As the 2015 WSOP draws to a close we once again have 9 names, survivors that have emerged from the week long war that is the Main Event. Each year is a little different to the last, and this year the prize payouts were restructured in a flatter format. No more $10 million guarantee for 1st, this years winner will take home $7.6 million.
Prizes are as follows:
1st – $7,680,021
2nd – $4,469,171
3rd – $3,397,103
4th – $2,614,558
5th – $1,910,971
6th – $1,426,072
7th – $1,203,193
8th – $1,097,009
9th – $ 1,001,020
The late stages of a Main Event are always exciting but this year, the poker world held it's collective breath in a way they haven't done since 2009 when Phil Ivey made the final table.
This year it was a different star of poker, in the form of 6 time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu. No tournament can leave a player with scars in the way that the Main Event does. For Daniel, it was 2001 when he last had his big chance in this tournament, busting in 11th place. This year looked for all the world like he was going to find redemption 14 years later and make the final table. But, poker being poker, he ended up in the heartbreaking situation of finishing 11th place once again. In the final hand he was all in on the flop with A4 on an Ace high board, versus an opponent with a flush draw and gutshot Straight draw. The Straight completed on the river, eliminating one of poker's great players and ambassadors.
Daniel Nagreanu ended up finishing 11th (Photo PokerStars)
There are still interesting names coming back in November however, and they shape up as follows:
Joe McKeehen – 63,100,000. He already has a 2nd place in a WSOP event, not to mention 8 cashes in total, but Joe McKeehen from the USA is in prime position to go one better in the Main Event. An accomplished pro who is yet to win his first bracelet, McKeehen leads the way by some distance going into the final table. 3 of his 8 cashes came this year, but his Main Event cash will be by far the largest. He has almost $3 million in career cashes and is ranked 249th on the GPI rankings.
Zvi Stern – 29,800,000. This 36 year old from Israel doesn't have great experience at the WSOP, having never made a final table before. He has one cash from 2008 though, and now finds himself with a good starting stack at the biggest final table in poker.
Neil Blumenfield – 22,000,000. Certainly a veteran by poker standards, this 61 year old from the USA will bring a comfortable starting stack into the November Nine. He has two previous cashes to his name, but nothing that will prepare him for the magnitude of what lies ahead.
Pierre Neuville – 21,075,000. The best known player at this final table and by far the oldest ever November Niner at 72, Pierre Neuville has plenty of WSOP experience, with 19 cashes. He is 147th on the GPI rankings. It is important to note that he has two 2nd place finishes on the EPT and so high pressured final tables with seven figure 1st place prizes aren't new to him. He has had a 2nd place at the WSOP before, but no bracelet yet. What a first bracelet this could be for the Belgian pro!
Max Steinberg – 20,200,000. Another familiar face at this year's final table, Max Steinberg is the only player with a bracelet to his name already. He has 11 cashes in total at the WSOP, which gives him experience of deep runs and winning a bracelet, which should be helpful come November. He finished 131st in this event 2 years ago, and has just under $3 million in cashes. His stack his healthy, and as a professional with experience of deep runs in big tournaments, the 27 year old from the USA will be one of the key names to watch.
Thomas Cannuli – 12,250,000. This player had a strong rail in the late stages of the Main Event, and has two previous WSOP cashes. He is 23 years old and resides in the USA. His stack size is well below average, and so he has work to do in November if he has hopes of claiming this bracelet.
Josh Beckley – 11,800,000. At 24 years old, Josh Beckley is one of the younger players at this final table. He is also flying the flag for the USA and has 4 previous WSOP cashes, all of which arrived this year. Patrick Chan – 6,225,000 One of the shorter stacks at this final table, Patrick Chan has serious work to do if he is going to walk away with one of the bigger payouts in the top 3 places. This 26 year old from the USA has 4 WSOP cashes and $500,000 in cashes during his career.
Federico Butteroni – 6,200,000. The 25 year old from Italy will start with the shortest stack, and only 15 big blinds going into the final table. His only 2 WSOP cashes so far have come from his efforts this summer. His third cash here at the Main Event will be a large one by comparison, and he'll need a lot of luck to get close to winning this bracelet.
The November Nine