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World Series of Poker live blog: November Nine final table set

The nine players will represent seven different nations in November


Steve Marcus

The last 10 players compete during Day 8 of the World Series of Poker $10,000 buy-in, no-limit Texas Hold ‘em main event at the Rio Tuesday, July 19, 2011. Clockwise from dealer are: Matt Giannetti, Bandih Bounahra, Eogan O’Dea, Phil Collins, Anton Makiievskyi, Sam Holden, Pius Heinz, Ben Lamb, Martin Staszko and John Hewitt.

Updated Wednesday, July 20, 2011 | 2:17 a.m.

Chip Counts

  • Martin Staszko — 40,025,000
  • Eoghan O'Dea — 33,925,000
  • Matt Giannetti — 24,750,000
  • Phil Collins — 23,775,000
  • Ben Lamb — 20,875,000
  • Bounahra Badih — 19,700,000
  • Pius Heinz — 16,425,000
  • Anton Makiievskyi — 13,925,000
  • Sam Holden — 12,375,000
  • John Hewitt — 0
  • Khoa Nguyen — 0
  • Bryan Devonshire — 0
  • Konstantinos Mamaliadis — 0
  • Scott Schwalich — 0
  • Andrey Pateychuk — 0
  • Ryan Lenaghan — 0
  • Sam Barnhart — 0
  • Aleksandr Mozhnyakov — 0
  • Kenny Shih — 0
  • Gionni Demers — 0
  • Chris Moore — 0
  • Lars Bonding — 0

2011 WSOP Day 8

Eoghan O'Dea of Ireland competes during Day 8 of the World Series of Poker $10,000 buy-in, no-limit Texas Hold 'em main event at the Rio Tuesday, July 19, 2011. Launch slideshow »
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Players compete at the main stage during Day 8 of the World Series of Poker $10,000 buy-in, no-limit Texas Hold 'em Main Event at the Rio on Tuesday, July 19, 2011.

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Khoa Nguyen of Canada celebrates after going "all in" and winning the hand during Day 8 of the World Series of Poker $10,000 buy-in, no-limit Texas Hold 'em Main Event at the Rio Tuesday, July 19, 2011. Eoghan O'Dea of Ireland is at right.

After one final 14-hour day at the Rio, the World Series of Poker Main Event final table emerged.

John Hewitt, a 23-year old from Costa Rica, busted in 10th place to miss out on making the November Nine. Ireland's Eoghan O'Dea called Hewitt's all-in bet with King-Jack. Hewitt showed pocket 3s.

The board ran out Queen-10-7-A-K, giving O'Dea a straight to eliminate Hewitt. It was the final straw in a collapse for Hewitt, as he called off 9 million with King-Queen against an opponent's pocket Kings minutes earlier.

O'Dea will come back to the Rio in November second in chips and one of the favorites to win poker's world championship, which comes with an $8.7 million first place prize. The only man he trails is Martin Staszko, a 35-year old from the Czech Republic.

Two other players with above average chip counts entering the final table are 26-year old Las Vegas pros Matt Giannetti and Phil Collins, who have 24 million and 23 million respectively. Another Las Vegas pro, Ben Lamb, is close behind with with 20 million chips.

Check back to for full coverage of the event and check the side of the page for exact chip counts.

Oh-so-close to the end

Ben Lamb got himself into trouble by putting in a re-raise before the flop with King-9 off-suit in hand No. 275 of the day.

Lamb raised a million-chip bet from Pius Heinz to around 3.2 million before the flop. Players folded around to Matt Giannetti, who was down to his last 9 million chips. Giannetti contemplated for around five minutes, before announcing he was all-in.

Heinz folded to put the action back on Lamb. The 26-year old who lives in Las Vegas didn't like the situation, but his re-raised had priced him in. He had to call Gianetti's all-in with a less-than-stellar King-9.

The board ran out 10-6-3-7-Ace and Lamb was left with King-high. For the second time, Giannetti doubled his stack with pocket Jacks. Both Lamb and Giannetti are now in the middle of the pack with around 20 million chips.

Matt Giannetti doubles through John Hewitt

John Hewitt bit down on his hoodie and did what he knew he had to do. He called an all-in shove from Matt Giannetti with Ace-10.

Giannetti showed pocket Jacks, a more superior starting hand, but one that would have to hold up through five community cards. He stood up, grimaced and prepared for his fate.

It all worked out in the end for the 26-year old Las Vegas resident. The dealer spread out the cards to reveal a K-8-4 flop before a 5 on the turn and a 6 on the river. Giannetti can breathe now with 11 million chips going forward, while Hewitt falls to the short stack with 10 million.

Giannetti getting desperate?

