2015 November Nine Odds


[SS] “Place your bets!” Stan the Stat declared. “The 2015 November Nine odds have been set at Bovada.

November Nine Odds

Player Bovada
Odds
Percent
With Vig1
True
Percent
ICM2
Percent
Diff
Joe McKeehen 7/5 41.7% 33.1% 32.8% 0.4%
Zvi Stern 4/1 20.0% 15.9% 15.5% 0.4%
Neil Blumenfield 6/1 14.3% 11.4% 11.4% -0.1%
Pierre Neuville 6/1 14.3% 11.4% 10.9% 0.4%
Max Steinberg 7/1 12.5% 9.9% 10.5% -0.6%
Thomas Cannuli 12/1 7.7% 6.1% 6.4% -0.2%
Josh Beckley 12/1 7.7% 6.1% 6.1% 0.0%
Patrick Chan 25/1 3.8% 3.1% 3.2% -0.2%
Federico Butteroni 25/1 3.8% 3.1% 3.2% -0.2%
Totals 125.8% 100.0% 100.0%

Notes:

  • Unlike the past two years, this year’s Vegas odds barely differ from the chip stack sizes. J.C. Tran earned a whopping 8.0% strength bonus in 2013, while Jorryt van Hoof was plus 2.7% last year.
  • At 72, Neuville is the oldest November Niner ever, sixteen years older than Steven Gee in 2012. He could become the oldest Main Event winner, passing Moss, who was 66 in 1974. At 61, Blumenfield is the second oldest November Niner and helped make this group the oldest ever (average age of 35.3, topping 2009’s 34.6).
  • Six of the nine are Americans (Stern is Israeli, Neuville is Belgian, and Butteroni is Italian), and six are poker pros (all but Stern, Blumenfield, and Neuville), both typical numbers.
  • Joe McKeehen has the highest percentage of chips ever at 32.75%, beating Darvin Moon’s 30.24% in 2009 and Jonathan Duhamel’s 30.04% in 2010.3 Not surprisingly McKeehen also has the largest lead over second place with over double Stern’s chip count (Moon had 1.69 times Eric Buchman’s stack).
  • Only one player, Steinberg, has won a bracelet, which is exactly average. The 2008 and 2014 November Nines had no bracelets between them, and the 2012 and 2013 groups had two bracelet winners each. Both McKeehen and Neuville have won a little more money at the WSOP than Steinberg in their careers.
  • Cannuli, Beckley, Chan, and Butteroni all have a lower percentage of the chips than any winner has started from. Joe Cada entered the final table with 6.78% of the chips in 2009, and Martin Jacobson had 7.43% in 2014. Antoine Saout converted 4.88% of the chips into a 3rd place finish in 2009 though.”

[RR] “It’s hard to bet against the overwhelming chip leader”, Roderick the Rock admitted.

[LL] “If Stan takes the three foreigners”, Leroy the Lion suggested, “I’ll pick the remaining five Americans, and our odds will be about the same.”

[SS] “32.75% to 29.63% to 37.62% by chips? Not quite, Leroy. Give me Chan though, and it’s a deal. By the Vegas odds, we’d each have almost exactly a one-in-three chance.”

[RR] “What should the stakes be?”

[LL] “How about the losers serve the winner at our next tournament after the Main Event final table?”

[SS] “Food, drink, rebuys if necessary, and maybe a chair upgrade or two?”

[LL/RR] “I’m in!”

Footnotes:

  1. The Percent With Vig is simply the denominator of the odds divided by the sum of the numerator and denominator. The True Percent normalizes this by dividing by the total of 125.8%.
  2. ICM stands for Independent Chip Model.
  3. Moon finished 2nd while Duhamel won.

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WSOP Main Event Final Table Bubble Boys


[LL] “I’m so disappointed the Daniel Negreanu didn’t make the November Nine”, Leroy the Lion lamented.

[SS] “Sadly, that’s the second time he’s finished 11th in the WSOP Main Event, as he also did it fourteen years ago”, Stan the Stat added.

[RR] “Who was the Final Table bubble boy?” Roderick the Rock inquired.

[SS] “Nobody you’ve heard of before. Alexander Turyansky.”

[LL] “Well, he’s famous now.”

[SS] “Absolutely!” Stan agreed. “Since the post-Moneymaker poker boom, making the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event has become an incredible accomplishment. Being the final table bubble boy is painful but praiseworthy, much more so than being the money bubble boy. Here are the fifteen players who just missed reaching the final table since 2001, when the final table expanded from six players to nine:

