Monday, Nov. 4, 2013 | 2 a.m.
In less than 48 hours, the 44th world champion of poker will hoist the WSOP Main Event bracelet above his head in celebration of victory.
The nine players who advanced to the Main Event final table this summer at the Rio reconvene at 4:45 p.m. today in the Penn & Teller Theater. They’ll play down to two or three players, depending on the time, before the finalists come back at 5 p.m. Tuesday evening to determine the winner of the $8.3 million payout.
ESPN2 will show all of the action on a slight delay.
Look below to find an introduction to the players making up the 2013 World Series of Poker’s “November Nine.”
Seat 1: Sylvain Loosli
Chips: 19,600,000 (6th)
From: Toulon, France
Odds to win: 11-to-2
Career tournament earnings: $77,653
About: Just before he could put a master's degree in business to use, the Frenchman discovered poker. He moved to London and began playing short-handed online cash games to make a living. This was the first year he decided to travel to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker.
Seat 2: Michiel Brummelhuis
Chips: 11,275,000 (7th)
Odds to win: 8-to-1
Career tournament earnings: $610,619
About: Most players who make it to the final tables admit to being aided by an unreal run of cards over the summer. Not Brummelhuis. The first Dutchman to ever make it this far in the Main Event, Brummelhuis said he pulled it off by bluffing constantly. It will be interesting to see whether he switches his approach with the rest of the players now aware of his aggressiveness.
Seat 3: Mark Newhouse
Chips: 7,350,000 (8th)
From: Los Angeles
Odds to win: 15-to-1
Career tournament earnings: $1,988,018
About: A cash-game regular in casinos around Southern California, Newhouse had gone a few years without any significant results on the tournament scene. He’s best known for winning a World Poker Tour title at the Borgata Open in 2006 for $1.5 million. He’s hinted that he lost the majority of his winnings from that score and took a couple of years to work his way back up to this level.
Seat 4: Ryan Riess
Chips: 25,875,000 (5th)
From: East Lansing, Mich.
Odds to win: 7-to-2
Career tournament earnings: $318,307
About: “Riess the Beast” used the majority of the money to his name to enter a $1,500 buy-in WSOP circuit event in October 2012. Good thing Riess walked away from the Hammond, Ind., tournament with $239,063 for a second-place finish. He quit his job as a dealer the next day and has played professionally ever since.
Seat 5: Amir Lehavot
Chips: 29,700,000 (2nd)
From: Tel Aviv, Israel
Odds to win: 3-to-1
Career tournament earnings: $1,594,911 (1 WSOP bracelet)
About: A dual citizen, Lehavot moved to the United States from Israel before college. He attended the University of Texas, where he earned a degree in electrical engineering. He landed a job and worked his way up in the field before getting burned out six years ago when he decided to take a year off. Poker has kept him from going back.
Seat 6: Marc McLaughlin
Chips: 26,525,00 (3rd)
Odds to win: 4-to-1
Career tournament earnings: $693,998
About: The last Canadian standing in the Main Event is the final table’s resident Renaissance Man. McLaughlin has played poker full-time for the past several years but doesn’t consider himself a professional. He’s an entrepreneur who dabbles in both the stock market and real estate. He’s also a tattoo artist but has no body art on himself.
Seat 7: J.C. Tran
Chips: 38,000,000 (1st)
Odds to win: 11-to-5
Career tournament earnings: $8,449,822 (2 WSOP bracelets)
About: The consummate professional, Tran has blazed all over the tournament circuit for the past decade. And he’s got the results to show for it. Although he’s still a fixture at all of poker’s major events, Tran has trimmed his schedule a bit in recent years. That’s because he and his wife welcomed their first child, a boy, two years ago and are expecting their second, a girl, a week after the final table.
Seat 8: David Benefield
Chips: 6,375,000 (9th)
From: New York
Odds to win: 12-to-1
Career tournament earnings: $1,187,826
About: This is one case where the career tournament earnings fail to match the stature of a player. “Raptor” is perhaps the most highly regarded player at the final table — or at minimum, second behind Tran — from his years of crushing online cash games to the tune of millions. He had stepped away from poker to attend Columbia University, studying political science and Chinese, before advancing to the November Nine.
Seat 9: Jay Farber
Chips: 25,975,000 (4th)
From: Las Vegas
Odds to win: 5-to-1
Career tournament earnings: $29,870
About: The local VIP nightlife host had played in the Main Event for the past three years with no results to show for it. That wasn’t going to stop him from forking over the $10,000 to make another run in 2013. Farber knew he was capable of making a run in poker’s world championship after years of holding his own in Las Vegas cash games.