? We haven't seen a brawl at the November Nine... yet. Sometimes the Penn and Teller Theatre resembles a European football stadium, so you wonder if any of the hooligan-type bravado takes over and two groups rumble in the aisles. Luckily the seats in the theatre are nailed down. If you have a significant amount of inebriated people around folding chairs, there's a high percentage than one irate drunk will hurl a chair during a fit on ire.

* * *

12:50pm... Back to the Sportsbook

My bet on KC shit the bed. I doubled down on Green Bay. I headed to the sportsbook. All eyes were fixated on the NFL games. One screen in the far left corner aired the November Nine. I noticed a bunch of Matt Gianetti supporters sweating games. They are hard to miss with their black bio hazard shirts.

By the way, I stopped by the bar inside the theatre on my way back inside and did a head count -- 90% of patrons waiting in line for drinks were Phil Collins supporters.

* * *

1:01pm... First Break; Lamb and O'Dea Up Tick

We're on the first TV break of the day. Ben Lamb and Eoghan O'Dea chipped up after the first spurt of play. Staszko still holds the lead with over 40M, but O'Dea inched a little closer and now has around 38M. Ben Lamb passed the 20M mark. Short stacks are Sam Holden and Puis Heinz with around 12M each.

* * *

1:20pm... "Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh"

Happy 4:20 to my East Coast readers. The strange dichotomy of the November Nine -- the organizers want it to be a festive atmosphere like a football game, but when play is developing on the stage, they want the crowd to be as quiet as a library. TD Jack Effel had to shush the crowd on several occasions -- mostly Phil Collins' crew. And yes, they've been drinking since.... last week. They retaliated with a few "Shhhhhs" of their own, which get blurted out at random times.

One of the cool features inside the theatre is a big screen on the right side that shows the flop cam and running chip counts, which update during the hand. You always know who has what -- which is a clever innovation. There's three of those screens against the stage so the folks in the front rows can also see chip counts.

* * *

1:43pm... Rumba Shakers

Martin Staszko attempted to pass the 50M mark, before he dropped a pot to Belize Bob. His friends from Belize went berserk when he shipped the pot. They are by far the loudest group inside -- mainly because of the rumba shakers that someone is rattling whenever he wins a pot. The flags are a plenty -- small ones waved by fans and a few larger ones held up by two fans. The folks from Belize are a festive group for sure. Makes me wonder how insane the Penn & Teller would be if a Brazilian like Andre Akkari made the final table. The Rio would actually become the Rio North with every Brazilian in the northern hemisphere converging on Vegas to sweat their countrymen.

Regardless of how Belize Bob finishes, I have a feeling his crew is going to throw the best November Nine after-party. I gotta get chummy with some of them on the break, in order to secure myself an invite.

* * *

2:00pm... Ben's Lamb

TD Jack Effel pointed into the crowd and made fun of the guy in the lamb costume. "Is that a cow?" he wondered. The lamb jumped up. He has a sign on his chest "Ben's Lamb." Lamb's crew began chanting "Benba! Benba! Benba!" They eventually settled down and the lamb shouted out: "We're going to Sizzler!"

Lamb is up to 23M. Staszko is the leader with 42M.

* * *

2:30pm... Zee Germans Are Coming

Puis Heinz is making a run. He chipped up to almost 25M. meanwhile, O'Dea has slipped a bit and Staszko is back towards his march to a 50M stack.

Oh, and I found Michalski, who arrived only two hours late today. Stay tuned for an episode of Tao of Pokerati, as soon as we fix a minor technical glitch!

* * *

2:40pm... Heinz Surges; O'Dea Drowning

In one of the biggest hands of the final table, Puis Heinz emerged second in chips after he pushed O'Dea off a hand. On hand #38, the board read 8d-8c-4c-2c. With almost 20M in the pot, O'Dea fired out 8M. Heinz tanked for several moments before he announced all-in. O'Dea quickly bailed and the German contingency went nuts. I spotted a German flag up on the stage. Heinz's crew had been sporting rudimentary signs written with sharpies and cardboard.

Heinz chipped up to almost 46M, which was good enough to put him second in chips behind Staszko. O'Dea is the second shortest stack with 11M. Only Sam Holden has fewer chips with 9M.

Update: I had to wait 15 minutes to get the hand info... Heinz held pocket Queens (with Qc) on that decisive hand and O'Dea was trying to make a move with A-Q (no clubs).

