The 2013 WSOP Main Event is on pause. Following the elimination of Carlos Mortensen as the Main Event final table bubble boy early Tuesday morning, the nine remaining players bagged up their chips and will now wait until November 4 to return to action. It feels like this group of players will give everybody somebody to cheer for.
The chip lead belongs to JC Tran. The Sacramento, California native bagged up 38,000,000 chips and will spend the next 112 days with the attention of the poker world squarely on his shoulders. It’s a spotlight he’s ready for.
“Well this is one of my last goals. When I first started playing poker I wanted to win a WPT and I did that. I wanted to win a bracelet and I did that,” said Tran, who has two WSOP bracelets and a WPT title to his credit. “The last thing on my list was to make the final nine of the main event. I’m going to set one last goal and that’s to win this thing.”
Tran’s resume is impressive, but he’s not the only one headed to the November Nine with pedigree. There is one other WSOP bracelet winner at the final table. Amir Lehavot won the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em event at the 2011 WSOP. He believes that experience will pay dividends once play resumes.
“The experience definitely helps. I feel I have a good amount of experience,” said Lehavot, who carries both Israeli and American citizenship. “I’m pretty good at just shutting stuff out that I don’t want to interfere.”
Mark Newhouse is the other player with a major title to his credit. The North Carolina native won the World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open in 2006. His lifetime earnings are $1,949,401 and he showed the patience of a champion, beginning ten-handed player with only six big blinds.
“I was very, very short stacked and I decided this was going to be a satellite for me. I just needed to make the November Nine,” said Newhouse. “I was chip leader in the second level (on Day 7). Then I had a really good level and a really bad level. It was a very good time for the dinner break because I was losing my mind. Then I decided I would make the November Nine.”
The 2013 November Nine has a truly international flavor with five Americans, a Canadian, an Israeli, a Frenchman and one Dutchman. Lehavot is the first Israeli player to make a final table and Michiel Brummelhuis is the first Dutch player to pull of the feat. He’s also got something else happening in his life before he gets to play for the Main Event title. His wife is due to give birth to their first child in September.
“I can buy a nice baby room, I don’t know. Maybe (the Main Event) is life changing. I have to make some more money to make it life changing, but a baby is definitely life changing, and this is just a crazy amount of money,” said Brummelhuis.
The Canadian, Marc McLaughlin, has one of the more interesting “day jobs” of any November Niner ever. McLaughlin, a 25 year old from Quebec, is a tattoo artist. He’s also good friends with 2010 Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel.
“I’ve known him since before he won. It’s been maybe five, six years. We travel together, we stay at the same home (at the WSOP) almost every year,” said McLaughlin. Should McLaughlin turn his fourth best stack into a Main Event title, it will be the 12th WSOP bracelet won in 2013 by a Canadian.
Las Vegas locals will most certainly be cheering for Jay Farber. The 28 year old is a VIP host for some of Sin City’s most popular nightclubs and gentleman’s clubs. He might not have the most extensive poker resume – this is his first WSOP cash – but he seems to be friends with a lot of high stakes regulars, including 2011 WSOP Player of the Year, Ben Lamb.
“I thankfully have a pretty good support network to help me out with everything, to prepare,” said Farber, who’s been playing poker for seven years. “I know them from (playing) cash games, and a lot of mutual friends and partying and stuff like that.”
Poker fans who follow the WSOP Circuit will be thrilled to know they have one of their own to root for. Ryan Riess, runner-up in the WSOP Circuit event in Hammond last October, comes into the final table fifth in chips.
The shortest stack belongs to David Benefield. Fans of the online poker scene prior to Black Friday will know Benefield. As a member of the Ship It Holla Ballas, Benefield was one of the most feared and respected cash game players. He’s recently taken some time away from the game to study at Columbia in New York, but he’s also played some of the highest stakes cash games in the world in Macau.
Sylvain Loosli represents the French poker community. A cash game player by trade, Loosli plans on consulting with some MTT players to help him with final table preparation.
“I plan to play a few live tournaments, because I haven’t played so many,” said Loosli, who anticipates being the center of attention during WSOP Europe events this October. “Maybe get some coaching from some of the top tournament players.”
Players were all paid out ninth place money, $733,224, with the rest being paid out after their eliminations at the final table.
2013 November Nine Table Draw
- Sylvain Loosli – 19,600,000
- Michiel Brummelhuis – 11,275,000
- Mark Newhouse – 7,350,000
- Ryan Reiss – 25,875,000
- Amir Lehavot – 29,700,000
- Marc McLaughlin – 26,525,000
- JC Tran – 38,000,000
- David Benefield – 6,375,000
- Jay Farber – 25,975,000
2013 November Niners on Twitter
- Mark Newhouse: @mark_hizzle
- JC Tran: @jctran23
- Amir Lehavot: @PokerWit
- Ryan Riess: @RyanRiess1
- Marc McLaughlin: @Go_Irish_Go
- Jay Farber: @Jay_Farber_LV
- Sylvain Loosli: @SylvainLoosli
- Michiel Brummelhuis: @brummel2
- David Benefield: @DWBenefield