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2009 World Series of Poker - Event #57 - Final Table
by 2009 World Series of Poker Coverage   
Saturday, 07 November 2009

LIVE coverage of the Main Event final table from the Rio in Las Vegas.

Sunday, 08th of November 2009 06:00 AM
(Aaron Angerman reporting)

In the first hand of three-handed play, it was on.

Joe Cada sparked it all with an opening raise to 2.55 million.  Saout was up next and he decided it would cost 7.3 million to see the flop.  This sent Cada into the tank, and after a few minutes, the kid was all in.  Saout snapped him off.  The cards were turned and it was Saout's QQ waaaaay ahead of Cada's deuces.  At least until the flop...

Joe Cada
7 2 9 on the board sent Cada's fans in an uproar, as their boy had spiked a miracle set of twos.  Saout would need one of the two remaining ladies in the deck to help him out, but two bricks would fall on the felt.  Saout and Cada swapped places in the chip counts.

It wouldn't last much longer.

The understandably tired trio has been shipping frequently in the early a.m. Just two hands after Cada captured the chip lead, he and Saout were racing for the Frenchman's tournament life... and the right for everyone to go home.

After a count revealed Saout was down to 44 million and change, the cards were turned and it was Cada and his AK needing to play catch up to Saout's 8 8.  The kid couldn't do it on the flop, which fell 545.  The ten on the turn still had Cada looking for an ace or a king.

K on the river.

For the last time in this neverending day, Cada is nearly torn apart by his mosh pit of yellow tshirts and booze.  Cada's pair of kings on the river means the table is set for a Cada vs. Moon showdown right here on Monday night.

Antoine Saout finishes in 3rd-place, earning $3,479,670.

Darvin Moon
Heads-up is set, and it only took #276 hands!  Thanks everyone for joining us for your LIVE coverage.  Come right back here Monday at 10 p.m. PT to see who finally ends up with the 40th Main Event bracelet of all time, and the $8.5 million.

Heads-up chip counts:
  • Joseph Cada: 135,950,000
  • Darvin Moon: 58,850,000

Sunday, 08th of November 2009 05:00 AM
(Elissa Harwood reporting)

Eric Buchman stayed pretty steady for the last 15 hours, but he’s finally decided to board the final table roller coaster. First, Antoine Saout raises to just under 2 million. Buchman thinks for awhile before deciding to call from the SB. Joe Cada folds from the big, and the dealer lays out the T32 flop. Buchman checks the flop, and Saout bets 2,375,000. That’s the last moderately paced action in the hand. Buchman considers his options before check-raising to 5 million. Saout sloooowly thinks about the hand. Finally he decides to reraise to around 11.2 million, which leaves Buchman with another decision to ponder. “Too slow,” says a member of the audience as he gives up railing in the middle of the hand and heads for the exit. He’s been gone for a few minutes before Buchman decides to four-bet to 21.2 million, making it another 10 million for Saout to call. Antoine tanks so long most people have forgotten there is a hand going on. But eventually Saout tosses his hand, and people cheer mostly because the hand is finally over. Buchman takes over the chip lead, but the roller coaster is just picking up speed. 

Several hands later Buchman opens on the button to 2.5 million. Saout repops from the big blind to 9 million, and acting quickly this time, Buchman moves all in. This, of course, sends Saout back into the tank. Just when we think the Frenchman has fallen asleep, he announces a call. Whoa! Everyone wakes up in a hurry with the biggest pot of the night on the line. Buchman shows AQ to Saout’s AK. Big slick will have to hold up to keep Saout alive. Someone on stage starts a half-hearted “USA” chant, but no one joins in. The French cheering section goes nuts with a King on the KT7 flop. The K on the turn leaves Buchman in need of a Jack. But the 6 on the river is no help. Saout is now the overwhelming chip leader with 89 million chips, and Buchman is knocked all the way down to 10 million.

He moves his short stack in with KT, and Darvin Moon quickly calls with A7. Buchman gets the help he needs on the K95 flop, and Moon is drawing dead after the K on the turn. Eric is back to 23.8 million. And then he moves all in again on the next hand over a raise from Moon. Darvin acts like he’s a little over this whole poker thing and decides to call. Buchman has the best hand this time, meaning he might as well pack his things. It’s Eric’s A5 against Moon’s KJ. The flop is clean – Q92, though it gives Moon extra straight outs. And as we all know, ten outs is seven more outs than Moon needs. As expected, the K binks on the turn. 5 on the river.