WSOP Main Event Final Table Bubble Boys Since 2001

Year Bubble Boy Prize Notes
2001 Arturo Diaz $63,940 The Californian edged out Daniel Negreanu, who finished 11th.
2002 Don Barton $70,000 The Nevadan had finished 15th for $55,945 the previous year.
2003 Phil Ivey $82,700 The living legend went on to reach the Main Event final table in 2009, finishing 7th for $1,404,014.
2004 Marcel Luske $373,000 The Flying Dutchman had finished in 14th for $65,000 the previous year.
2005 Ayhan Alsancak $600,000 The Swede had finished 71st for $30,000 the previous year.
2006 Fred Goldberg $1,154,527 The Floridian went on to capture a bracelet in the $1,500 Mixed Hold ‘Em event the next year.
2007 Steve Garfinkle $476,926 The Washingtonian edged out Scotty Nguyen, who finished 11th.
2008 Dean Hamrick $591,869 The Michigander became the first November Nine bubble boy but went on to win a bracelet in a $1,500 No Limit Hold ‘Em event in 2010.
2009 Jordan Smith $896,730 The Texan had just won a bracelet in a $2,000 No Limit Hold ‘Em event three weeks earlier.
2010 Brandon Steven $635,011 The Kansas won an almost identical prize ($621,180) for placing 7th in the 2013 One Drop High Roller.
2011 John Hewitt $607,882 The Californian only has one other WSOP cash, and it was four weeks earlier.
2012 Gaelle Baumann $590,442 The Frenchwoman edged out the other woman in the final eleven, Elisabeth Hille.
2013 Carlos Mortensen $573,204 The 2001 Main Event Champion has also won a $5,000 Limit Hold ‘Em event in 2003 and three WPT titles.
2014 Luis Velador $565,193 The Californian won bracelets in a $1,500 No Limit Hold ‘Em event in 2008 and a $2,500 Pot Limit Hold ‘Em/Omaha event in 2010.
2015 Alexander Turyansky $756,897 The German was knocked out when his A♣K♥ was outraced by chip leader Joe McKeehen’s Q♥Q♣. Negreanu finished 11th again.

Notes:

  • Between 1981 and 2000, 7th place finishers included 1978 champion Bobby Baldwin (1981), three-time champion Johnny Moss (1985), 1983 runner-up Rod Peate (1990), two-time champion Johnny Chan (1992), and 2009 November Niner Jeff Shulman (2000).
  • Seven of the fifteen final table bubble boys since 2001 have a WSOP bracelet.
  • In 2006, Goldberg won more prize money for tenth place than every champion before 2000 got for winning.”

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WSOP Main Event Money Bubble Boys


[LL] “Why do players in our home tournament like to pay the bubble boy?” Leroy the Lion lamented. “It just makes a new bubble boy one place lower.”

[SS] “Well, I guess that makes it like the WSOP Main Event”, Stan the Stat suggested.

[RR] “What do you mean?” Roderick the Rock inquired.

[LL] “Some sponsor has given the official bubble boy a pretty decent prize, a buyin into the next year’s Main Event, for I don’t know how long now.”

[SS] “It’s actually only been since 2004, and two of the early years, 2006 and 2007, had a single-table tournament between the last ten or so players who missed cashing to determine who got the buyin.

Winning the buyin isn’t quite as good as cashing though, since the lowest payout has been around double the buyin since 2007.”1

[RR] “Sure does beat going home empty-handed though.”

[SS] “In the early days of the WSOP Main Event, only the winner got paid, so the money bubble boy was actually the runner up: Puggy Pearson (1971 and 1972), Johnny Moss (1973), Crandell Addington (1974), Bob Hooks (1975), Jesse Alto (1976), and Gary Berland (1977). The top five places got paid the next three years, leaving Ken Smith (1978), Sam Petrillo (1979), and Gabe Kaplan (1980) on the outside looking in.

From 1981 to 2003, I could only track down a few of the empty-handed bubble boys: Sam Moon (10th in 1981), Crandell Addington (10th in 1983), Jack Keller (28th in 1995), Chris Ferguson (28th in 1997), and Mike Magee (28th in 1998). The rest have been lost to history as nobody really cared or kept track.

Since 2004 though, the bubble boy or boys have gotten a little bit of press, so I’ve been able to put together this table:

WSOP Main Event Bubble Boys Since 2004

Year Bubble Boy Min Cash Notes
2004 Dewey Tomko,
Dave Combs
$10,000 Dewey Tomko and Dave Combs busted on the same hand in 225th/226th place, but instead of splitting $10,000, they each got $10,000 from Harrah’s.
2005 Carl Ygborn $12,500 The 25-year-old Swede flopped a pair of Tens with an Ace kicker, but Corey Cheresnick had flopped a straight. Harrah’s gave him free entry the next year, and he finished 628th for $19,050.
2006 Hoa Manh Nguyen $10,616 The Californian won the Milwaukee’s Best Light Bubble Playoff for a year’s supply of beer and free entry the next year, where he won $285,678 for 34th place.2
2007 John Sigan $20,320 His pocket Queens lost to Vandy Krouch’s 6♠5♠, which hit an inside straight on the turn. Entered into the Milwaukee’s Best Light Bubble Playoff for a seat into next year’s Main Event but lost.
2008 Steve Chung $21,230 The Hong Kong native couldn’t catch his opponent’s pocket Kings with his Eights, but he turned his free entry into 569th place and $23,196.
2009 Kia Hamadani $21,365 Had blinded down to a single ante before losing with 4♣3♥ to Reed Hansel’s 9♦2♦; turned his free entry into 459th place and $31,647.
2010 Tim McDonald $19,263 His Q♠Q♣ lost to Ismail Erkenov’s A♥2♥ after a A♣A♠2♦ flop despite a river Q♥ that gave him a smaller boat. Didn’t cash in 2011.
2011 Reza Kashani $19,359 Busted by Joseph Cheong when his K♠J♠ couldn’t catch up with Cheong’s Q♠Q♦ after a K♥Q♣9♣ flop. Didn’t cash in 2012.
2012 David Kelley,
Desmond Portano,
Steve Rosen,
Dane Lomas
$19,227 The four players split $19,227 ($4,806.75 each) for 666-669th and were supposed to have a 4-player single-table tournament to get the free buyin, but Kelley bought the other three players out (he didn’t cash).
2013 Farzad Bonyadi $19,106 The three-time bracelet winner busted with A♠J♣ when his pair of Jacks lost to Nick Schwarmann’s A♣Q♥ for a straight on a J♦5♠3♠T♠K♥ board. He converted his free entry into 238th place and $38,634.
2014 Zhen Cai,
Kori Hunter,
John Dwyer
$18,406 The three players all exited on the same hand and split $18,406 ($6,135.33 each); Kai drew the K♦ to beat Hunter’s 6♦ and Dwyer’s 6♥ to win the $10,000 buyin to the 2015 Main Event. { July 16, 2015 update: Cai finished 266th in the 2015 WSOP Main Event for $24,622. }

