2009 WSOP Main Event November Nine Reached on ESPN Coverage

Tuesday’s coverage of the 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event on ESPN featured the November Nine finally being revealed. Seven-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Ivey headlines the group.

Andrew “luckychewy” Lichtenberger was the first casualty of the night’s festivities, which saw the field chopped from 18 to nine. Lichtenberger raised to 400,000 with pocket jacks and Darvin Moon made the call with kings. The flop came 3-3-6 and Lichtenberger led out for 680,000. Moon made it 1.5 million and the youngster shoved for over five million. Moon made the call and the board ran out 6-7, sending Lichtenberger to the rails in 18th. ESPN announcer Norman Chad noted, “Another player runs head on into Darvin Moon.”

Eleven of the final 18 players in the field were in their 20s, 15 were Americans, and four could set the record as the youngest WSOP Main Event winner ever, breaking Peter Eastgate’s mark set last year. The latter group included Ian Tavelli, whose grandfather bought him into the $10,000 feature tournament after Tavelli kept his grades up. However, his Main Event run ended in 17th place when his pocket nines ran into Steven Begleiter’s pocket kings. Pre-flop, players with A-K suited, pocket tens, and pocket jacks folded, as the survivors closely guarded their stacks.

Ludovic Lacay and Nick Maimone hit the skids in 16th and 15th, respectively. The latter made it 480,000 pre-flop with A-Q of hearts and Eric Buchman came along with J-9. The flop came 8-10-J, giving Maimone two overcards and a straight draw against Buchman’s top pair and a straight draw. Maimone called all-in for his tournament life and the board ran out J-Q, improving Buchman to a straight and the win in the hand. With Maimone’s elimination, Joe Cada was the only player left standing who could break Eastgate’s record.

The second hour-long episode, which hit television airwaves at 10:00pm ET on Tuesday, began with a field of 14 players, each searching for their place in poker history. In one of the first hands shown, Antoine Saout raised to 550,000 pre-flop with A-Q of diamonds and Begleiter made the call with pocket sevens. The flop came 8-3-8. Begleiter checked, Saout bet 650,000, Beglieter raised to 1.5 million, and Saout shoved for another 3.7 million. Begleiter talked it out before finally releasing the best hand. Saout showed his bluff and Begleiter gave him a hearty pat on the back.

Saout doubled at the expense of fellow foreigner James Akenhead. However, Akenhead recouped much of his losses by doubling up through Jamie Robbins after cracking aces with K-Q. Robbins promptly hit a two-outer on the river against Cada with pocket tens against pocket aces to deliver a bad beat of his own before exiting in 11th place.

The hand of the night and the pot that defined the 2009 WSOP Main Event occurred between Moon and Billy “Patrolman35” Kopp, two of the chip leaders. Kopp raised to 600,000 pre-flop with 3-5 of diamonds and Moon made the call with Q-J, also of diamonds. The flop came all diamonds, eventually leading to Kopp shoving his mammoth stack. Moon made the call with a higher flush, scooping a 40 million chip pot. Chad commented, “Billy Kopp started this hand with 20 million chips. His November Nine ticket was punched. He’s gone.” Moon’s stack ballooned to 45 million, or one-quarter of the chips in play, and Kopp, an Ultimate Bet pro, busted in 12th place.

Jordan Smith’s pocket aces could not withstand Moon’s pocket eights, as he became the November Nine Bubble Boy. The flop came 8-4-2, giving Moon top set. Smith checked, Moon fired out a bet of four million, Smith shoved, and Moon cheerfully called, creating a 30 million chip pot. The turn and river came a five and ten, respectively, sending Smith out in 10th and giving Moon a massive chip lead over the rest of the field entering this weekend’s final table.

The November Nine will reconvene at the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio on Saturday at Noon and play down to heads-up. The two survivors will determine a champion on Monday beginning at 10:00pm PT. The final table airs at 9:00pm ET on Tuesday, November 11th.

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