After a grueling day of play that stretched from Saturday into early Sunday, the World Series of Poker final table’s November Nine is down to two players.
The main event, which had been on hiatus since July, resumed Saturday at the Rio in Las Vegas. Who were the two survivors about 14 hours after the final table began? Jonathan Duhamel, the chip leader entering the final table, ended the day with approximately 190 million chips. John Racener trails with about 29 million.
Here’s a recap of what went down and eliminations:
Nguyen out first
Amateur Soi Nguyen became the first elimination of the final table, losing a race with AK against QQ.
Jason Senti was his opponent, and he hit a set with a flop of Q 3 T. Senti had to sweat the jacks still in the deck in order to knock out Nguyen. The jacks stayed hidden, and Nguyen finished in ninth place.
Nguyen won $811,823.
Matthew Jarvis out in eighth
Matthew Jarvis put his tournament life on the line in a race, with 9c9h against Michael Mizrachi’s AdQd.
Mizrachi looked golden Qs8dQc, giving him trips. But Jarvis turned a full house with the 9s.
Finally, Mizrachi took the hand when the As hit on the river, giving him a better full house.
Jarvis won $1,045,743 for his trouble.
Mizrachi gets chip lead
Michael Mizrachi, true to his moniker, grinded his way to the chip lead. The biggest hand was likely hand No. 71, when he four bet his opponents to take over the table’s top spot. John Dolan bet 1.85 million, and Jonathan Duhamel raised to 4.275 million. Mizrachi raised to 10 million, and took down the pot when the other two players folded.
Mizrachi, who started the final table with just 14 million chips, improved to more than 50 million after the hand.
Senti takes seventh
Jason Senti looked like he was poised to double up in hand 116, but some cruel cards turned his good fortune into an elimination.
Senti got his chips in the middle with AdKs against Joseph Cheong’s TsTc.
The flop came KdKhQc to give Senti trips. The turn was the Jd, giving Cheong a straight draw (four nines) in addition to the two remaining 10s that would give him a full house. Any ace would give Cheong a straight, but it would have meant a full house for Senti. The river was the 9d, and Senti was cruelly eliminated.
Senti won $1,356,720.
Dolan out in sixth place
John Dolan was shortstacked when he went all in in hand 129 of the final table with Qd5d and was called by Jonathan Duhamel, who had 4c4d.
The flop came Jh 7h 6h, which didn’t help Dolan at all. The turn brought the 9h, which meant another heart would create a split pot, and Dolan added a straight draw to his over cards. But the river brought a harmless 3c, and Dolan was out.
Dolan had entered the final table with 46 million chips and was second in the chip counts entering Satuday. Dolan won $1,772,959 for sixth place.
Grinder, ground down
Michael Mizrachi was eliminated in fifth place when he got his money in behind on hand No. 185.
Jonathan Duhamel just called out of the small blind, while Mizrachi checked in the big blind. On a flop of Q 5 4 rainbow, Duhamel checked and Mizrachi. Duhamel then raised, Mizrachi shoved and Duhamel called. Mizrachi was miffed to see he was up against a pair of aces as he flipped over Q8.
The board ran out and Mizrachi could not improve.
Mizrachi won $2,332,992 and finished just shy of winning his second event of the WSOP and the player of the year crown.
Candio finishes fourth
Just three hands later, Italian Filippo Candio was eliminated in fourth place by the chip leader on hand No. 188. He shoved with KQo from the small blind, and Cheong called with A3s.
When an ace came on the flop, Cheong was in great shape, and the board ran out harmlessly to take out Candio.
Candio still won $3,092,545 for taking fourth.
Cheong blows up, Duhamel takes control
In what turned out to be the largest pot in WSOP main event history, Cheong was left crippled when he tangled with Duhamel on hand No. 213.
John Racener folded the button, and Cheong raised to 2.9 million from the small blind, starting a war of raises. Jonathan Duhamel reraised to 6.75 million, and Cheong made it 14.25 million. Duhamel put in yet another raise to 22.75 million, followed by a shove by Cheong. Duhamel called with QQ, and Cheong flipped over A7o.
Cheong didn’t spike an ace, leaving Duhamel with roughly 80% of the chips in play.
And then there were two
The end came on hand No. 219, as Joseph Cheong was eliminated.
The shortstacked Cheong, who had about 17 million in chips, shoved the small blind with QTo, and Duhamel called A2o.
Cheong could not improve his hand, and Duhamel took down the hand with just ace high.
Cheong won $4,130,049.