Wednesday July 20, 2011 : Tenth elimination delivers the 2011 November Nine
The 2011 World Series of Poker main event final table was decided around midnight Tuesday Vegas time when John Hewitt was busted out in the tenth spot by Eoghan O'Dea, leaving a final table comprising:
Martin Staszko (chip leader on 40,175,000)
Eoghan O'Dea (33,925,000)
Matt Giannetti (24,750,000)
Phil Collins (23,875,000)
Ben Lamb (20,875,000)
Badih Bounahra (19,700,000)
Pius Heinz (16,425,000)
Anton Makievskyi (13,825,000)
Samuel Holden (12,375,000)
As the final table bubble elimination Hewitt had the consolation of a $607,882 payday.
The final nine come from all parts of the globe — Ireland, England, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Germany, Belize and the United States, illustrating once again the truly international nature of the game.
22 players reassembled at midday Tuesday, all that remained of the 6,865 hopefuls who ponied up $10 000 apiece for the privilege of playing in this year's main event.
Within the first hour of play there were four eliminations, bringing the field down to just two tables, and that was quickly followed by four more departures, all of whom received six-figure pay checks for getting so far in what is undoubtedly one of the poker world's toughest competitions.
By the dinner break the casualty rate had increased to ten bust-outs, leaving just 12 players in contention for the nine seats at the final table and a real crack at the $8.7 million first prize when the final drama is played out in front of the television cameras in November.
Hero for much of the day was Irishman Eoghan O'Dea (26) from Dublin, who emerged as the chip leader after dinner and held onto his lead for much of the game, chased by 21-year-old Ukranian Anton Makiievskyi and series Player of the Year leader Ben Lamb (26) along with John Hewitt (23) of San Jose, Costa Rica.
However, the young Irishman was eclipsed in the closing stages of the day by Czech player Martin Staszko, who bagged up as the chip leader.
Notable eliminations during the day were Aleksandr Mozhnyakov, a 25-year-old Russian who recently graduated from law school, out in 19th place after a sterling performance at this year's WSO, and claiming $302 005 from the main event alone. His nemesis, Sam Barnhart, followed him to the rail a little later, busting out at position 17.
Bryan Devonshire (12th) and Khoa Nguyen (11th) were late bust outs.
After 36 two-hour levels – almost 72 hours of tough, competitive poker over the course of two grueling weeks – the nine finalists will now take a four-month break, then settle the title in November. When play resumes there will be 34 minutes and 57 seconds left in Level 36.
The top eight players will each earn seven-figure paydays.