* * *

2:51pm... Heinz = New Chip leader

Puis Heinz slipped past Martin Staszko and now leads 47M to 46M. Heinz chipped up over 30M since action began. It only took 43 hands before Staszko relinquished the lead. Meanwhile, O'Dea slipped from 33M to 10M. At one point earlier today, O'Dea was nipping at Stazko's lead and was over 40M, but he's bled over 3/4 of his stack since then.

The trio of Americans -- Lamb, Giannetti, and Collins -- have been quiet. Collins lost a few million in chips, but Lamb and Giannetti are hovering near their starting stacks.

* * *

3:15pm... New Tao of Pokerati Podcast! Episode 1 - Evolution

We're having some tech issues, so I'm gonna try Sound Cloud out to host our podcast and see if it works.
Episode 1: Evolution - We're 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 we discuss the latest nuances in poker reporting.
Here's Episode 1 titled Evolution...

November Nine - Evolution (Ep 1) by taopokerati

* * *

3:20pm... New Tao of Pokerati Podcast - Episode 2 - Naming Names
Episode 2: Naming Names - Dan and I discuss the November Nine players, or rather, Dan's lack of knowledge of who made the final table. Dan has a cheat sheet -- the live chip count list -- that appears on a big screen adjacent to the stage.
Here's Episode 2...

November Nine - Naming Names (Ep 2) by taopokerati

* * *

3:33pm... Sam Holden Eliminated in 9th Place ($782,115)

On the first hand after the break, Sam Holden made a stand with As-Js. He was the second shortest stack at the table and hoped to double up, but he ran into Ben Lamb's Ah-Kc. The flop was A-9-8 all clubs. The turn was the Qc and Lamb improved to a nut flush. Holden was drawing dead and he hit the rail in ninth place. His loyal followers, decked out in curly wigs, silently filed out of the theatre.

I actually missed the hand. I was late getting back to the theatre after the break because I was sweating some of the GB-SD game in the sports book.

Down to 8. Heinz is still on top.
Updated Chippies:
Pius Heinz - 49.050M
Martin Staszko - 43.425M
Ben Lamb - 34.4M
Matt Giannetti - 26.425M
Phil Collins - 15.675M
Bob Bounahra - 13.925M
Eoghan O'Dea - 12.925M
Anton Makiievskyi - 10.1M
* * *

4:01pm... Anton Makiievskyi Eliminated in 8th Place ( $1,009,910)

Action is picking up. We had our second bustout in the last thirty minutes. Short-stacked Anton Makiievskyi was all-in for his tournament life with K-Q against Puis Heinz's 9-9. Ah, just another battle of Germany vs. Lithuania. The flop was K-J-J and Makiievskyi took the lead. When the 9 spiked on the turn, the room erupted. The Germans went bat shit crazy and everyone else was absolutely stunned. The river was a blank and Heinz's boat held up. Makiievskyi was knocked out in 8th place and became the first November Niner to cash in for at least $1 million.

Down to 7. Heinz is now over 60M in chips. Belize Bob is the short stack with under 7M. His crew is silent after being the rowdiest bunch all afternoon. Time for Belize Bob to double up with blinds at 400K/800K and a 100K ante, or he's gonna be the next to go...

* * *

4:12pm... Giannetti Making Moves

Matt Giannetti just dragged an 8M pot off of Puis Heinz. He made a boat with pocket deuces. Giannetti jumped up to second in chips with 47M. Meanwhile, Heinz's big stack took a slight hit and he slipped to 52M. The hand woke up Giannetti's Bio-hazard fans, many of whom had been quiet the last few hours.

* * *

4:20pm... Smoke Break!

Today's smoke break is sponsored by Lost Vegas. If you haven't bought my book about my experiences covering the WSOP during the poker boom, then what are you waiting for? There's even a Kindle version.

* * *

4:26pm... Belize Bob Eliminated in 7th Place ($1,313,851)

Super-shorty Belize Bob shoved with Ah-5c and Czech Republic's Martin Staszko called with As-10d. The flop was 7-6-2. The turn was a King, and the river was a 6. Belize Bob went busto in 7th place. I'm bummed out his fervent fans are leaving. I know one thing for sure -- I'm gonna party with the Belizeheads tonight. You know they are gonna rage it up, and who knows what kind of party favors they brought to Vegas.

Down to 6. Martin Staszko is in third in chips with almost 47M. O'Dea is the short-stack with a little over 11M.