The players have returned from yet another break and the cards are back in the air with a new level of blinds.

The small blind is now 250,000 chips and the big blind is 500,000 chips. Antes stay the same at 50,000 chips. That means every time around the table costs players 1.25 million chips.

That's bad news to Matt Giannetti, who barely has enough chips to survive five orbits. Normally in poker, that signifies that a player will need to raise all-in and up to double-up to stay competitive.

While other players, namely Badih Bounahra and Sam Holden, are low, they aren't quite as needy as Giannetti. He's going to need to gamble soon. Whether or not he wins that proposition should go a long way in determining how long play will last at the Rio tonight.

Staszko and Collins face off in first big pot of 10-handed play

The players have gotten proficient at swapping blinds and antes with little action occurring other than that. Phil Collins appears the only player willing to mix it up and play post-flop pots.

The strategy backfired in the latest hand he was involved with. Collins and the Czech Republic's Martin Staszko put 12 million in a pot on a board of 10 of diamonds-3 of diamonds-8 of spades-6 of spades. The river, the 9 of spades, looked like a scary card for both parties and they checked it down.

Statszko showed pocket Jacks for a winning pair. He's up to 39 million, less than a million behind chip leader Eoghan O'Dea. Collins is around average with 16 million. But with the way he's playing, Collins will have chances to get it back — or lose it all.

Players practicing patience to the extreme

The Main Event has reached the annual point where play dramatically slows.

Last year, it took more than five hours for one of the final 10 players to exit. Although it's too soon to believe the 2011 Main Event will go that long, some signs are in place to indicate it could happen.

The tournament has dealt approximately 12 hands since 10-handed play began with no flops to speak of. Usually, one raise is inducing folds around the table. None of the pre-flop re-raises have been called or raised again.

Phil Collins has been the most aggressive, taking three pots and boosting his chip count up 3 million since the players joined together at the ESPN feature table. It's slow now, but someone will eventually have to make a move.

Khoa Nguyen runs into pocket Kings

A short-stacked Khoa Nguyen was probably thrilled to look down at his hole cards to discover pocket 10s. Although he held a premium hand, Martin Staszko had something better.

Staszko called Nguyen's all-in with pocket Kings. No 10 came when the community cards were dealt, which sent Nguyen away with a $607,882.

All the players are now consolidated to one table in the ESPN feature area. No one appears overly desperate for chips, but Matt Giannetti does have the shortest stack with 9.5 million. The Main Event is one elimination away from the November Nine.

Pius Heinz rewarded for poor play

It wouldn't be poker if the worst hand didn't catch up and win every once in a while.

The Main Event just saw it for the first time in an all-in confrontation during Day 8. Pius Heinz managed to get all of chips in with King-Jack of clubs against John Hewitt's much-superior Ace-King.

But the dealer fanned out a flop of 7-8-10 to give Heinz an inside straight draw. The 6 on the turn missed him, but a 9 on the river gave Heinz the improbable straight and a double up to 16 million chips.

Hewitt got up from the table shaking his head. He's making no attempt to hide his frustration.

Bryan Devonshire out in 12th

The Rio forecasts to be a lot quieter for the next few hours.

Bryan Devonshire, who had a large contingent of friends and family cheering him on with "Devo" quotes, has just met his exit. Down to 3 million chips after losing a recent pot to Khoa Nguyen, Devonshire picked up King-Queen and went all-in. Eoghan O'Dea called and had him dominated with Ace-Queen, a hand that held up and rewarded him the 6 million chip pot.

With the field reduced to 11, play will continue with two tables until one more player busts out. At that point, the WSOP will redraw for the unofficial 10-handed final table.

A rundown of the two tables

The players are back from their dinner break and continuing their quest to the November Nine on two six-handed tables.

Here's how the lineup stacks up. Ben Lamb, John Hewitt, Pius Heinz, Badih Bounahra, Matt Giannetti and Sam Holden are sitting at the ESPN featured table. Eoghan O'Dea, Anton Makiievskyi, Phil Colins, Martin Staszko, Bryan Devonshire and Khoa Nguyen are at the secondary table.

Based on stack sizes, Devonshire and Nguyen are going to have to take some risks in the next hour or so if they want a realistic shot at making the final table. The four players who have broken the 20-million chip barrier — O'Dea, Lamb, Makiievskyi and Hewitt — could conceivably sit back for a while and still feel comfortable.

But that's unlikely to happen. Lamb and O'Dea, especially, have pushed the pace all day by opening a large number of pots with bets. Lamb has already taken two of the first four pots back from dinner break. Stay tuned for details on the final three eliminations.

Deuce is wild for Ben Lamb

Ben Lamb wasn't about to send everyone at the Rio off to dinner without an interesting hand to discuss.