Notes:

  • Five of the nine players who obtained entry into the next year’s Main Event cashed, well above the expected ten percent rate.
  • Even in the last years, the identity of the empty-handed money bubble boys are mostly unknown, but they include Tim Duckworth (2007; although Sigan also ended up not winning the entry fee), Mickey Appleman (2008), William Blake (2010), and Yuri Dzivielevski (2013).”

Footnotes:

  1. The last officially paid prizes have been between $18,406 in 2014 and $21,365 in 2009. Before 2007, the amount had been all over the place, even dipping below $10,000 from 1986 to 1992.
  2. Nguyen had also just missed the money in 2005 by a mere three places.

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Stan’s Lists – WSOP Last Celebrity Standing


[SS] “I never liked to watch celebrity poker events back in the heyday of poker on television, but it’s definitely great for poker when famous personalities play our game. Last Celebrity Standing in the World Series of Poker Main Event is like Last Woman Standing with a smaller and lower-skilled set of players. Having a celebrity win the Main Event or at least reach the November Nine, is about the only thing that could increase poker’s popularity more than having a woman do it.”

[RR] “How about a female celebrity?”

[SS] “That could work double. Anyway, since 2005…”

Last Celebrity Standing at the WSOP Main Event

Year Celebrity Place Prize Notes
2005 Nick Cassavetes 93 $77,710 actor and director did very well for his first tournament
2006 Rick Salomon 196 $42,882 ex-husband of Pamela Anderson and Shannen Doherty won an impressive $2,800,000 in the 2014 WSOP Big One for One Drop ($1,000,000 buyin); Sully Erna also cashed
2007 Sully Erna 237 $45,422 lead singer of rock band Godsmack lost with quad aces to a runner-runner royal flush1
2008 Kara Scott 104 $41,816 poker commentator previously hosted martial arts and backgammon shows in Canada and the U.K.2
2009 Lou Diamond Phillips 186 $36,626 actor busted out with pocket Kings against two opponents with pocket Aces
2010 Bruce Buffer 478 $27,519 ring announcer busted out when his pocket Queens lost to Ace-King on a river King; Vince Van Patten also cashed
2011 Mars Callahan 94 $64,531 actor and director of “Poolhall Junkies” was doing research for a “Poker Junkies” movie; Sam Simon was in 24th after 2 days and finished 500th for $23,876
2012 Kevin Pollak 134 $52,718 actor reached Day 5 but busted with Q♦Q♣ vs. Q♠Q♥ when his opponent hit a heart flush
2013 Ray Romano $0 actor reached Day 3 for a personal best but has yet to cash in eight tries
2014 Paul Pierce $0 NBA player reached Day 3 and finished around 800th out of 6,683 players
2015 Fatima Moreira de Melo 286 $34,157 The Dutch field hockey player lasted quite a bit longer than Australian cricket player Shane Warne, who finished 597th for $17,282.

Notes:

  • Top celebrity finishers from 1970 to 2004 include Gabe Kaplan (6th place bubble boy in 1980, 21st place in 1986 and 13th place in 1991 for min-cashes), Telly Savalas (21st place in 1992 for a min-cash), and Hal Kant (26th place in 1995 and 24th place in 1996 for min-cashes and 21st place in 1999 for $27,950 for the Grateful Dead’s lawyer).
  • Percentage-wise, Callahan’s finish was the best (top 1.37%), ahead of Scott (1.52%) and Cassavetes (1.66%). All the in-the-money finishes since 2005 except Buffer’s were better than all the finishes before 2005.
  • Pierce became by far the most famous American athlete to make a deep run.4

[SS] “Acting has probably been the most common profession of poker celebrities in the WSOP Main Event, possibly because Hollywood is within driving distance of Las Vegas. Among the actors and actresses to contribute their $10,000 buyins to the tournament have been Aaron Paul, Alexia Portal, Anthony Rapp, Ben Affleck, Brad Garrett, David Alan Grier, Dean Cain,
Ed Norton, Hank Azaria, James Garner, James Woods, Janet Jones, Jason Alexander, Jennifer Tilly, Matt Damon, Norm Macdonald, and Shannon Elizabeth.