Eric Buchman is out in 4th place. He earns $2,502,890 for a valiant effort.

And here are the chip stacks heading into three-handed play:

Player Chips Big Blinds
Antoine Saout 80,650,000 80.65
Darvin Moon 75,925,000 75.925
Joe Cada 39,224,000 39.224

Sunday, 08th of November 2009 04:00 AM
(Elissa Harwood reporting)

Jeff Shulman - 5th place
At long last, we have a 5th place finisher. It folds to Antoine Saout in the small blind, and he opens for a sizable 5.4 million. Jeff Shulman in the big blind moves all in, leaving only 200k for Saout to call. Shulman turns over 77, and Saout shows A9 for two overs. The way better hands are running tonight, Shulman doesn’t have a chance. The dealer makes it quick and easy, dealing the blow on the T96 flop. The Q on the turn doesn’t make Happy Shulman any happier, and the 4 on the river sticks him with 5th place. Jeff earns $1,953,452 for 5th, $1.8 million more than he earned for his 7th place Main Event finish in 2000 and $453,000 more than he would have earned had he won that year.

With four left, Darvin Moon is gaining steam and has won a few pots without a showdown to chip up. Saout is still the chip leader, and Moon, Cada, and Buchman are all within three big blinds of each other and keep trading spots. Joe Cada seems to have the only fans who are still awake despite the amazing amount of alcohol they’ve consumed today. If not for them, the entire theater would be silent. Even the announcers have stopped talking much. Here are the chip counts for the four remaining semi-conscious players:

Player Chips Big Blinds
Antoine Saout 58,750,000 73.4375
Darvin Moon 46,975,000 58.71875
Joe Cada 45,325,000 56.65625
Eric Buchman 44,750,000 55.9375

Sunday, 08th of November 2009 03:00 AM
(Elissa Harwood reporting)

The final five players have all suddenly turned into complete rocks. We thought they were tight all day, but that was nothing compared to the last hour of “play.” While the audience would appreciate some more excitement, the players’ nitty behavior is understandable. The 5th place finisher earns $689,850 more than the 9th place finisher, about the same pay jump as between 4th and 5th place. The payouts only get steeper from there.

Saout's fans are still awake somehow.
It’s also reasonable to assume that the players are getting tired about now. Moon has been caught on camera with his eyes closed a few times, and Saout has looked like he’s napping with his head in his hands all day.

In addition, there is no big stack to bully the table and drive the action. Darvin Moon had 58.93 million chips with nine players left. Now that there are only five, the chip leader still has 59 million.

Last year, the final table was down to heads up before midnight. This year, at 3:00 am, they’re still five handed. The 2009 Main Event was triple stacked (every player started with 30k in chips), and in 2008 entrants only started with 20k, meaning there are more chips in play at this year’s final table.

Despite doing his best impression of a barnacle, Jeff Shulman could be on his way out shortly. He’s approaching the double up or bust point. Here are the chip counts as the players take off on a 20-minute break:

Player Chips Big Blinds
Antoine Saout 59,025,000 73.78125
Eric Buchman 51,550,000 64.4375
Joe Cada 47,650,000 59.5625
Darvin Moon 31,775,000 39.71875
Jeff Shulman 5,800,000 7.25

Sunday, 08th of November 2009 02:00 AM
(Aaron Angerman reporting)

Double up time!

Just moments after picking a few million away from Moon, Shulman brought the same raise to 1.75 million on the following hand.  It folded around to Cada, who ended up shipping from the SB.  It was 11 million total, and Shulman made the quick call with two black jacks.  Cada showed only a couple threes and would need help.

Joe Cada fans
How about 348 on the flop?  Cada flops a set of treys, and after the turn and river brick, the kid takes his new found two outer and turns it into a double up.  After the hand, Shulman is left with 7.5 million, while the 21-year-old again has 22 million.

Cada wasn't done there.

This time it was Moon making it 2 million from the button.  Cada, sitting in the BB, makes it 5.6 million to go and is met by a Moon insta-shove.  Cada snaps, and before the dealer turns over the kids cards, Cada is hugging his yellow tshirted buddies on the rail.  Of course Cada had AA.  Moon?  How about K9 offsuit?

