Photos by Dianne R. Davis or Burt Davis unless otherwise indicated.
Final Table Set at 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event
The 46th annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship – commonly referred to as the Main Event – is down to its final nine players.
The “November Nine” is all that remains of the massive field of 6,420 players from 80 different nations who entered the iconic tournament seeking poker’s most coveted title and a top prize of $7,680,021. The final nine players represent four countries – Belgium, Israel, Italy and the United States.
The players will return to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino on Sunday, November 8 to vie for poker’s ultimate trophy – a WSOP gold bracelet – and the lion’s share of the Main Event’s $60,348,000 total prize pool in front of live television cameras in primetime on ESPN. The winner will receive a guaranteed first-place prize of $7,680,021, with the other eight players sharing another almost $18 million.
“November Nine” Features Players from Four Nations
The November Nine
Photo credit: Joe Giron
The November Nine and their respective seat assignments and chip counts are as follows
Joe McKeehen – 63,100,000 – Seat 6. The chip leader is 24-year-old poker professional Joe McKeehen from North Wales, Pennsylvania. He has total tournament earnings of $1,995,070, including $883,494 in eight previous WSOP cashes. McKeehen has won two WSOP Circuit Rings, and his biggest cash before this final table was for $820,863 when he finished runner-up in the inaugural Monster Stack event at the WSOP in 2014 that featured another huge field – 7,862 players. Joe played 22 events during the 2015 WSOP, cashing in four, including the Main Event. His previous best finish in this event came in 2013 when he finished in 489th place. He is one of three players at this final table with more than a million dollars in career earnings, and will be holding nearly 33% of the chips in play upon resumption.
Zvi Stern – 29,800,000 – Seat 1 Stern is a 36-year-old from Herzilya, Israel with just $5,055 in previous WSOP earnings. In total, Stern has just $45,595 in lifetime poker winnings. The WSOP Main Event is the only event Stern played at this year’s WSOP, and the first time he has finished in-the-money in this event. Zvi is the first Israeli Main Event final tablist since Amir Lehavot in 2013, and with a first or second place finish, he can become the highest WSOP Main Event finisher from Israel. He has 15.5% of the chips in play, which puts him in second place heading to the November Nine.
Neil Blumenfield – 22,000,000 – Seat 9 Blumenfield joins Pierre Neuville as the only 60+ year olds at this final table. Blumenfield, 61, from San Francisco, California (born in Chicago), becomes only the second November Niner over the age of 60 in the eight-year history of this format. Blumenfield works in the software industry and plays poker as a hobby. He’s a UC Berkeley graduate and a former High School Debate Champion. Blumenfield has $44,395 in earnings via two previous cashes and has a total of one tournament victory and $130,468 in poker tournament winnings. This is the fifth consecutive year Neil has played the WSOP Main Event, and he has one prior cash in 2012 when he finished in 285th. He will start as the third largest chip stack.
Pierre Neuville – 21,075,000 – Seat 2 Neuville can become the oldest WSOP Main Event winner in the 46-year history of the event, and is already the eldest final table participant at age 72. The Belgium-born Neuville was late to the game of poker, picking it up in his fifties after a career working as a board game maker, eventually selling his creation to Hasbro, where he later went to work. The retired businessman turned poker hobbyist has played six of the last seven years at the WSOP Main Event, cashing in 662nd place in 2010. This marks his first final table appearance at the WSOP. With $591,460 in career WSOP earnings in 19 WSOP cashes, Pierre played 25 events at the WSOP this year, and this marks his second in-the-money finish. He has amassed $2,195,160 in career poker tournament earnings. Married, with children, the Brussels University graduate now lives in Knokke-Heist, Belgium in a sea side town in the North West part of the country.
Max Steinberg – 20,200,000 – Seat 4 Steinberg is a 27-year-old Washington, D.C.-born professional, now residing in Oakland, California. He is a WSOP gold bracelet winner, winning Event #33 at the 2012 WSOP, outlasting a 2,795 player field. He also was the runner-up of the 2013 WSOP National Championship. Steinberg splits his time these days playing poker and Daily Fantasy Sports. Steinberg won his seat into the WSOP Main Event by winning a satellite on the Daily Fantasy Sports site DraftKings. Max is no stranger to deep runs in this very tournament, finishing in 131st place just two years ago. With WSOP earnings over $1.4 million via 11 previous cashes, Steinberg has $1.952 million in career poker tournament earnings. He played just five events at the 2015 WSOP, and the Main Event marks his only in-themoney finish.
