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November Nine 2011 revealed!

The waiting is over, the chipcounts are in and the stage is set for November 5. This year’s November Nine is perhaps the most eclectic in the history of the Series. Out of the final nine, there are just three American representatives, the other players hailing from Germany, UK, Ireland, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Belize.

The main event kicked off on 7 July and was the third largest live poker event ever with 6,865 entries. it took eight playing days and over half a million hands to whittle the field down to just nine survivors. The decisive final table bubble moment came when Irishman Eoghan O’Dea knocked out Costa Rican John Hewitt guaranteeing nine players $782,115.

There are now just over 100 days till the final kicks off from November 5-7. The eventual winner will walk away with a massive $8,711,956 in prize money and become World Champion. Although the final has no big name pros, it could still end up being the most interesting contest in some time.

There is no runaway leader this year – the current chipleader, the Czech Republic’s Martin Staszko has 40m chips, just 7m more than Eoghan O’Dea. Brit newcomer Sam Holden is the short stack with 12m chips but still has 24 big blinds and plenty of time to turn things around. Check out our exclusive interview with Sam in the September issue of PokerPlayer, on sale 25 August.

Meet the November Nine

Seat 1: Matt Giannetti (Las Vegas, NV) – 24,750,000 in chips

Giannetti is a 26-year-old poker pro from Las Vegas. Prior to playing full time, Giannetti attended the University of Texas. He was short-stacked during much of the later stages of Day Eight, but managed to survive a number of all-ins and comes to the final table right in the top three (third of nine players)

Seat 2: Badih Bou-Nahra (Belize City, Belize) – 19,700,000 in chips

Bou-Nahra becomes the first player from Belize ever to make it to the Main Event final table. He is a 49-year-old businessman. Bou-Nahra was actually born in Lebanon, but is proud to now call Belize City his home. Bou-Nahra was very low on chips on Day Six, but ran well late and survived. Now, he has an average-size stack.

Seat 3: Eoghan O’Dea (Dublin, Ireland) – 33,925,000 in chips

O’Dea is a 26-year-old poker pro. This is his fifth WSOP cash, four of which have taken place this year. He has cashed in several major tournaments, mostly in Europe. He is the son of famous Irish poker player and gambler Donnacha O’Dea, who won a WSOP gold bracelet in 1998. O’Dea was second in chips when Day Eight began. He remains second in chips.

Seat 4: Phil Collins (Las Vegas, NV) – 23,875,000 in chips

Collins is a 26-year-old pro poker player. He was previously a college student. He attended the University of South Carolina. He met his wife Katie while in school. She lived across the hall from him. They were married last year. He played a lot of online poker until the developments of April 2011. 

Seat 5: Anton Makiievskyi (Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) – 13,825,000 in chips

Makiievskyi is a 21-year-old aspiring poker pro. This is his first trip to the WSOP in Las Vegas. Four Ukrainians have already won gold bracelets this year. Makiievskyi hopes to become the fifth. This marks the first time a Ukrainian player has ever appeared at the Main Event final table. He is one of the lowest two stacks, but is not in serious danger of busting soon because he has several rounds of blinds and antes.

Seat 6: Sam Holden (Sussex, UK) – 12,375,000 in chips

Holden is a 22-year-old professional poker player. He is playing in his first WSOP this year. He holds the lowest stack, but (like Makiievskyi) is not in serious danger of busting soon because he has enough chips to make it through several rounds of blinds and antes.

Seat 7: Pius Heinz (Cologne, Germany) – 16,425,000 in chips

Heinz is a 22-year-old student and poker player. He is playing at his first WSOP this year. He finished seventh in one of the earlier $1,500 NLHE events. He becomes the first player from Germany ever to make it the Main Event finale. He’s seventh in chips at the moment.

<h3>Seat 8: Ben Lamb (Tulsa, OK) – 20,875,000 in chips</h3>

Lamb is enjoying a monster run and is unquestionably the player who is on the hottest streak of anyone at this year’s WSOP. He leads the 2011 WSOP “Player of the Year” race. He has a gold bracelet win, a second place finish, and eighth- and twelfth-place showings in his four cashes – and has now made the final table in the Main Event. He currently ranks fifth in chips. Lamb is playing as well as, if not better than, any player in the world at the moment.

<h3>Seat 9: Martin Staszko (Trinec, Czech Republic) – 40,175,000 in chips</h3>

Staszko is a 35-year-old professional poker player. He becomes the first player ever from the Czech Republic to make it to the Main Event final table. He will resume play at the chip leader when the November Nine begins.





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WRITER BIOG: Paul Cheung

As Features Editor for PokerPlayer magazine, Paul Cheung has visited Annie Duke’s L.A. mansion, watched the USPGA with Phil Hellmuth and had a workout with Daniel Negreanu all in the name of a good story.

Categories: Online Poker
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