The November Nine

If you are interested in poker, you probably come across news far and near about the setup of the final table of the WSOP 2010. Here I provide some intel on the players striving for the most coveted bracelet of the championship and the $8,944,138 prize.

Jonathan DuhamelJonathan Duhamel (65,975,000)
He is both the chip leader and the youngest player of the Nine, also delivering his best performance ever. Besides a 10th place in the 2008 EPT Prague €5,000 NLHE side event (€42,800), he made it in the money in two events of the WSOP this year, the $1,500 NLHE 6-handed (50th place, $5,724) and the $1,500 NLHE (15th place, $37,276).
Duhamel originally intended the WSOP as a means of gaining experience and he wishes to play even more live games, especially EPT events.


John DolanJohn Dolan (46,250,000)
Although boasting a number of achievements, the top of his career is this year’s WSOP Main Event, similarly to several of his fellow ’Niners’. He used to work in a casino and also participated in the WSOP event for casino employees in 2007. He went ITM twice in the 2009 WSOP, and finished 32th in the $1,500 NLHE ($13,541) and 6th in the $1,000 NLHE ($82,804) this year.
After two less successful WSOPs, Dolan is now amongst the best. He said he would analyse the style of the others and adopt his own accordingly. 


Joseph CheongJoseph Cheong (23,525,000)
Raised in the USA since the age of 6 and graduated from psychology and mathematics, South Korean Cheong is a recognised online player under the nick of ‘subiime’. Although he won one of the events of the MiniFTOPS in 2009 ($55,000), his only remarkable achievement in live poker is winning this year’s WSOPC San Diego $300 NLHE ($17,541).
Cheong felt a little uncomfortable due to the bubble taking so long to burst. His somewhat passive tactics seem to have played out well, though he felt it hard to let go of the ambiguous hands.


John RacenerJohn Racener (19,050,000)
25-year-old pro Racener has the second best results among the final table players, next to ‘The Grinder’. Participating in live events since 2006, he finished 3rd in that year’s WSOPC Atlantic City ($103,527) and won the same event in 2007 ($379,392). He got in the money in the WSOP eight times, including a final table seat in the 2009 $5,000 PLO-8 event.
Michael Mizrachi is a good friend to Racener, and the latter said he was happy that they are both participating in the finale.


Matt JarvisMatt Jarvis (16,700,000)
The Canadian pro mainly plays online tournaments and went live in 2008, so far with few notable results. He was 11th in the 2009 CPT River Rock $2,500 NLHE game ($20,237).
Jarvis regards the final table as a ‘dream come true’, and evaluated his fellow players as very aggressive.




Filippo CandioFilippo Candio (16,400,000)
The only European at the final table, the Italian Candio lives in Cagliari and participated mostly in national poker tournaments before. After winning the 2009 IPT San Remo ($185,271), he made it in the money in the WSOP 2010 $1,500 NLHE event. He went pro in 2008 under the mentorship of Max Pescatori.
Candio is the first Italian November Nine, of which he is very proud.



Michael MizrachiMichael Mizrachi (14,450,000)
‘The Grinder’ is by far the most notable name from the Nine, accumulating a sum of $8,8 million in live events so far, without his 2010 Main Event winnings (at least an additional $811,823). He is a constant participant of live games since 2004. He won the WPT LA Poker Classic in 2005 ($1,859,909) and finished ITM several times in WSOPs, including winning the $50,000 Players Championship this year ($1,559,046). In addition, he is the only player left who poses a real threat to Frank Kassela in the race for the title of Player of the Year.
Mizrachi, the only one of the four brothers to stay alive in the Main Event, said he felt like Phil Ivey could have felt this time last year; he added that he had a solid chance of winning, but the blinds were so high that anybody could win.


Soi NguyenSoi Nguyen (9,650,000)
Operative director of a pharmacy company, Nguyen is the only amateur player at the final table. He participated only in three tournaments before the Main Event, yet he proved to be more than capable of facing most of the pros. His acquaintances include poker names like Nam Le or Steve Sung, who will probably help him preparing for the finale.
Nguyen also had a bad time surviving the FT bubble phase, which he compared to a battle of NFL players for the Super Bowl.


Jason SantiJason Senti (7,625,000)
Senti is an online cash game (mostly $50-$100) pro and trainer, his nick is 'PB Jaxx'. In live he has not yet shown much, except his 32th place in the 2009 WSOP $10,000 World Championship Heads-Up event.
He said that even though everybody played to win, he didn’t think anybody of the November Nine would have seriously believed they would play at the final table. With the finale approaching, of course, it had become a top priority for all of them to get there. Check out Jason Senti's blog at BlueFirePoker.