A few of these actors have had poker success outside of the WSOP Main Event: Affleck won the 2004 California State Poker Championship for $356,400. Tilly won the 2005 WSOP Ladies Championship for $158,335. And Elizabeth placed 3rd in the 2007 NBC National Heads-Up Championship for $125,000 and 2nd in the 2010 Ante Up For Africa Charity Event for $79,776.

Athletes, male athletes at least, have also been well-represented: baseball players David Wells, Jose Canseco, and Orel Hershiser (5th place in the 2008 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship for $75,000); basketball players Charles Barkley, Earl Barron (5 WSOP cashes but none in the Main Event), John Salley, and Jordan Farmar; boxers Antonio Tarver, Audley Harrison, and Lennox Lewis; football players Emmitt Smith and Richard Seymour; hockey players Brad May and Robert Luongo (who placed 634th for $19,227 in 2012); and martial artists Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin, Georges St. Pierre, and Martin Kampmann.”

Footnotes:

  1. Erna immediately commemorated his bad beat by getting a tattoo with the phrase “No Justice in Poker”.
  2. Scott left her job with Sky Poker and officially became a poker pro one month after this cash.
  3. July 15, 2015 update: added 2015’s Last Celebrity Standing. Patrick Bruel did even better, but he no longer counts as he’s a professional poker player.
  4. Not that we’ve forgotten Gabe Kaplan’s moment of athletic fame on the Battle of the Network Stars (nine and half minute video). By coincidence, Telly Savalas was also one of the three team captains.

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Stan’s Lists – Most Cashes in One WSOP


[SS] “Records were made to be broken”, Stan the Stat began.

[LL] “I think Bill Veeck and Steve Dahl might disagree with you”, Leroy the Lion interrupted.

[SS] “Okay, Disco Demolition Night notwithstanding, people keep getting taller, stronger, and faster; the world population keeps growing; and of course, the World Series of Poker keeps adding new events, so expect records to get broken almost every year.”

[LL] “Okay, I’ll bite. Which one do you think will fall next?”

[SS] “In terms of individual records, the most WSOP cashes in one year. Every year about midway through the World Series of Poker, some player on a hot run1 is on pace to break the record. Somehow the record has stayed intact despite the number of events growing by over ten percent since 20122, but it’s inevitable.

Official WSOP records for cashes only seem to go back to 2006, so this required more than a little digging on my part and may not be quite as accurate as most of my lists…”

History of the Most Cashes in One WSOP

Cashes Player Year
2 Johnny Moss 1971
3 Puggy Pearson 1973
4 Jack Keller 1986
5 Phil Hellmuth 1992
6 Mike Sexton 1995
7 Phil Hellmuth 2001
8 Chris Ferguson 2003
10 Nikolay Evdakov 2008
11 Konstantin Puchkov 2012

Notes:

  • Moss also won the 1970 championship vote, but there was no tournament to “cash” in that year. All of the 1971 events were winner-take-all, so he became the first to cash twice by winning two of the five events.
  • Pearson won three events for his three 1973 cashes. Gary Berland tied the record in 1978 and Jesse Alto in 1984.
  • Humberto Brenes, Phil Hellmuth, and Richard Tatalovich tied Ferguson’s record of eight in 2006; Chad Brown and Michael Binger tied it in 2007.
  • Because of the almost continual increase in the number of events each year, the percentage of available events in which each record holder has cashed has gone almost straight down. Keller cashed in one third of the events in 1986, while Puchkov only cashed in 15.9% (18.0% if you ignore WSOP Europe and Asia Pacific). Only Hellmuth’s record represented a higher percentage of events than the previous record-holder’s.
  • Puchkov had all of his cashes in the WSOP in the U.S., but this table can be split in two if someone breaks his record with cashes at the WSOP Europe or WSOP Asia Pacific. Puchkov also holds the EPT career record for cashes.
  • As of today there are seven other members of the ten-cash club: Terrence Chan, Jason Mercier, and Phil Hellmuth in 2012; Daniel Negreanu in 2013; and George Danzer, Humberto Brenes, and Roman Israelashivili in 2014. {July 15, 2015 update: Mark Radoja, Eric Baldwin, and Joe Kuether all went into the 2015 Main Event with a chance to tie the record of 11 but failed to cash.}

[LL] “Have you also compiled the records for the women?”

[SS] “Yes, a little more definitively since women didn’t play much in the early years when the data is sketchier. There are some very familiar names here as well.”

History of the Most Cashes in One WSOP, Women

Cashes Player Year
1 Bonnie Baez 1974
3 Marsha Waggoner 1993
4 Annie Duke 1995
5 Jennifer Harman 2005
7 Cyndy Violette 2006
8 Maria Ho 2014

Notes:

  • One of Waggoner’s cashes was in the Ladies Limit 7-Card Stud tournament. None of the other record-setters included a Ladies event. Annie Duke tied Waggoner’s record with three cashes in 1994.
  • Ho’s cashes included Hold ‘Em, Omaha, 7-Card Stud, and Dealer’s Choice events.
  • Other big years for women include six cashes each for Cherish Andrews and Vanessa Selbst in 2012 and Loni Harwood and Melanie Weisner in 2013.