The flop brought a 9, pairing Moon and sending rumbles through the audience about another possible bad beat.  But as Moon quietly called for a king or another 9, the turn and river both fell 4 and Cada's aces held up.

Moon, who had just recently regained the chip lead, fell below the 40 million mark.  Cada, who was the short stack not long ago, is up to 45 million, good for 3rd.

Happy then got in on the double up act. 

It wasn't long before Shulman had his last 6.25 million in the middle.  Action folded around to the Frenchman Saout, who looked down at KQ in the BB and made the call.  Schulman turned over A5 for the slight lead, but needed his 60/40 to hold on.  By the turn, Shulman had made aces up, but Saout had a gutshot at Broadway.  Alas, Saout could only dig up a 4, giving the hand and the double up to Shulman.

Chip counts:
  • Antoine Saout: 54,650,000
  • Eric Buchman: 50,400,000
  • Joseph Cada: 41,650,000
  • Darvin Moon: 33,750,000
  • Jeff Shulman: 14,325,000
We're in the middle of a new blind level.  They're now in level 38; 400K/800K blinds with 100K antes.

Sunday, 08th of November 2009 01:00 AM
(Elissa Harwood reporting)

And so the journey ends for a legend. At least for this year.

Phil Ivey moves all in under the gun, and action folds to Darvin Moon in the big blind. Moon quickly calls, turning over AQ. The crowd goes nuts as the announcer calls out Ivey’s cards - AK. The whole theater is chanting, “Ivey! Ivey! Ivey!” Every reporter watching has seen this enough. We all looked at each other and said, “Yup, this is it. Too bad it has to end this way.” (AQ seems to have a personal hatred for the greatest player in the game.)

The production crew draws out the hand as long as possible, zooming in on Ivey casually munching on his trademark apple. “Ivey! Ivey! Ivey!” “Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.” Finally time for the flop. Q66. No surprise there. Still hurts though. The audience screams for a King. One time! But not this time. The 3 on the turn and the 5 on the river, and that’s all there is. Everyone gives Ivey hearty cheers, but we all feel like we’ve personally taken a bad beat. Ivey acknowledges the crowd on his way out, and most of the audience will probably follow him to the exit soon. He skipped the standard post-bust interviews and has already disappeared into the night.

Phil Ivey finishes in 7th, earning a meaningless $1,404,014.

The Moon luckbox steamroll isn’t over yet. Steven Begleiter opens for 1.6 million. It folds to Moon, who moves all in for around 30 million, ten times the pot. Begs snap calls and leaps out of his chair to stand with his rail. Begleiter’s last 23 million is on the line with QQ against Moon’s favorite hand, AQ. The flop looks ok – 87 4. So does the 3 on the turn. But the A hammer on the river is all it takes to bust the banker in 6th place. He just looks stunned, and his fans can’t believe what just happened.

Pointing towards his new spot on the rail?
Steven Begleiter earns $1,587,160 for 6th  Kind of disappointing for a guy who spent four months in 3rd place.

Here are the final five:

Player Chips Big Blinds
Darvin Moon 63,925,000 106.5
Eric Buchman 53,250,000 88.75
Antoine Saout 51,725,000 86.2
Jeff Shulman 15,525,000 25.875
Joe Cada 10,350,000 17.25


Sunday, 08th of November 2009 12:00 AM
(Aaron Angerman reporting)

Welcome back to Ivey Watch: 2009.

Now, that isn't the title of this shindig, but you coulda fooled me given the uneasyness of the audience.  The collective pulse of those in attendence has been spiking over the last hour as everyone's hero can't seem shake the short stack label.  Ivey continues to sit around 10bb and really only has one move at this point.

Buchman had a chance to get this baby down to six-handed, getting Cada to commit the rest of his chips vs. his AK.  Cada turned over AK as well, then readied himself for a chopped pot...

Buchman and Cada
That is until Buchman picked up his flush draw on the turn.  The Cada faithful groan as their guy goes from lock-to-chop to nervous wreck in a matter of seconds.  After a disgustingly long sweat by the dealer, some red paint fell on 5th Street, Cada sighed and the duo each pulled back their half of the pot.

And after all that, it's break time again.  Expect the cards to be back into the air just after midnight Vegas time.

