Well, there back, seems like only yesterday the seats were filled for the November nine showdown at the RIO.
World series of pokers new finally, began Sunday with the nine finalists from back in July.
There are no more household names in the mix, there are familiar names around the poker world, like Ben Lamb, and Sam Holden, but all the Johnny Chan’s, Scotty Nguyen’s, Moneymaker’s and Raymer’s of the poker world are out. All the Brad Garret’s and Ray Romano’s as well as Jason Alexander(who did quite well this year) are out.
There’s just Nine, and in order of chip count, they are:
Martin Starszko 44,325,000 in chips
Eoghan O’Dea 35,375,000 in chips
Matt Giannetti 26,600,000 in chips
Phil Collins 23,275,000 in chips
Ben Lamb 19,100,000 in chips
Pius Heinz 17,850,000 in chips
Bob Bounahra 15,675,000 in chips
Anton Makiievskyi 13,125,000 in chips
Sam Holden at 10,600,00 in chips
Contenders came out to an introduction much like an NBA game intro, with their favorite music in the background. The Rio’s Penn and Teller theatre was rocking with a standing room only crowd by 10:30 in the morning.
STAY TUNED: for all updates through Sunday and LIVE reports from the RIO on Tuesday.
Well, first player eliminated and out in 9th place is Sam Holden. He loses his showdown to Ben Lamb but stills collects over 782,000 dollars. Then comes Ukrainian champ Anton Makiievskyi losing out to new chip leader Pius Heinz. So for his efforts Anton will take home over a MILLION bucks, the highest ever paid to an eight place finisher.
Now out in Seventh is Bob Bounahra, this casualty compliments of Martin Staszko who looks good here within the November nine group, but the chip leader grows his stack to over 67 Million. Bob Bounahra exits with a cash prize of over 1.3 million dollars and a great story for the grand children.
Number 6 is now exiting the table and its the Irishman Eoghan O'Dea as well as a quick exit for Phil Collins respectively earning over a whopping 1.7 and 2.2 million bucks, one player to go before a day off, who will it be
90 minute break, then a battle for that 4th spot to earn over 3 million bucks. More important is the fact, when they are down to the final 3 they take a day off and resume play on Tuesday. The big story to me is the resurgents of Ben Lamb he has almost doubled his chip stack on this November 9 start day, up to 46,300,000 within the last hour to keep in contention and pass Martin Staszko for that 4th spot overall.
When the next player is eliminated we will have it here: STAY TUNED!
In a one of the best (and stressing) showdowns of the first day in NOVEMBER Nine action, Ben Lamb sends Martin Staszko packing. Lamb calls an all in worth 12 million or so and quickly turns over his pair 'o kings to Staszko,s ACE high as they both stood to watch the crowd begins cheers on one side of the room for STASZKO STASZKO!! and the other is BEN, BEN, BEN!! Flop comes and I couldn't make out the first card maybe a JACK?, no QUEEN, but it didnt matter because before my brain could process that one, it had already seen and processed the next two cards as KING KING and before anyone could even say "river" Ben Lamb sent Mr. Staszko home with a consolation prize of around 3 million dollars. Dont get me wrong 3 million is a nice consolation but starting Tuesday these remaining three men will be playing a game of NO LIMIT TEXAS HOLD EM for a grand prize of well over 8 million dollars. STAY TUNED.To start the Tuesday play, one opponent made a risky move and over bet his hand perhaps in bluff style to steal a big chunk of Staszko’s chips but Stasko played how he should with a pair to his aggressors KING JACK hand, going all in and forcing a thrilling river. 5 blanks (no help to either) landed,
So it didn’t take much after that for local favorite, Ben Lamb, to be gone after his outstanding run in this years WSOP. He does collect a PLAYER of the year award by ending his summer with 5 top12 finishes, and an awesome third place finish in the MAIN EVENT here, after only entering around 12 events all year. He walks away from the tables 4 million richer,
THE SHOWDOWN BEGINS!!!
It was a pretty good head to head for a while with STASZKO and HEINZ but in the end Heinz took a monster lead on good play, and the final hand came as Stasko had to go all in pre-flop with 10-7 and and with A-K Heinz calls and the crowd goes quiet until the flop comes 9-5-2 leaving a small window to Stasko then a J turned and a quick hush comes over the group, waiting for a 8 to keep it all alive, BUT a river 4 turns the crowded theatre to cheers for Heinz and confetti dropping from the ceiling and the first German WSOP player is crowned, he runs around and gets draped in a German(flag) scarf, earning a gold bracelet and around 8.7 million dollars.
Another season over and a record breaking crowd gets to see an amazing amount of good poker once again.
NOW, I have a lot of poker playing buddies and I would consider one or two of them to be elite enough to even consider playing at the same level of competition as this tournament, which leads me to ask where did these guys begin and how much of this game is really considered luck mixed with the knowledge of the percentages? also, Could there ever be a three time or for that matter two time champion again in this game due to the size and mass expansion of the event now?
Who cares its great for the winners and even the losers. Its a game and its part of history now, we got to witness it.