[LL] “I don’t think Maria Ho has gotten nearly as much recognition for her record as she deserves. I didn’t realize she played so many varieties of poker so well.”

[SS] “Well, I hope I can help spread the news to the whole world.”

Footnotes:

  1. The on-pace-to-break-the-record candidates were Terrance Chan in 2012, Dan Kelly in 2013, Humberto Brenes in 2014, and Joe Kuether this year (already passed by Mark Radoja).
  2. The number of WSOP events has increased from 69 in 2012 to 78 this year (61 to 68 in the U.S. part of the WSOP).

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Stan’s Lists – Women in Poker Hall of Fame


[LL] “Wasn’t there an induction into the Women in Poker Hall of Fame last year around this time of year?” Leroy the Lion wondered. “I haven’t heard anything about this year’s inductees at all.”

[SS] “I was thinking the same thing”, Stan the Stat responded. “So I went to the web site, but there’s no new news since before the 2014 ceremony.”

[LL] “Uh oh, that doesn’t sound promising.”

[SS] “Yeah, that worried me. There are only two women1 in the other Poker Hall of Fame, so it’s definitely good for poker to have more women honored for their play or work behind the scenes. I emailed the contact2 for the web site, but it bounced.”

[LL] “Trouble.”

[SS] “Fortunately, they also listed the Board Chair, Lupe Soto, and she responded!”

[LL] “Cool.”

[SS] “The bad news is that there won’t be an induction ceremony in 2015. The good news is that they’ve been on an every-other-year schedule since 2012 and are already thinking about 2016.”

[LL] “Good to hear. Who do you think should get in next?”

[SS] “Well, for starters, here’s who’s already in:”

Women in Poker Hall of Fame Inductees

Year Inductee Claim to Fame
2008 Barbara Enright Only woman to reach the WSOP Main Event final table (5th place in 1995); won WSOP Ladies Championship 1986 and 1994
2008 Susie Isaacs Won consecutive WSOP Ladies Championships (1996-97); 10th in 1998 WSOP Main Event
2008 Linda Johnson Won the 1997 WSOP $1,500 Seven-Card Razz event
2008 Marsha Waggoner Over $900,000 in career tournament winnings; Last Woman Standing in the WSOP Main Event in 1993 and 1997
2009 Jan Fisher Co-founder of the Tournament Directors Association
2009 Cyndy Violette Won 2004 WSOP $2,000 Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split tournament
2009 June Field Won 1982 WSOP Ladies Seven-Card Stud; founded Card Player magazine in 1988
2010 Jennifer Harman Won 2000 WSOP $5,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Draw and 2002 WSOP $5,000 Limit Hold ‘Em events
2010 Kathy Liebert Won 2004 WSOP $1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout; over $6,000,000 in career winnings
2010 Billie Brown Marketing Director of Ocean’s Eleven Casino in Oceanside, California
2011 Margie Heintz First female WSOP dealer in 1977, including the Main Event final table that aired on CBS
2011 Kristy Gazes Won 2007 WPT Ladies Invitational and $20k NLHE FullTiltPoker.Net Championship
2011 Phyllis Caro Director of Poker Operations at the Hollywood Park Casino
2012 Kathy Raymond Director of Poker Operations at the Venetian Resort and Hotel
2012 J.J. Liu 2nd place in 2007 WPT Bay 101 $9,600 Championship Event (highest female WPT Main Event finish)
2014 Deborah Giardina Vice President of Poker Operations at bestbet Jacksonville in Florida
2014 Allyn Shulman Won 2012 WSOP $1,000 No Limit Hold ‘Em Seniors Championship

[LL] “A little heavy on non-players, I’d say. I’m a huge fan of poker, and I’ve never heard of a bunch of them.”

[SS] “Same here.”

[LL] “So, a couple players for 2016 would make sense… Vanessa Selbst is an obvious choice. She’s the only woman to win three WSOP bracelets in open events.”

[SS] “Although I think she’ll just qualify for ‘ten years’ in the poker world, she won’t reach the age minimum of 35 until 2019 or 2020, depending on when the inductions are.

Nani Dollison, the other female with three bracelets, albeit two in women’s events, wouldn’t be a bad choice either, but outside of those three bracelets, her resume is pretty empty.”

[LL] “How about the EPT star you told us about, Victoria Coren Mitchell?”

[SS] “Sure, the only player, male or female, to win two EPT Main Events certainly has the credentials. Besides her great results at the table, she had a long-running poker column in The Guardian and The Observer and is a commentator on TV.”

[LL] “I’d also nominate Annie Duke. As polarizing a figure as she is, she’s certainly left a mark on the game.”

[SS] “Sure, an NBC Heads-Up title, the interesting but ill-fated Epic Poker League, Last Woman Standing in the WSOP Main Event twice,…”

[LL] “And I’m sure she helped popularize poker with her provocative appearance on Donald Trump’s The Apprentice.