* * *

4:40pm... Diamonds for Phildo

Phil Collins looked like he was about to get bounced in 6th place. He was all-in with Qh-Jd against Ben Lamb's Ac-Qc. The flop was Kd-5d-3s, but the 10d on the turn gave Collins a lot of outs. Alas, Lamb could not fade a diamond when the Qd hit. Collins doubled up to 28M and avoided elimination. Lamb slipped to 15M. O'Dea is the shorty with 13M. Collins' fans unleashed a furious celebration and belted out his theme song.

* * *

5:05pm... New Tao of Pokerati Podcast - Episode 3 - Betting on Belize
Episode 3: Betting on Belize: - Dan and Pauly chat about the first three eliminations at the final table, including Belize Bob. His 200 supporters kept the atmosphere festive. They also bet heavily on Bob at the Rio's sports book, which drove down his odds from 12/1 to 6/1.
Here's the new episode...

Nov. Nine - Betting on Belize (Ep 3) by taopokerati

* * *

5:20pm... Mind the Gap

With six to go, it looks like there's a division between three big stacks and three smaller ones. Pius Heinz is out in front with 62M. Matt Giannetti is second with almost 52M, and Martin Staszko has 40M. The small stacks (Ben Lamb, Phil Collins, Eoghan O'Dea) are all around 17M-18M.

* * *

5:34pm... O'Dea Crippled; Lamb Avoids Elimination

Two short-stacks went at it. All-in prelop. O'Dea went to battle with Ac-9d against Ben Lamb's Qd-8d. The flop was Jd-Js-6d and very favorable for Lamb who picked up a diamond draw. The turn was the 4c. O'Dea faded diamonds, but the 8h spiked on the river. Lamb won with a pair of eights and he avoided elimination to double up to almost 30M. O'Dea had him covered by only 2.6M. That's what he has left. The Irishman is on life support.

* * *

5:55pm... Eoghan O'Dea Eliminated in 6th Place ($1,720,396)

On the 99th hand of the final table, O'Dea made a stand with Q-6. Martin Staszko picked him off with pocket eights. The OCHOS held up and O'Dea hit the rail in 6th place. The contingency of Irish fans gave him a boisterous send off. Down to 5.

* * *

5:59pm... Phil Collins Eliminated in 5th Place ($2,268,909)

The paint wasn't even dry after the last hand and we had another all-in and a call on hand #100. This time, short-stacked Phil Collins made a stand. His Ad-7d was trailing Puis Heinz's pocket nines. The flop was 6-5-4 rainbow, but Collins picked up a straight draw. The turn was the 9d. Heinz improved to a set, but Collins had a flush redraw. The river was the 7s. Heinz's set of nines held up and Phil Collins was knocked out in 5th place. Down to 4.

Heinz's stack improved to almost 87M. Matt Giannetti was second with almost 50M. Staszko has around 41M. Ben Lamb is the unfortunate shorty with 28M.

* * *

6:45pm... Dinner Break

The final four players are heading on a 75-minute dinner break.
Dinner Break Chippies:
Pius Heinz - 85.5M
Matt Giannetti - 50.3M
Ben Lamb - 46.3M
Martin Staszko - 23.9M
Play resumes at 8:00pm PT.

* * *

8:15pm... Cards Back in the Air

Four remaining. We're playing until we lose one more player. The final three will return on Tuesday. We've only played 120 hands thus far. It took a while until someone busted, but once Sam Holden hit the rail in 9th place, the other eliminations quickly followed.

With four to go, we could be here five minutes or five hours. I still say we won't get out of here until Midnight, but then again, I'm a fatalist and prepare for the worst. I originally thought the night would end around 1:30ish. That's when I set the O/U. That's almost five hours from now. We'll see what happens.

Martin Staszko began the final table as the chip leader, but he's now the short stack -- and the hunted. Will the Czech succumb to the German big stack in Puis Heinz, or will one of the Americans (Ben Lamb or Matt Giannetti) take him out? Stay tuned...

* * *

9:01pm... The Slowdown

Obviously, nothing much has happened in the first 25 or so hands after the dinner break -- except Ben Lamb lost about 16M in chips. Heinz is now over 92M. Short-stacked Martin Staszko moved all-in a few times -- but did not find any callers. He's tredding water with around 21M or so.

On a weird note... the German contingency switched up the lyrics to KC and the Sunshine Band's Give It Up, which they sing whenever Pius Heinz wins a pot.