  • Antoine Saout: 53,725,000
  • Eric Buchman: 49,975,000
  • Darvin Moon: 32,875,000
  • Jeff Shulman: 18,325,000
  • Joseph Cada: 18,100,000
  • Steven Begleiter: 16,200,000
  • Phil Ivey: 6,350,000

Saturday, 07th of November 2009 11:00 PM
(Elissa Harwood reporting)

In the first hand Ivey has showed down all night, he and Darvin Moon see a blind-on-blind hand for the minimum. The flop comes 9 9 9, and Moon checks to Ivey. Phil bets 500,000, and Moon calls. Check-check after the King on the turn and the 6 on the river. Ivey’s Ten-high is good enough to best Moon’s 8-high and win the small pot.

Moon and Ivey
Only a few hands later, Ivey gets to showdown again. He raises to 1.25 million, and Joe Cada moves all in for just under 6 million. Ivey thinks for awhile, staring down Cada while the dealer counts down Joe’s stack. For a moment, Ivey looks like he might toss his cards into the muck, but instead he makes the call. It’s time for a high-stakes race with Cada’s 44 up against Ivey’s A8. The audience shouts for various cards as the board runs out T3297, meaning Cada’s 4s hold up to keep him alive. Joe’s boisterous fans go nuts as he doubles to 12.5 million. Ivey is short stacked, left with 10.3 million after the hand.

About three orbits later, Cada opens from the cutoff for 1.25 million. Ivey looks him up in the small blind, and both check the 985 flop. They also quickly check the Q on the turn. The river is the 3, and Ivey fires 1.25 million. Cada calls, tabling KQ for top pair. Ivey flips his cards into the muck and slips even lower to 8.6 million.

The room gets quieter and quieter as Ivey gets shorter and shorter. Most of the people in the audience seem to hold their breath every time the action is on Phil, as he can’t afford to lose any more chips. Blinds have just gone up to 300,000/600,000 with a 75,000 ante, meaning Ivey only has 10 big blinds.

While most people are focused on the Ivey drama, a huge hand snuck out of nowhere between Antoine Saout and Steven Begleiter. Fire. Works. Begleiter raises to 1.5 million, and Saout repops to 4.5. Begs thinks about it for awhile before making the call. The flop comes 983, and Saout checks to Begleiter. He heads into the tank, eventually sliding out 6.3 million. Antoine reraises all in for 21 million, making it 14.9 more for Begs to call. Finally Begleiter decides to call, and the hands go face up. Steven shows 87 for middle pair, and Saout has AK for the nut flush draw and two overs. The sweat doesn’t last long. The T on the turn makes Antoine’s flush and has Begleiter drawing dead.

Cada and Saout
As Saout’s supporters start chanting and waving their French flags, their man scoops the biggest pot of the night. He’s all of a sudden the chip leader with 52.7 million. Begleiter drops down to 18.4 million. In the run up to the final table, Begleiter’s opponents had mentioned that they hoped to exploit Begleiter’s tendency to call three-bets light and hoped he would stack off against them. He’ll likely be questioning his decision to get involved in this hand for a long time.

Here’s what the table is working with after the explosive level:

Player Chips Big Blinds
Antoine Saout 52,625,000 87.70833333
Eric Buchman 47,975,000 79.95833333
Darvin Moon 36,100,000 60.16666667
Steven Begleiter 19,750,000 32.91666667
Joe Cada 18,150,000 30.25
Jeff Shulman 14,525,000 24.20833333
Phil Ivey 6,425,000 10.70833333

Saturday, 07th of November 2009 10:00 PM
(Aaron Angerman reporting)

Happy doubles.  Cada not going down without a fight.

The Happy hand begins with Joe Cada tossing in 1.25 million of his remaining 9.5 million preflop.  Right behind the kid is Shulman, who wastes little time shipping in his last 7 million and change.  This sends Cada to tank town.  After a few minutes, Cada emerges with the call and somewhat sheepishly turns over AJ.  Shulman is next to show, his Big Slick dominating Cada's Ace. 

The flop falls T 9 2, giving Cada some runner straight outs.  But the Q on the turn kills Cada's Jack, which if it spikes would now give Shulman Broadway.  Cada is looking for a K or an 8, but the dealer can only muster a 4.  Shulman doubles to 15 million, while Cada is left with just 2.2 million.

Joe Cada
On the next hand, Cada is at risk holding just J 4.  Good thing for him, he is up against the 5 4 of the big stack, Buchman.  The cards run out 96 497 and even though they both pair a 4, Cada's Jack kicks in for the win.  After one more all in move that goes uncalled, Cada, still hoping to become the youngest Main Event winner on record, is hovering around the 5 million chip mark.

