November Nine RIP

[SS] “Appropriately enough, the November Nine lasted nine years before the plug was pulled in 2017, likely as a cost-cutting move for ESPN,” Stan the Stat hypothesized, “which has run into financial trouble in recent years. TV ratings had dropped back to pre-November Nine levels.”

[LL] “Isn’t that a bit misleading?” Leroy the Lion wondered. “Ratings might have been much lower without the delay.”

[SS] “We’ll find out in a few weeks, I guess, unless ratings get an unusual boost.”

[LL] “Like from a woman, celebrity, or former champ reaching the final table?”

[SS] “Nobody from any of those groups has made it that far since Dan Harrington in 2003 and 2004.1 But almost any popular pro would significantly boost ratings. Daniel Negreanu was just two places off in 2015, which would have been huge.

Anyway, I’m not really sad to see the end of the November Nine. The biggest benefit to me was that it reduced the wait until the next WSOP, but the wait for the final table more than erased that gain. RIP November Nine (2008-2016).”

Nine November Nine Factoids

  1. Mark Newhouse was the only player to reach multiple November Nines. He finished ninth both times though, especially disappointing in 2014 when he started third in chips, the highest starting position to exit first.
  2. The chip leader held on to win only twice: Jonathan Duhamel in 2010 and Joe McKeehen in 2015. J.C. Tran suffered the biggest fall, finishing fifth.
  3. The short stack finished ninth only three times. Jeremy Ausmus managed to get all the way up to fifth in 2012.
  4. The shortest stack to win was Martin Jacobson, who came all the way back from eighth in chips in 2014.
  5. Every November Nine champion was in his twenties, from 21-year-old Joe Cada in 2009 to 27-year-old Martin Jacobson in 2015, until Qui Nguyen won at age 39 in 2016.
  6. Cada was also the youngest November Niner. Belgian Pierre Neuville was the oldest at 72 in 2015.
  7. Five of the November Nine champions were American (Joe Cada, Greg Merson, Ryan Riess, Joe McKeehen, and Qui Nguyen), while the other four hailed from Denmark (Peter Eastgate), Canada (Jonathan Duhamel), Germany (Pius Heinz), and Sweden (Martin Jacobson).
  8. It was the first career WSOP bracelet for every champ except Greg Merson, who won the $10,000 Six Handed No Limit Hold ‘Em event just two days before the Main Event started.
  9. Merson was also the only champ to capture WSOP Player of the Year honors. He needed to win to overtake Phil Hellmuth, and he did, sending the Poker Brat to an amazing third runner-up finish without a title.

Footnotes:

  1. Two former champs and two women barely missed the final table between 2007 and 2013: Scotty Nguyen (11th in 2007), Gaelle Baumann and Elisabeth Hille (10th and 11th in 2012), and Carlos Mortensen (10th in 2013).

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