* * *

9:20pm... Double Czech

Shorty Martin Staszko shoved with As-8c. Puis Heinz tanked for a few minutes before he called with 6s-6h. He was ahead, but lost the lead on the flop of 8h-8s-5s. Trips for Staszko ended up holding up despite Heinz turning a gutshot draw. The Qc fell on the river, and Staszko doubled up to 44.6M. The few Czech fans went wild, including one of the Czech reporter who screamed wildly. He got a few evil glances from the other reporters and journalists in press row.

Meanwhile, after losing that hand Heinz slipped to under 75M. Ben Lamb is the shorty with a shade under 30M and Matt Giannetti has almost 57M.

* * *

9:51pm... Heinz at 90M

Pius Heinz took a pot off of Giannetti to improve to over 90M. He has at least 2x as much as the next guy -- Martin Staszko -- who moved up into second by default as Giannetti slipped down to third. Ben Lamb is still the shorty with 30M.

* * *

10:04pm... Martin Staszko Making a Run

Shortly after the dinner break, it looked like Martin Staszko's Main Event was going to be ending shortly. He barely kept his head above water with 20M, but after a timely double up, he sprang to life. He added more chips to his stack and is closing in on 60M. He took a sizable pot off of Puis Hienz, who is back under 80M. Just when Heinz tries to pull away, he gets jumped.

* * *

10:35pm... Giannetti Crippled

Both short stacks sparred. Ben Lamb was all-in with Ah-7h against Matt Giannetti's pocket Jacks. Two hearts on the flop gave Lamb a flush draw, and he promptly got there on the turn. Giannetti was crippled to under 7M. Blinds are 600K/1.2M with a 200K ante, so he's on life support

* * *

10:36pm... New Tao of Pokerati Podcast - Episode 4 - Non-Silence of the Lamb
Episode 4: Non-Silence of the Lamb - Dan was running his recorder during the hand Giannetti was crippled.
Here it is...

Tao of Pokerati: Non-Silence of the Lamb by Pokerati

* * *

10:40... "I'm not dead... yet"

Matt Giannetti doubled up on the very next hand. His Qd-10d held up against Martin Staszko's Q-2. He chipped up to 14.4M, but is still the short stack.

* * *

10:42pm... Tao of Pokerati Podcast - Episode 5 - Giannetti Lives
Episode 5: Giannetti Lives - Dan and Pauly are ringside for a decisive hand between Matt Giannetti and Martin Staszko. Giannetti was crippled on the previous hand and moved all-in. Staszko called with a dominated hand. Dan and Pauly call the action....

Nov. Nine - Giannetti Lives (Ep 5) by taopokerati

* * *

10:50pm... Matt Giannetti Eliminated in 4th Place ($3,011,661)

Man, it was brutal. Not only did Matt Giannetti run his Ad-10s into Ben Lamb's pocket Kings... Lamb had to flop quads to make his elimination hand even worse. Giannetti hit the rail in fourth place. With his bust out, play is suspended and will resume at 5:49PM PT on Tuesday.

* * *

10:55pm... New Tao of Pokerati Podcast - Episode 6 - Quad Lambs
Episode 6: Quad Lambs - Dan and Pauly record the events during the final hand of the day when Matt Giannetti busts out after running into Ben Lamb's quad Kings.
Tao of Pokerati: Quad Lambs by Pokerati

* * *

11:08pm... Today's November Nine Payouts and Final Three Chip Counts:
November Nine Payouts:
1st - $8,711,956
2nd - $5,430,928
3rd - $4,019,635
4th - Matt Giannetti - $3,011,661
5th - Phil Collins - $2,268,909
6th - Eoghan O'Dea - $1,720,396
7th - Badih “Bob” Bounahra - $1,313,851
8th - Anton Makiievskyi - $1,009,910
9th - Sam Holden - $782,115

Final Three Chip Counts:
Pius Hienz - 107.8M
Ben Lamb - 55.4M
Martin Staszko - 42.7M
See ya Tuesday!


  1. Great job and thank you for your Live Updates as always. I agree with you that the November Nine as run it's course and I hope they return to the days of playing from start to finish for the Champ without a 3 1/2 month break.

  2. Until yesterday, I personally didn't care for the coverage the November 9 received from ESPN in the last couple of years.
    I recall last year trying to follow it online at ESPN3 and the frustration reminded me of what my ancestors must have endured following a baseball game on an am transistor radio.
    Thumbs up to Dr Pauly as well as ESPN.