Chip counts:
  • Eric Buchman: 47,150,000
  • Steven Begleiter: 45,050,000
  • Darvin Moon: 40,050,000
  • Antoine Saout: 26,575,000
  • Phil Ivey: 16,675,000
  • Jeff Shulman: 14,500,000
  • Joseph Cada : 5,500,000

Saturday, 07th of November 2009 09:00 PM
(Elissa Harwood reporting)

The seven remaining players are back from dinner and the audience is filing back into the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio. Cards should be back in the air shortly. There is about an hour left in Level 36, with blinds at 250k/500k with a 50k ante. 

During the break, Mike Sexton became the 38th member of the Poker Hall of Fame. His three decades of poker success were celebrated with an induction ceremony and formal dinner. Sexton won a Seven Card Stud WSOP bracelet in 1989 and ranks 11th with 47 career WSOP cashes. He is also well known as one of the World Poker Tour's analysts and has more than $3.7 million in career tournament winnings.

Saturday, 07th of November 2009 07:00 PM
(Aaron Angerman reporting)

Just about dinner time.  The last hour has alternated between Ivey scooping pots and Shulman hanging out in the tank.

In the first of three straight preflop raises, Ivey came over the top of a Shulman raise, three-bet shoving the rest of his stack from the BB.  It's just about 6 million more for Shulman to call, and he sits stone faced for about five minutes before deciding to muck rather than tangle with the living legend.

Ivey followed that hand with two consecutive raises to 1.1 million, earning him a pair of pots to push his stack to about 17 million.

Shulman soon finds himself dipping back into the tank, this time at the hands of Saout.

Saout was first to bet, making it 1.35 million to see the flop.  Shulman is next to act and re-pops it to 4 million even.  About a minute of silence passes, before Saout announces he is all in for 21 million and change.  "Happy" didn't like this.  Back into statue mode again, Shulman scans the rest of his stack worth about 8 million, and decides to muck and fight another day.  We're more than 100 hands into this final table and Shulman has yet to showdown a hand.  Happy now finds himself as the short stack.

Shulman and Hellmuth
Dinner break is just minutes away.  Play will pause for two hours so they players can get their grub on. The Hall of Fame will also be hosting a ceremony during the break to induct its 38th member, Mike Sexton.

Chip counts as of break:
  • Eric Buchman: 54,725,000
  • Darvin Moon: 41,250,000
  • Steven Begleiter: 38,100,000
  • Antoine Saout: 28,725,000
  • Phil Ivey: 14,900,000
  • Joseph Cada: 10,700,000
  • Jeff Shulman: 7,175,000
Cards will be back in the air at 9 p.m. Vegas time.

Saturday, 07th of November 2009 06:00 PM
(Aaron Angerman reporting)

A couple of hands to chat about in the last hour... the first is a big one that got us down to seven-handed.

Schaffel opens said hand with a raise to 1.25 million.  Right behind him with the call is the oft-flatting Begleiter.  Before Shaffel gets the chance to act again, Buchman barges in and pumps it up to 5.75 million.  Schaffel then decides to ship his remaining stack, sending Begleiter's hand into the muck.  Buchman makes the call for about 12 million more.

Schaffel, Begleiter and Buchman
Everyone in the theater is on their feet to witness Buchman turn over KK.  Moans roar out as Schaffel shows AA.

Of course a King falls right in the window.

Nothing but paint on the K Q J flop, turning the tables on Schaffel and his rockets.  By 4th Street, Buchman has improved to quad Kings, and Schaffel, drawing dead, starts giving handshakes and hugs to the remaining seven.  After the hand, Buchman is over 50 million chips, within just a few million of Moon and the chip lead.

Kevin Schaffel is our 8th-place finisher, earning $1,300,231.

After another spell of raise it and take it, Moon and Begs tangle in a big preflop battle. Darvin Moon makes it 1.3 million under the gun, and Steven Begleiter pops it to 3.9 million. A call from Moon means big pot time, and they go heads up to the 432 flop. Moon checks the action to Begleiter, who bets 5.35 million. Moon pauses, checks his cards, plays with his chips, and slides out several big stacks, raising to 15 million total. Begs sits back in his seat, studying the chip leader and weighing his options. Then he decides it's time to pull the trigger. Begleiter moves all in for 21 million. The crowd is on its feet. Moon closes his eyes, looking sick. It's 6 million more for him to call, and there is already around 40 million. Everyone starts to murmur as Moon thinks and thinks and ... folds! Begleiter nearly doubles without a showdown. The roar of "Begs! Begs! Begs!" is deafening, and we go to a quick break to allow everyone to try to figure out what just happened.

