November Nine Down to Two, Farber Leads Riess

5 min read

The World Series of Poker reached its pinnacle days of the 2013 season on November 4 when the members of the November Nine – the nine finalists of the WSOP Main Event final table – returned to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to play for the win. The schedule was to play down to two or three players on Monday and return to finish the tournament on November 5.

The starting seat assignments and chip counts for the players were as follows:

Seat 1: Sylvain Loosli (19,600,000)
Seat 2: Michiel Brummelhuis (11,275,000)
Seat 3: Mark Newhouse (7,350,000)
Seat 4: Ryan Riess (25,875,000)
Seat 5: Amir Lehavot (29,700,000)
Seat 6: Marc-Etienne McLaughlin (26,525,000)
Seat 7: JC Tran (38,000,000)
Seat 8: David Benefield (6,375,000)
Seat 9: Jay Farber (25,975,000)

While all of the players were awarded ninth place money ($733,224) when they finished play in July, they all returned in the hopes of winning the championship gold bracelet and more than $8.3 million. With adjustments made to the payouts per the WSOP investment of the final table prize money, the new payouts were as follows:

1st place: $8,361,570
2nd place: $5,174,357
3rd place: $3,727,823
4th place: $2,792,533
5th place: $2,106,893
6th place: $1,601,024
7th place: $1,225,356
8th place: $944,650
9th place: $733,224

Play began without much reservation or caution, as Benefield shoved on the third hand of the night, though he received no call.

On the fifth hand, Newhouse pushed his short stack all-in with pocket queens against the pocket kings of McLaughlin, but he saw a queen on the flop that gave him the much-needed double-up to more than 14 million chips.

Seven hands later, Benefield made his short-stacked move with K-9 of spades against the K-J of Loosli, but he turned a spade flush to stay in action and double to 9.4 million.

The chip lead then moved around, as Tran lost it to Lehavot, took it back, lost it again to Lehavot, and reclaimed it again. McLaughlin then moved up into second chip position by taking a big pot from Lehavot. Tran extended his lead and climbed over the 40 million mark on Hand 33.

Newhouse found another opportunity to move three hands after that, and he did it with 9c-9s. Riess called with As-Kh and caught a king on the flop of the 7s-Kd-Tc-7c-6d board. That eliminated Newhouse from the final table.

9th place: Mark Newhouse ($733,224)

Two hands later, Benefield pushed his stack with Ks-2s, and Farber thought for a bit before calling with Ac-Kd. The board came 5d-Ts-Qc-Js-2d, and the turned straight sent Benefield out in eighth place.

8th place: David Benefield ($944,650)

Farber soon took over the chip lead, but Riess claimed that position three hands later.

Brummelhuis took an opportunity to move all-in on the 53rd hand of the night with pocket nines, and Riess called with A-Q suited. But the nines held up to give Brummelhuis the double-up. Two hands after that, though, Brummelhuis moved again. That time, it was from the small blind with 9d-9c, and Riess insta-called from the big blind with As-Ah. The board produced Ks-7c-4d-2d-7h, and Brummelhuis was the third player to exit the final table.

7th place: Michiel Brummelhuis ($1,255,356)

Play slowed quite a bit after that elimination, but Riess climbed over the 60 million mark. Loosli seemed to notice tighter play from the table and made some risky moves and was able to climb out of last place and into true contention. After the 81st hand of the table, Loosli was in third chip position behind Farber, and Tran had moved into fourth, followed by Lehavot and McLaughlin.

An “only in Vegas” moment occurred after the 99th hand when a man in a panda suit rushing the stage, falling on his face, and being escorted out of the theater by security. It was later reported that he refused medical care and was ousted from the entire property.

On the 113th hand, McLaughlin doubled through Tran, leaving the latter on the shortest stack of the table. After the 150th hand of the night, chip counts showed that McLaughlin had increased his stack to third place, behind chip leader Riess and second-in-chips Farber. Loosli was in fourth, followed by Tran and Lehavot on the short stacks.

McLaughlin was the next to move, though, getting involved in multiple preflop raises with Farber until McLaughlin moved all-in for 38.6 million chips. Farber called immediately with As-Ah, and McLaughlin was in trouble with Ks-Kc. The board delivered 8s-7s-2h-Jd-Jc, and McLaughlin was gone.

6th place: Marc-Etienne McLaughlin ($1,601,024)

Farber was in the chip lead and seemed unstoppable. Four hands later, when Tran pushed all-in for just less than 10 million chips, Farber called with Ks-Qh. Tran was ahead with Ah-7s, but the board of Kd-Jh-9h-5d-6h gave Farber a pair of kings and Tran a fifth place finish.

5th place: JC Tran ($2,106,893)

Lehavot made a move three hands later and did successfully double through Riess to 23.6 million.

Loosli was the next to move in short order, and he did it for just under 10 million chips with Qh-7c. Riess called from the big blind with Ac-Th, and the board of 9h-Ks-8h-9c-Ad to only improve Riess’ hand. Loosli had to accept fourth place.

4th place: Sylvain Loosli ($2,792,533)

On the very next hand, Riess raised from the small blind, and Lehavot moved all-in for little more than 21 million chips from the big blind. Riess called with Td-Tc, and Lehavot was in trouble with his 7s-7d. The board of Qc-8c-4h-2d-Jd changed nothing, and Lehavot was eliminated in third place.

3rd place: Amir Lehavot ($3,727,823)

The heads-up battle was set with these chip counts:

Jay Farber (105,000,000)
Ryan Riess (85,675,000)

The two players retired for the night before 2:00 am, and play was scheduled to resume on November 5 in the early evening. Farber was understandably ecstatic, posting on his Twitter feed, “F*************kk yesssssssss. Tomorrow for the belt!!!!” while the more subdued Riess simply tweeted, “YES” on his official Twitter feed.

Stay tuned for a recap of the exciting conclusion of the World Series of Poker’s Main Event right here at

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