If you were following the World Series of Poker (WSOP) this summer in Las Vegas, then you know already that the fun is far from over. Come October 30th the November Nine will return to Las Vegas to compete for World Champion status – and let’s not forget the $25 million in prize money that’s also up for grabs! So, what else can we expect come October 30th?
The fun and games take place once again at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in the heart of Las Vegas…and the stakes are high. Just by being there, each player has already secured a hefty reward of at least $1,000,000 in prize money…but that’s not enough for these poker stars. Also up for grabs is the most respected poker prize going – a WSOP gold bracelet, plus the largest share of the total prize pool, which currently sits at a cool $63,327,800. The man crowned the victor will secure the first-place prize of $8 million, and between them the runners up will divide another $17 million.
If the WSOP’s main event is anything to go by – we’re in for a rowdy year. The November Nine are thought to be one of the most animated groups of competitors the competition has seen in years. So, who will we be watching? Let’s run through the competitors by seat number…
Seat 1 – Johnny Wong
Chips – 10,175,000
Having accrued winnings of $1.3 million over the course of his career, Wong sure has the experience to be a contender. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the chips to back that up. Wong is expected to be the first to go.
Seat 2 – Griffin Benger
Chips – 26,175,000
Canadian Benger has notched up $2 million in career earnings, and 13 cashes in previous WSOP events.
Set 3 – Vojtech Ruzicka
Chips – 27,300,000
Ruzicka has cashed at 17 previous WSOP events, amounting to $138,585. Of the 18 tournaments he’s entered this year – he’s cashed in four. Could the November Nine become his biggest payday to date?
Seat 4 – Fernando Pons
Chips – 6,150,000
With just over 6 million chips, Pons is the least experienced player in the competition and only plays part time. Although chances are slim, perhaps this could be his opportunity to leave his life as an Account Executive back in Spain for good.
Seat 5 –David Nguyen
Chips – 67,925,000
Las Vegas resident, Nguyen has only taken home career earnings of $974,714. This means that even if he were to come in in ninth place, the $1,000,000 prize money would come in handy!
Seat 6 – Cliff Josephy
Chips – 74,600,000 – CHIP LEADER
Not only is Josephy the most experienced competitor, but he’s also Chip Leader, and already has two WSOP bracelets to his name. Josephy is hotly-tipped to become this year’s victor.
Seat 7 – Michael Ruane
Chips – 31,600,000
No one would have predicted that Ruane would get as far as the November Nine. There is no doubt about it, this tournament is a life-changing event for him – previously he’s taken just $24,438 in WSOP earnings, and $44,962 in career earnings. Perhaps the hunger of being the underdog might help him clinch the win!
Seat 8 – Gordon Vayo
Chips – 49,375,000
It’s been a great season for San Franciscan, Gordon Vayo, who has played in 21 WSOP belts and cashed in eight. Perhaps we’ll see him continue on this winning streak?
Seat 9 –Kenny Hallaert
Chips – 43,325,000
Over the course of his long career, this Belgian competitor has accumulated 22 WSOP cashes, and $367,855 in career earnings. Additionally, Hallaert has cashed twice in this competition, once in 2011, and again in 2015.
Looks set to be an unmissable competition. Don’t forget to tune in to ESPN from the 30th October to catch all the action.