Buchman moves up to the top spot.

With that insane hand, Buchman is handed the title of chip leader, with 52 million.  Begleiter is up to 44 million, and Moon has now slipped to third.

Time for another break.  Here are the updated chip counts:
  • Eric Buchman: 51,825,000
  • Steven Begleiter: 44,175,000
  • Darvin Moon: 42,075,000
  • Antoine Saout: 23,175,000
  • Jeff Shulman: 15,150,000
  • Joseph Cada: 9,850,000
  • Phil Ivey: 8,550,000
It sounds like players will be sent on a two-hour dinner break around 7 p.m.

Saturday, 07th of November 2009 05:00 PM
(Elissa Harwood reporting)

Negreanu was right. This level is proving to be quite the roller coaster.

"Schaffel Up and Deal"
Kevin Schaffel comes out swinging with a raise to 1.15 million. Six players fold, leaving the action up to James Akenhead in the big blind. Akenhead, fresh from his game-changing triple up, asks for a count of Schaffel’s stack before opting to flat the Floridian’s raise. The flop is J94. Akenhead fires 1.6 million, and Schaffel confidently moves all in. “Call,” says Akenhead without missing a beat. Akenhead turns over KK for the overpair, but Schaffel is in good shape with the over-over pair, AA. As usual, the dealer lets the suspense build as long as possible before laying out the 3 on the turn and J on the river. “Schaffel, Schaffel, Schaffel,” chant Kevin’s fans, many of them donning clever "Schaffel Up and Deal" tshirts.  Their buddy, this year's WPT Legends of Poker runner-up, doubled from short stack to 14.8 million. After only a few hands in the middle of the pack, Akenhead is back on the bottom with under 6 million in chips.

James Akenhead - 9th place
One hand later, Akenhead raises to 1.2 million. Phil Ivey, next to act, considers Akenhead’s stack and then moves all in. Akenhead would have to put his tournament life on the line to call but instead opts to fold. James sits tight for three more hands, then open ships his last 4.45 million from middle position. Akenhead’s nemesis, Schaffel, calls, and everyone else quickly mucks. Once again, Schaffel has the better hand, showing 99 to Akenhead’s 33. The flop falls T72, and the turn is the 2. Akenhead is down to two outs. Can he river a miracle for a second time? Alas, the 9 on the river is not what James needs. Schaffel fills his boat, and Akenhead is the 9th place finisher. After an exhausting up-and-down afternoon, Akenhead must settle for another 9th place and $1,263,602 in prize money. He also finished 9th at the WSOPE Main Event last month.

The all-in action didn’t slow down after Akenhead’s exit. Phil Ivey raises under the gun to 1.1 million. Joe Cada, who is under 6 million in chips after losing a sizable pot to Darvin Moon, takes a deep breath and moves all in over Ivey. The audience is deadly quiet while Phil ponders his options, and everyone collectively lets out their breath when he folds. Of course, the balcony full of Cada fans erupts in cheers as their boy is back over 7 million.

Darvin Moon is still far out in front, followed by Eric Buchman. After doubling through Moon, Antoine Saout has jumped into the 3rd spot, moving Steven Begleiter down to 4th. Accumulating all of Akenhead’s chips over the course of two hands bumped Kevin Schaffel from short stack to 5th. Jeff Shulman is treading water, only 2 million shorter than he was at the start of the day but two spots lower on the leader board. Phil Ivey needs some help to get out of the 7th spot, and Joe Cada is the current short stack. Here’s how the stacks stack up:

Player Chips Big Blinds
Darvin Moon 58,225,000 145.5625
Eric Buchman 33,325,000 83.3125
Antoine Saout 26,050,000 65.125
Steven Begleiter 23,125,000 57.8125
Kevin Schaffel 18,600,000 46.5
Jeff Shulman 17,025,000 42.5625
Phil Ivey 9,750,000 24.375
Joe Cada 8,700,000 21.75

Saturday, 07th of November 2009 04:00 PM
(Aaron Angerman reporting)

It's break time again.  Level 34 has ended and the staff is doing some housecleaning, coloring up the small chips.  New blinds are 200K/400K with 50K antes.  Daniel Negreanu said this level should bring some action, even though we were just treated to some.

