WSOP 2016: Meet The November Nine

Cliff Josephy is the chip leader as the final nine players look to continue play in the Main Event on October 30.

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After fighting through a field that totaled 6,737 players, the November Nine are set to return on October 30 to battle it out once again until November 1 for…
Joe Giron

After fighting through a field that totaled 6,737 players, the November Nine are set to return on October 30 to battle it out once again until November 1 for the Main Event Championship of the World Series of Poker.

The Nine are made up of players from the US, Belgium, Czech Republic, Spain, and Canada.

Getting to know the November Niners:

Cliff Josephy of Muttontown NY is leading the pack with 74,600,000 chips. He is one of the most famous faces that make up the final set of players making a name for himself in both online and poker cash games. He has cashed 17 times in his WSOP career and has two WSOP gold bracelets to his name.

Las Vegan Qui Nguyen follows Josephy in second place—sitting with 67,925,000 chips. He has only ever cashed once at the WSOP for $9,029 and notably has less experience in high stakes tournament poker games than many of his counterparts—despite sitting comfortably in second place.

Gordon Vayo from San Francisco will be fighting for the first bracelet of his career as he will go into the Final Table with 49,375,000 chips in third place. Vayo has cashed a total of 26 times at the WSOP over the course of this poker career—his best performance coming as runner up in the $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max event back in 2014.

Kenny Hallaert who hails from Belgium sits in fourth place with 43,325,000 chips. This makes him only the second Belgian ever to have made it as part of the November Nine—Pierre Neuville became the first last year. Hallaert had his best WSOP finish last year when he came fifth in the Colossus.

Michael Ruane follows in fifth with 31,600,000 chips. Ruane who comes from Maywood, NJ has only five recorded tournament cashes, three of which are from the WSOP making him one of the more inexperience players at the Final Table.

After going into Day 7 as chip leader, Vojtech Ruzicka sits in the middle of the pack, in sixth place with 27,300,000 chips. He has cashed 17 times at the WSOP, his best finish was a final table performance in last year’s bounty event for $42,228. He is the first Czech player to make it to the November Nine since Martin Staszko in 2011.

Griffin Benger from Canada sits in seventh place with 26,175,000 chips. Benger is known to many not only as an accomplished poker player—he was ranked as the number 1 online poker player in the world n 2011—but also a highly ranked video game player, once winning the Counterstrike World Championship.

Brooklynite Jerry Wong has 10,175,000 chips putting him in eighth position. With 19 WSOP cashes to his name and over $1.3 million in recorded poker earnings, making him one of the more experienced players sitting at the table. However, this is the first time he has sat at a WSOP Final Table.

Rounding out the November Nine is Fernando Pons from Spain. Amazingly this is Pons first WSOP event and first time in Vegas—being an online player he only has two live tournament cashes on record. He sits with 6,150,000 chips which is a great achievement for his first time playing a WSOP event.

July 19, 2016
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