Lamb got involved in an 11-million chip pot with fellow Las Vegas pro Matt Giannetti five minutes before the current dinner break, which will last two hours, began. On a board that read Ace-2-9-7-2 with three hearts, Lamb bet out 4 million on the river.

Giannetti internally dissected his options for several minutes before settling on a call. Lamb showed 2-3 off-suit for three-of-a-kind and won the pot. It upped his chip stack to 27 million, putting him second behind only Eoghan O'Dea.

Players will return at approximately 8:30 to continue their journey to the final table.

New exit and chip leader

South Africa will not be represented at the Main Event final table. It's looking increasingly more likely that Ireland will.

Konstantinos Mamaliadis made a baffling move that resulted in him busting out in 13th place for $478,174. Mamaliadis shoved all-in for 4 million chips over Eoghan O'Dea's opening raise with 8-2 off suit.

O'Dea called with pocket 7s and made a straight on the board dealt 5-Jack-9-6-8. A pay jump of nearly $130,000 is now in store for those who finish from 10-12.

The Irish O'Dea is now the chip leader with 33 million. He's six million ahead of John Hewitt and seven million in front of Anton Makiievskyi.

John Hewitt threatening for chip lead

John Hewitt, a 23-year old from Chicago who now lives in Costa Rica, sniffed out a bluff from Pius Heinz to win one of the largest recent pots at the feature table.

Heinz bet on every street of a 2-4-King-6-10 board, but threw his hand away when Hewitt called on the river. Hewitt showed pocket Queens and leaped out of his seat when he realized the pair was good enough to win the pot.

Hewitt goes up to 29 million and is barely a million chips behind leader Anton Makiievskyi. Heinz is still in decent shape with 15 million chips.

Scott Schwalich finishes in 13th for $478,174

Despite never reaching the top five in chips or tangling in any memorable pots, Scott Schwalich hung around the Main Event long enough to earn nearly half of a million dollars.

Schwalich, an Ohio native who now resides in Oregon, exited in fifth place after losing most of his chips to Bryan Devonshire. Devonshire called off all of his chips with pocket 10s against Schwalich's Ace-5 of spades. The board came out 4-4-4-7-Queen to give Devonshire a full house and chip stack of 14 million.

Down to less than three big blinds, Schwalich had to move all-in with Jack-10 shortly after. It couldn't overtake Eoghan O'Dea's Ace-10.

Phil Collins making his move

The players are back in their seats after the unscheduled halt in action and ready to play for two more hours until the dinner break.

But no one remaining can be happy with the recent developments at the secondary table. Phil Collins, unanimously regarded as one of the best players left, is fourth in chips and close to 20 million after winning a few pots leading into the last break.

The biggest came when he held King-8 of diamonds against Khoa Ngueyn on a board that read 3 of hearts-2 of diamonds-7 of diamonds-Jack of diamonds-7 of clubs. Collins bet on both streets after he made the flush and Nguyen paid him off.

Nguyen is now close to the danger zone with 3 million chips, while Collins is in great position moving forward.

Rough day for Andrey Pateychuk comes to an end; rapid pace calls for break in action

Although Russian Andrey Pateychuk will cash a check for nearly $500,000, he'll likely spend a lot of time second-guessing the decisions he's made in the last three hours.

Pateychuk entered play Tuesday fourth in chips, but his stack dwindled quickly. He was down to 4 million chips at 120,000-240,000 blinds when he went all-in with Ace-Queen. He enticed one caller, Pius Heinz, who had pocket Jacks. The dealer ran out the community cards, none of which contained an Ace or Queen, meaning Heinz padded his stack to 25 million chips.

Because only 14 players are left, World Series of Poker officials decided to suspend play until 4:30. That's when live coverage begins to air on ESPN2.

Makiievskyi mauling opponents' chip stacks

The action likely isn't going to slow down at the ESPN featured table. Anton Makiievskyi won't let it.

Makiievskyi, the chip leader, has won two out of the three pots since players returned from their first 15-minute break of the day. He's raising and re-raising more than anyone left in the tournament and doesn't appear to have let the magnitude of the moment add any pressure.

Makiievskyi is up to 33 million chips. Eoghan O'Dea is close behind with around 30 million, but the next challenger after that has only 16 million. Makiievskyi doesn't only want to make the November Nine final table at this point, he wants to have a big stack in front of him during it.

Goodbye to Ryan Lenaghan

It certainly looked like Ryan Lenaghan hit his rush a little too early at the Main Event.

Lenaghan used a strong run at the end of Day 5 and beginning of Day 6 to build a chip lead with around 30 players remaining. But Lenaghan hardly played a hand after that and found himself with a dangerously low chip count an hour-and-a-half into play Tuesday.