[SS] “I think Coren Mitchell and Duke would be great additions, but I don’t know if either of them passes the ‘must be a proponent of women in poker’ test. Duke once said, ‘Poker is one of the only sports where a woman can compete on totally equal footing with a man, so I don’t understand why there’s a ladies-only tournament.'”3

[LL] “I don’t know if that makes her a ‘proponent’ or not.”

[SS] “Her 2005 book, How I Raised, Folded, Bluffed, Flirted, Cursed and Won Millions has worse, like, ‘To emphasize your femininity, giggle girlishly when you win pots. Check-raise them at every opportunity. Show them your bluffs. They already don’t like you. Why not completely piss them off?… It worked for me.'”

[LL] “Okay, that may not help her cause much.”

[SS] “On the other hand, Duke trumpets herself as a Trailblazer for Women in Poker on her web site, saying all the right things.”

[LL] “Such as?”

[SS] “‘I truly believe that we have a responsibility as women who have successfully found their place in this game to mentor young women. To provide them with the same confidence and belief that your intellect is your greatest weapon that my mother gave to me.'”

[LL] “That’s exactly what the committee wants to hear.

What about Coren Mitchell?”

[SS] “She’s probably in better shape on this condition. She’s said stuff like, ‘Stuart Wheeler says women are no good at poker?! If he fancies playing a bit of heads up, he knows where to find me.'”4

and ‘A big part of winning at poker is psychology and detective work – things that women tend to be quite good at. Why is that person doing this or that? You are looking at someone’s face and working out if they are nervous or confident. You need a good understanding of people.'”5

Footnotes:

  1. Barbara Enright was inducted in 2007 and Linda Johnson in 2011.
  2. The Women in Poker Hall of Fame website lists inquiries@womenspokerhalloffame.com as the contact email address.
  3. From Toby Leah Bochan’s 2005 book, The Badass Girl’s Guide to Poker.
  4. From an interview in the August 16, 2013 Evening Standard.
  5. From an interview in The Jewish Chronicle Online, September 17, 2009.

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Stan’s Lists – Phil Hellmuth Wins 14th / WSOP Bracelet Spans


[RR] “Phil Hellmuth just won his 14th WSOP bracelet!” Roderick the Rock announced.

[LL] “What did he win it in?” Leroy the Lion asked.

[RR] “Razz, the only game he’s won a bracelet in besides Hold ‘Em. I’ve been rooting for Phil Ivey to catch up, but he’s not even in Las Vegas.”

[LL] “I heard he’s off milking the cash Macau”, Leroy the Lion commented. “He and Negreanu didn’t make a bracelet bet this year, but maybe this news will get him to reschedule his return flight earlier.”

[SS] “Especially since that’s Hellmuth’s third bracelet of the 2010s, pulling him into a tie with Ivey, Matt Matros, Michael Mizrachi, and Dominik Nitsche for the most in the decade”,1 Stan the Stat remarked. “He already had the most in the 1990s (5), and he tied for second most in the 2000s (5, two behind Ivey and tied with Johnny Chan, Layne Flack, Allen Cunningham, and Chris Ferguson).

Not surprisingly, it makes Hellmuth the first player with at least three bracelets in three different decades. Only Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan have won even two in three decades,2 while only Ivey and Erik Seidel3 have won three in two decades.

Surprisingly, Hellmuth isn’t far off from another record: most years between his first and last bracelets. Brunson won in 1976 and 2005, a range of 29 years. Hellmuth’s bracelets have now spanned 26 years!”

Longest Gap Between First and Last WSOP Bracelets

Rank Player First Last Years
1 Doyle Brunson 1976 2005 29
2 Chip Reese4 1978 2006 28
3 Billy Baxter 1975 2002 27
4 Jay Heimowitz5 1975 2001 26
Phil Hellmuth5 1989 2015
6 Mickey Appleman 1980 2003 23
7 Ted Forrest 1993 2014 21
8 Johnny Chan 1985 2005 20
9 Johnny Moss 1970 1988 18
Amarillo Slim Preston 1972 1990
Hans Lund 1978 1996
Berry Johnston 1983 2001
T.J. Cloutier 1987 2005
Men Nguyen 1992 2010

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel Idema added his third WSOP bracelet of the 2010s on June 18, 2015 by winning the $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament. Brian Hastings captured his third on June 20, 2015 by winning the $1,500 10-Game Mix tournament.
  2. Men Nguyen, Ted Forrest, and David Chiu can join the triple double list with another bracelet by 2019.
  3. Seidel won four bracelets in two decades (one behind Hellmuth’s record). Ivey could match that this year when he finally shows up in Las Vegas.
  4. Reese had by far the longest gap, 24 years, between consecutive WSOP bracelets. Lund went 18 years between his only two bracelets and Starla Brodie 16 between hers.
  5. Hellmuth’s gap is 26 years and 11 days, while Heimowitz’s is somewhere under 26 years and 7 days, but the years of the WSOPs are all that really matter, so consider them even.

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Triple Crown Winners


[RR] “Are you guys excited about American Pharoah’s1 possible Triple Crown at the the Belmont Stakes tomorrow?” Roderick the Rock polled.