James Akenhead
Most of the excitement came during a James Akenhead all-in adventure.  After an open shove for his last 3 million and change went uncalled, Akenhead moves in his last 3.8 million on the following hand from UTG.  Steve Begleiter then sends the crowd into a roar by announcing the call, but Eric Buchman still has a turn, and he re-raises, making it 12 million to play.  Begleiter mucks, leaving Buchman to battle Akenhead heads-up.

The cards are turned and Akenhead's K Q is in really bad shape against the A K of Buchman.  The J3{moscardsuit:ss2 flop doesn't help either player, and the K on the turned pairs both.  Akenhead has one foot in the grave, still looking for that Queen.  After a painful sweat, the dealer rolls over the Q.  The Penn and Teller Theater explodes, and Akenhead gets caught in a celebratory mosh pit.  After tripling up in the hand, he's flirting with 13 million chips, no longer the short stack.

Just minutes later, it was Antoine Staout all in and at risk.  The Frenchman opens the action with a raise from the CO.  Moon calls from the big blind.  With Q J 2 on the board, Moon leads out with a bet of 2.3 million and Saout repops it, moving in almost his whole stack, 6.75 million.  Moon deliberates, before announcing all in.  Saout has only 3 million behind and basically beat the chip leader into the pot.   

Antoine Saout
The cards are tabled, and Saout's two pair (jacks and deuces) are way ahead of Moon's bluffy A4.  The 3 on the river does bring the logger a wheel sweat.  But after another deuce bounces on the river, Saout is up to 22 million.  Moon is still big stack, controlling about 50 million.

New chip counts:
  • Darvin Moon: 49,375,000
  • Eric Buchman: 34,215,000
  • Steven Begleiter: 24,400,000
  • Antoine Saout: 21,840,000
  • Jeff Shulman: 17,980,000
  • Joseph Cada: 16,515,000
  • James Akenhead: 12,245,000
  • Phil Ivey: 10,805,000
  • Kevin Schaffel: 7,490,000

Saturday, 07th of November 2009 03:00 PM
(Elissa Harwood reporting)

Eric Buchman and Joe Cada
It took 28 hands, but ladies and gentleman, drum roll please....we finally saw a turn card! And a river! Ok, so the action isn't exactly scintillating, but there's a lot on the line here. Eric Buchman opens for 800,000 and gets a customer in Jeff Shulman. The flop comes K77, and Buchman checks the action to Shulman. Jeff makes a 1.75 million stab at the pot, and after some thought, Buchman pays the price to see a turn. Suddenly people in the audience start paying attention again. The turn is the T, and both players quickly check. River time - 3. It's check-check again, and the final table has its first showdown. Buchman shows QQ, and Shulman mucks. Buchman has now crossed the 40 million chip mark.

Short stack James Akenhead has been blinding away and is under 3.5 million when he open shoves from the hijack. No callers, and Akenhead survives to play another hand. 

Joe Cada's fans go crazy.
Young Joe Cada has certainly been holding his own. Cada three-bets Kevin Schaffel out of a pot pre-flop, and a few hands later raises to 750,000 from the button. Antoine Saout calles in the small blind, and Jeff Shulman folds his big. The flop falls 865, and Saout doesn't take much time to consider before betting an even million. Cada calls to see the Q on the turn. Saout checks to Cada, and he bets 1.475 million. This time Saout thinks it over, but he eventually folds his hand, shipping the pot to Cada. 

The chip stacks have changed a little so far today, with Darvin Moon increasing his lead and James Akenhead falling further behind. The middle-of-the-pack stacks are looking pretty even at the moment. Here's the latest:

Darvin Moon 60,685,000
Eric Buchman 40,590,000
Steven Begleiter 29,225,000
Joe Cada 15,765,000
Jeff Shulman 15,470,000
Antoine Saout 11,340,000
Kevin Schaffel 9,200,000
Phil Ivey 9,185,000
James Akenhead 3,405,000

Saturday, 07th of November 2009 02:00 PM
(Aaron Angerman reporting)

It's been a lot of 'raise it and take it' to start off.  Level 33 wrapped without seeing a flop.  Now, with blinds at 150K/300K and 50K antes, the action is starting to pick up, even though the chip stacks haven't really fluctuated.

