Looking ahead to WSOP's November Nine

On July 19th, the 47th Annual World Series of Poker Summer Season drew to a dramatic close in Las Vegas. The $10,000 No-Limit Texas Hold’em, or the ‘Main Event’ as it’s more commonly known, has whittled down the field to just nine players who will return to Vegas in November to compete for the top spot.


The Summer Series, which was the largest in WSOP history, saw 107,833 players from 107 different countries enter the competitions 69 events, creating a prize pool of a staggering $221,211,336.


But the competition isn’t over – the finalists, ‘The November Nine’ still have all to play for, and will be returning to Nevada for one last showdown in 3.5 months time. All of the nine are guaranteed to take home at least $1,000,000 in prize money – but who will secure the lion’s share, and the all-important golden bracelet?


This year the November Nine come from all corners of the globe. There are competitors from the USA, Canada, Belgium, Spain and the Czech Republic. Here’s a brief run-down of the contenders…

In terms of American competitors first up we have Cliff Josephy from New York - chip leader, the oldest player remaining in the field, and already the proud owner of two WSOP gold bracelets. Josephy has achieved success at WSOP before, both as player and financial backer, but with his guarantee of $1,000,000 – this will be the biggest year yet for this New Yorker.


Las Vegas local, Qui Nyugen has cashed once at WSOP, and his best finish came in 2009 where he came in 54th place.Californian, Gordon Vayo has secured 26 WSOP cashes amounting to $608,136. Vayo appears to be enjoying a bit of a roll this year – he played 21 WSOP bracelet events, and cashed in eight of them.

New Jersey resident Michael Ruane makes a living as a poker pro, but the guaranteed prize money of $1,000,000 will be the biggest cash prize he’ll have taken home to date. Josh Weiss and Jerry Wong from California and New York complete the roster of Americans in the race for the win.


Also from North America, but this time a little further north – Griffin Benger has 13 previous WSOP cashes amounting to $231,201, and he has previously placed 14th in the competition. Astonishingly, the Main Event was the one event Benger chanced at the years’ WSOP – perhaps it’s meant to be1


Kenny Hallaert from Belgium has enjoyed 22 WSOP cashes, and has cashed twice in the 2016 WSOP event. Hallaert has a strong record, and is in a good position on the table so could be one to watch. Vojtech Ruzicka is a pro from Prague in Czech Republic. He has 18 WSOP events under his belt this summer alone – and he cashed in four. This was the first year thatFernando Pons from Spain cashed in the WSOP in the only event he entered – the Main Event. Pons only needs to finish in fifth place or higher to have secured the biggest Spanish score in WSOP Main Event history.


Play will start up again on October 30 and will run until November 1st. If you cant make it down to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, be sure to catch the action on ESPN.