[LL] “Nay, horse racing is right up there with boxing on my list of sports that don’t need to exist”, Leroy the Lion opined. “It isn’t really any better for the animals than greyhound racing.”

[RR] “I’m not really into it either, but this year is interesting because no horse has won the Triple Crown for a record 37 years.”2

[SS] “I don’t know why everyone says that”, Stan the Stat argued. “Sure, it was only a quarter century between Citation in 1948 and Secretariat in 1973, but the longest drought was actually the first one. The Kentucky Derby became the last of the three races to debut in 1875,3 and the first Triple Crown was Sir Barton in 1919, which meant there were 44 straight years without a Triple Crown. That’s seven years longer than the current gap since Affirmed accomplished the feat.”

[FF] “How could a horse miss winning the Triple Crown if it didn’t exist yet?” Figaro the Fish wondered.

[SS] “The term did already exist and was used for horse racing in England. But if you mean that it wasn’t really bandied about to refer to the Kentucky Derby/Preakness/Belmont Stakes Triple Crown, you’re technically correct. Gallant Fox’s 1930 sweep was the first to get called a Triple Crown in the press.”

[LL] “I prefer the Triple Crown in Major League Baseball, where you get two for the price of one, one for hitting and one for pitching.”

[RR] “I’d prefer a Triple Crown of Poker… Does that exist?”

[SS] “Indeed it does. The Poker Triple Crown consists of winning World Series of Poker, World Poker Tour, and European Poker Tour tournaments. It’s currently rarer than the horse racing Triple Crown, with just five holders compared to eleven, but since it’s a career accomplishment, the numbers are bound to grow rapidly over the next few years.4

Triple Crown of Poker Winners

Player EPT WPT WSOP Age
Gavin Griffin 2007 2008 2004 26
Roland de Wolfe 2006 2005 2009 29
Jake Cody 2010 2010 2011 22
Bertrand Grospellier 2008 2008 2011 30
Davidi Kitai 2012 2011 2008 32

All of the Triple Crown winners except Kitai have no other titles on the three tours; Kitai earned a second WSOP bracelet in 2014.”

[LL] “How many players are just one title short of the Triple Crown?”

[SS] “55, which is just three more than the number of horses who wound up one leg short. Most of the players are missing an EPT title, not surprising since that’s the newest and least prestigious of the three tours.

Just four players are only missing a WSOP bracelet: Mohsin Charania, Moritz Kranich, Andrey Pateychuk, and Roberto Romanello. The same number are only lacking a WPT bracelet: Rob Hollink, Maxim Lykov, Jason Mercier, and Ram Vaswani.”

[LL] “So it’s a real horse race to see which poker player joins the Triple Crown club next.”

{ June 6, 2015 update: American Pharoah became the twelfth winner of the Triple Crown in a wire-to-wire, five and a half length romp. }

{ July 1, 2015 update: Anthony Zinno won the WSOP $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller to join the list of players missing just an EPT title. }

Footnotes:

  1. Both owner Ahmed Zayat and the Jockey Club claim the other party was responsible for the misspelling (should be “pharaoh” for the Egyptian kings). { June 6, 2015: Better explanation of the misspelling. }
  2. E.g., Wikipedia echoes this claim.
  3. The Preakness started in 1873 and the Belmont Stakes in 1867.
  4. That is, as long as the three tours, especially the European Poker Tour, stay healthy.

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Stan’s Lists – Youngest and Oldest WSOP Winners


[LL] “Stan, I know you told us about the youngest and oldest players to win the World Series of Poker Main Event. What about any WSOP bracelet?” Leroy the Lion prodded.

[SS] “I don’t know how I missed that last year”, Stan the Stat apologized. “But I did some research and came up with what I think is the definitive history of the youngest bracelet winner going back to 1998:1

History of the Youngest WSOP Bracelet Winner

Player Born Date Age
Daniel Negreanu 1974/07/26 1998/04/29 23
Gavin Griffin 1981/08/28 2004/05/15 22
Eric Froehlich 1984/02/09 2005/06/05 21
Jeff Madsen 1985/06/07 2006/07/03 21
Steve Billirakis 1986/05/25 2007/06/04 21
Annette Obrestad 1988/09/18 2007/09/17 18

Notes:

  • Obrestad was one day shy of her 19th birthday when she won the first WSOP Europe Main Event. This record can’t be broken in Nevada, where the legal gambling age is 21.2
  • Billirakis was ten days past his 21st birthday, Madsen 26 days, and Froehlich 117 days.”

[RR] “So, if you count just the WSOP in the U.S., the record is Billirakis’s, and it would take some lucky timing to be a younger 21.”

[SS] “Whereas Obrestad left almost a full year of margin for someone to lower her world record.”

[LL] “But eighteen is awfully young. My car is older than that.”

[RR] “The T-shirt I’m wearing is older than that.”