Moon - sans sponsor
Big stacks button and Moon have been doing most of the preflop raising, but everyone has got into a hand at some point.  Moon has even showed a move he might have picked up on break.

Moon started the hand with a limp from the cutoff.  Ivey tried to limp his SB, but Kevin Shaffel chased him out with a raise, making it 900K more from the BB.  Moon would waste little time to announce a reraise.  It was 2.2 mil to Ivey, who ran off.  Shaffel thought better of it, and gave the pot to the logger from Maryland, who somehow made it to the final table patchless and logoless... the first November Niner two show up in two years without being roped in by an online site.

Phil's fans
We have already seen two players all in.  Antoine Saout just came over the top of an Eric Buchman raise to scare off the competition and survive.  But the Penn & Teller Theater went silent as Phil Ivey had all his chips in the middle about 20 minutes ago. 

Jeff Shulman started the action with a raise to 1.25 million.  It folded around to Ivey, who shipped his 9 mil and change.  Joe Cada was slow to give up his hand, but eventually did.  Shulman would then muck and it was Ok for everyone to breath again.  Especially the Phil Ivey Superfans, who are in the front row.

Still nine-handed here.  The crowd is starting to get a little restless.  The Cada faithful seems to be mid-party, while Saout's French fans seem to be involved in a friendly cheering match with the USA faithful.

We've only seen three flops in the first hour.  Let's hope the next 60 mins have a few big pots in store.  First things first, time for the first 20-min break of the day.

Saturday, 07th of November 2009 01:00 PM
(Aaron Angerman reporting)

Still waiting to hear "shuffle up and deal!"  Here's a quick look at the numbers.

Seating chart and chip counts:
  • Seat 1: Darvin Moon - 58,930,000
  • Seat 2: James Akenhead - 6,800,000
  • Seat 3: Phil Ivey - 9,765,000
  • Seat 4: Kevin Schaffel - 12,390,000
  • Seat 5: Steven Begleiter - 29,885,000
  • Seat 6: Eric Buchman - 34,800,000
  • Seat 7: Joe Cada - 13,215,000
  • Seat 8: Antoine Saout - 9,500,000
  • Seat 9: Jeff Shulman - 19,580,000

Remaining payouts:
  • 1st: $8,546,435
  • 2nd: $5,182,601
  • 3rd: $3,479,485
  • 4th: $2,502,787
  • 5th: $1,953,395
  • 6th: $1,587,133
  • 7th: $1,404,002
  • 8th: $1,300,228
  • 9th: $1,263,602

Dennis Phillips and Lacey Jones
Blinds will be at 120K/240K with 30K antes to start.  That's the same level the November Nine started in last year, but this year's batch has deeper stacks.

Jeff Pollack was able to sneak in one last bracelet ceremony; to Barry Shulman for taking down the WSOPE Main Event.  It took a couple takes to get the national anthem in the books, but they got it.  Final table hostess Lacey Jones is parading players from last year's Nov 9 around, including 2008 champ Peter Eastgate and the man who first held the chip lead for four months, Dennis Phillips.  Eastgate was helped out by none other than Doyle Brunson on the 'shuffle up and deal', and it's time to rock.

Saturday, 07th of November 2009 12:00 PM
(Aaron Angerman reporting)

We are just moments away from the cards getting in the air at the 2009 WSOP Main Event final table.

The November Nine has survived the layoff and are currently being ushered to their seats at the most intimidating table in the world. After they stack the 195 million or so chips in play, it'll be player introductions, then gametime.

For the second straight year, the Penn & Teller Theater in the Rio is overflowing with poker fantatics, as well as boatloads of November Niner family and friends. The general admission line stretched a few hundred yards down the hallway. Dedicated fans at the front of the line said they had been there since 7 a.m. Spotted among the die hard fans; Allen Cunningham, Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu and Doyle Brunson. They weren't waiting in line, just mingling.

While we wait for the tourney clock to start back up, feel free to check out the November Nine player profiles, which can be found here.

The plan today is to play this nine down to just two. The final pair will then return on Monday, Nov. 9, at 10 p.m. PT to play heads-up for the $8.5 million grand prize and the bracelet.  ESPN will then turn around and air the final product on Tuesday. 

We'll be back after the cards are in the air.

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