It’s finally here. The event you’ve been watching coverage of all summer long and into the fall on ESPN is ready to resume with the final 9 players in order to determine a champion. About 4 months ago, play was stopped when John Hewitt of Costa Rica was eliminated in 10th place. The remaining players hail from 7 different countries and include Martin Staszko, Eoghan O’Dea, Matt Giannetti, Phil Collins, Ben Lamb, Badih Bou-Nahra, Pius Heinz, Anton Makiievskyi, and Sam Holden.
Staszko leads the way with over 40 million in chips, but the favorite to win it all is arguably Ben Lamb, who has officially clinched the title of 2011 WSOP Player of the Year. Some of the other November Niners were active and successful at the felt over the 4-month break, with Giannetti taking down the WPT Malta Main Event for over $270,000 and Heinz winning a $1,000 buy-in event at the recent EPT Barcelona. Heinz, the first German player to make the WSOP Main Event final table, also just scored a sponsorship deal with PokerStars.
The players will gather at the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio Hotel and Casino, where action will officially resume at 3:30 pm Eastern. For the first time ever, all poker play will be broadcast on a 15-minute delay on ESPN 2, with fans (and in principle, even the November Niners themselves!) being able to see hole cards after each hand is completed. Play will continue until only 3 players remain, and those 3 players will then reconvene on Tuesday at 9 pm Eastern to crown a winner. The almost-live online and television broadcasts will feature commentary from Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Hellmuth.
For those of you unable to tune in and see the action unfold, be sure to check back with us at the Cardplayer Lifestyle poker blog where we’ll have a recap of all the final table action for you.