[SS] “Well, you guys can look forward to trying to break the oldest record instead. But first, I’m sure you were about to ask, ‘Who’s the youngest player to N bracelets, where N currently goes up to 13?’ Two Phils currently dominate the upper end of the list, but their records don’t look very safe over the next decade:

Youngest to Win Given Number of Bracelets

# Player Born Date Age
1 Annette Obrestad 1988/09/18 2007/09/17 18
2 Jeff Madsen 1985/06/07 2006/07/14 21
3 Dominik Nitsche 1992/10/11 2014/06/10 21
4 Phil Ivey 1976/02/01 2002/05/11 26
5 Phil Hellmuth 1964/07/16 1993/05/08 28
6 Phil Hellmuth 1964/07/16 1997/05/06 32
7 Phil Ivey 1976/02/01 2009/06/11 33
8 Phil Ivey 1976/02/01 2010/06/22 34
9 Phil Ivey 1976/02/01 2013/04/11 37
10 Phil Ivey 1976/02/01 2014/06/27 38
11 Phil Hellmuth 1964/07/16 2007/06/11 42
12 Phil Hellmuth 1964/07/16 2012/06/10 47
13 Phil Hellmuth 1964/07/16 2012/10/04 48
14 Phil Hellmuth 1964/07/16 2015/06/08 50

Notes:

  • Madsen was 37 days past his 21st birthday, while Nitsche was almost eight months past.
  • Ivey has until December 26, 2018 to break Hellmuth’s record for eleven bracelets. He missed the marks for five and six by just over half a year.
  • Nitsche has until January 20, 2019 to break Ivey’s record for four bracelets.”
  • { June 8, 2015 update: Phil Hellmuth, who now qualifies for the Seniors event, took down the $10,000 Razz Championship for his second non-Hold ‘Em bracelet. }

[LL] “Darn, I’m too old now to break Hellmuth’s record for thirteen bracelets.”

[SS] “I think you need to worry about the first twelve first.”

Oldest Bracelet Winners

[SS] “On the other hand, if you wait long enough, you can become the oldest player to win your first bracelet. Currently, that’s Paul “Cigar” McKinney, who captured the 2007 WSOP Seniors Event at 80.”

[RR] “But who was the oldest to win an open event?”3

[SS] “That would be Johnny Moss, the Grand Old Man of Poker himself, who won the 1988 $1,500 Limit Ace to Five Draw on his 81st birthday, half a year older than McKinney was.”

[LL] “I hope I’m still playing poker when I’m 81.”

[RR] “I hope I’m still alive.”

Footnotes:

  1. The previous record holder may have been Phil Hellmuth, who was 24, a year older than Negreanu, when he won the WSOP Main Event in 1989.
  2. If the WSOP is willing though, there are other U.S. states that have a lower legal gambling age.
  3. Unfortunately, I couldn’t definitively determine who was the oldest player to win his first open WSOP bracelet. My best guess: Joe Bernstein, who was 74 when he won the $3,000 Limit Ace to 5 Draw event in 1973 (he was born in 1899, which broke my spreadsheet formula).

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2015 WSOP Schedule

[RR] “The NBA and NHL playoffs go on forever. Pretty soon they’ll be playing ice hockey in the summer!” Roderick the Rock complained.

[SS] “Actually, the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals ended on June 24, three days after summer began”, Stan the Stat corrected. “And that was only a six-game series.”

[RR] “Regardless, I’m ready for the World Series!”

[FF] “But that’s not until October!” Figaro the Fish objected.

[RR] “Not the baseball World Series, the World Series of Poker!”

[SS] “You don’t have long to wait. It starts on Wednesday.”

[RR] “That seems early. Did they add even more events?” Roderick the Rock inquired.

[SS] “No, it’s exactly the same day it started last year. But they did pack in three more events. The main addition is a couple of new low buy-in events. 2013 and 2014 both had one event under $1,000, and that was the Casino Employee-only event. This year’s schedule has that plus two open Hold ‘Em tournaments,1 one at $5652 and one at $777.”

[SS] “The high end of the buy-in scale is about the same though. The One Drop continues to alternate buy-ins so after last year’s million-dollar event, we’re back to $111,111 this time. And after last year’s explosion of $10,000 events (from 4 to 13) there’s just one more this year.”

[LL] “What’s this I heard about some strange mash-up of online and live poker???” Leroy the Lion asked.

[SS] “Well, the hybrid WSOP.com Online No-Limit Hold’em event was supposed to start as an online tournament but finish with heads-up play at the casino in classic fashion.”

[RR] “So that’s not true anymore? They’re just going to play it all out online?”

[SS] “No, actually they expanded the live part to the entire final table but added a travel day to give the last six players plenty of time to get to the Rio.”3

[RR] “Good idea; you don’t want them rushing to the casino with no rest. The ends of poker tournaments can drag out longer than the last few minutes of a NBA game.”

[LL] “Or even a six-overtime NHL game.”

Footnotes:

  1. The number of Texas Hold ‘Em events increased by four, bouncing back to 2013’s total but still accounting for a lower percentage of the events (60.3% vs. 66.1%).
  2. The Colossus will likely break the record for most total entries in a live re-entry poker tournament. Last year’s $1,500 Millionaire Maker had 5,044 players, some of whom rebought for a total of 7,977 entries. The Colossus will allow two more re-entries per player (four total entries), and players will be more likely to rebuy as the entry fee is only 37.7% as high. {Update: May 31, 2015: The Colossus drew a record 22,374 entries.}
  3. Players need to be in Nevada even for the online portion.
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