That's when Lenaghan looked down at Ace-8 of hearts and decided to make a move. It was his last, as Samuel Holden woke up with Ace-Queen of spades in the blinds and called.

A third spade hit on the turn, giving Holden the best possible flush. Holden has gone from the brink of elimination to 12 million chips, which is good for seventh out of 15 at the moment.

Kenny Shih, Sam Barnhart gone for $378,796

Knockouts come in pairs at the Main Event today apparently.

Six players have met their demise in the first hour and 40 minutes at the Rio this afternoon. The first two players went out back-to-back, as did the 19th and 20th place finishers.

Kenny Shih and Sam Barnhart just added on to that trend. Shih put his short stack at risk after a flop of Ace-6-7 with two spades and showed pocket 8s. John Hewitt promptly called with King-Jack of clubs and spiked a club on the turn to make a flush and eliminate Shih.

Before the announcer was even done congratulating Shih for his deep run, Barnhart put himself at risk with pocket 9s. Pius Heinz obliged to Shih's all-in move with pocket Kings, which held up to win the pot.

Mozhnyakov out in 19th, Demers in 20th

At this rate, the Main Event may not even make it to the dinner break. Two more players just went out and tournament staff is now redrawing to two tables with 18 remaining.

Half of the field will make the final table. Half of the field's Main Event run ends this afternoon or evening.

Konstantinos Mamaliadis just received around a 3-million chip boost to his chances, as he took out Gionni Demers in 20th place. Demers shoved all-in with Ace-5 on a short stack and Mamaliadis called with pocket Kings. The Kings were able to dodge an Ace hitting the board and won the hand.

Aleksandr Mozhnyakov, the longtime chip leader, bowed out less than a minute later. Mozhnyakov, reduced to barely a million in chips, decided to go with King-Queen suited on his final hand but couldn't overcome Sam Barnhart's Ace-10.

They both receive $302,005 for their efforts. A pay jump will now be experienced as the next three players out make $378,796.

Makiievskyi in the mood to gamble

With the chip lead this late in the Main Event, many poker players would advocate sitting back and only getting involved in big pots when absolutely necessary.

Anton Makiievskyi has his own way of doing things. Makiievskyi hasn't shied away from playing big pots in the first hour at the Rio this afternoon.

He's already been involved with two all-in confrontations. Although Makiievskyi lost the first, he got those chips back and more in the second against Chris Moore. Makiievskyi called Moore's all-in with Ace-10. Moore flipped over pocket Kings, which went from in the lead to second-best when an Ace hit the flop.

Makiievskyi has around 24 million chips at the moment.

Chris Moore and Lars Bonding make their exits

The opening 20 minutes of action already brought two eliminations.

Las Vegas pro Lars Bonding was the first to go when he ran in his pocket Aces into an opponent's pocket 4s on a 7-4-3 flop. Chris Moore, who was at the wrong end of a cooler hand against Anton Makiievskyi last night, couldn't last much longer.

Moore was knocked off of the secondary table moments ago. Both Moore and Bonding will make $302,005, as will the next two players to bust. Just like that, only 11 eliminations are needed.


Day 8 of the World Series of Poker Main Event is traditionally when all eyes are stationed on one professional to see if he can make it to the November Nine final table.

To a lesser extent than Phil Ivey in 2009 and Michael Mizrachi last year, that attention falls on Ben Lamb Tuesday at the Rio where the field will trim from 22 to nine.

Lamb, a 26-year old who calls Las Vegas home, has been the most successful player at this summer’s World Series for the past six weeks. He’s made three final tables for around $1.3 million in earnings, including a championship in the $10,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha Championship and an eighth in the $50,000 buy-in Poker Player’s Championship.

He’ll enter the final day of the summer with 14.4 million chips, behind only Anton Makiievskyi and Khoa Nguyen. While the final 22 players may be short on star power, it’s long for talent.

Phil Collins, sixth in chips, was one of the elite Internet poker tournament players under the moniker “uscphildo”. Sam Barnhart, 16th in chips, won the WSOP Circuit National Championship earlier this year. Bryan Devonshire, 15th, and Lars Bonding, 20th, are also names that resonate within the poker community.

Chances are none of the well-known pros will end up with the $8.7 million first-place prize. It’s been 10 years since someone with name recognition, Juan Carlos Mortensen in 2001, took down the Main Event.

But making it to the final table is the first step and that will happen today no matter how long it takes. Last year, it took almost 20 hours for nine players to emerge.

Any finish before 11:00 p.m. or Midnight would come as a surprise. Stay tuned to the whole way, as we will provide periodic updates including every time a player exits.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at

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