Tom Cannuli – 12,250,000 – Seat 5 Cannuli is a 23-year-old poker professional from Cape May, New Jersey with just $20,203 in WSOP earnings coming from two previous cashes. He has lifetime tournament earnings of $52,235 and his best previous finish was a seventh place finish in a $2,000 buy-in tournament in 2011 for $18,406. Cannuli played eight WSOP events this year, with the Main Event his only in-the-money finish. In 2014, Cannuli did cash in the Main Event, finishing in 691st place.
Joshua Beckley – 11,800,000 – Seat 3 Beckley is our second New Jersey player at this final table. He is a 24-year-old poker professional from Marton, just outside Philadelphia. He has cashed four previous times at the WSOP – all coming this year – for $19,403 and his total lifetime live tournament winnings are $219,526. He played 14 events during the 2015 WSOP, finishing five of 14 in the money, with this being his first ever final table at the WSOP.
Patrick Chan – 6,225,000 – Seat 7 Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Chan is a 26-year-old professional poker player who attended the College of Staten Island. He has four previous WSOP cashes for $113,145 and has amassed $524,263 in live tournament poker winnings in his short career. This is the fourth consecutive year he has played the Main Event, and his first time to reach the money. He played a total of four WSOP events in 2015, cashing in two of them.
Federico Butteroni – 6,200,000 – Seat 8 Hailing from Rome, Italy is 25-year-old Federico Butteroni. He has played thirteen events this year at the WSOP, and the Main Event marks his second cash. Butteroni has $103,006 in career earnings, with $49,255 coming in WSOP gold bracelet events. His only career victory came in a $235 Daily Deepstack tournament at the Rio.
Alexander Turyansky, a 27-year-old from Sourbruden, Germany was the tenth place finisher. Play ended around 1:30 am Pacific Time in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 15 when McKeehen called Turyansky’s all-in bet. Turyansky tabled Ace-King and McKeehen showed pocket queens. The classic flip ran out 7-6-5-8-J, and McKeehen’s pocket queens were the best hand, eliminating Turyansky, who walked away with a nice $756,897 consolation prize.
Daniel Negreanu Falls Just Short, Finishes in 11th Place
Daniel Negreanu, Poker Hall of Famers two-time WSOP Player of the Year, six-time WSOP gold bracelet winner and poker’s all-time money list leader, finished just short of reaching the final table.
Photo credit: Joe Giron
The 40-year-old Toronto, Canada native now residing in Las Vegas, Nevada, was in contention throughout the event, but a Queen on the River ruined his run when McKeehen eliminated him just after midnight, and he had to settle for his second 11th place finish in this event, adding another $526,778 to his impressive resume.
Prize money for the remaining nine spots is as follows*:
1st place: $7,680,02
2nd place: $4,469,171
3rd place: $3,397,103
4th place: $2,614,558
5th place: $1,910,971
6th place: $1,426,072
7th place: $1,203,193
8th place: $1,097,009
9th place: $1,001,020
Players Return November 8 th - 10th to Battle for nearly $25 Million in Prize Money & to Crown Poker’s World Champion
When play resumes November 8, the players will pick up with 57 minutes and 36 seconds remaining in Level 35. The antes will be 50,000 and blinds will stand at 200,000 and 400,000. Comprehensive WSOP Main Event television coverage will begin airing Monday, September 14 at 8 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2. Coverage will continue in two-hour blocks each Monday at 8 p.m. until October 4 when it moves to Sunday nights at 8:30 pm with 2 ½ hour blocks and continues in that regular Sunday slot culminating with expanded three-night primetime Main Event Final Table live coverage November 8-10, 2015.
The 2015 Main Event capped the largest-ever WSOP in terms of entrants in the 46-year history of the event. A total of 103,612 players from 111 countries entered the 68 events on this summer’s WSOP schedule, generating a total prize pool of $210,379,285.
The 2015 Main Event was the seventh-largest in the tournament’s illustrious history, drawing 6,420 players from 80 nations. The average age of entrants in the event was 39.62 years old, with the oldest entrant, William Wachter age 94, and the youngest, Adrian Mateos, 21 years old, 6 days. 252 females – or 4% comprised this year’s field. Kelly Minkin was the last female standing, finishing in 29th place good for $211,821. (Wachter cashed in 524th place and Mateos finished in 750th place).
*The final nine players each received ninth-place prize money upon reaching the final table; the remainder of the prize pool will be placed in an interest-bearing account to be added to the prize pool on a percentage basis for the final eight finishers.
The WSOP The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world, awarding millions of dollars in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet – globally recognized as the sport’s top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker’s longest running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970. In 2015, the event attracted a record 103,612 entrants from 111 different countries to the Rio in Las Vegas and awarded more than $210 million in prize money. In addition the WSOP has formed groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent of the World Series of Poker Europe. For more information on the World Series of Poker, please visit www.WSOP.com.