2016 November Nine
November Nine Finalists November Nine Details ESPN Schedule

2016 WSOP November Nine

Qui Nguyen image

Qui Nguyen | $8,005,310

AGE 39
PREVIOUS WSOP CASHES 1
PREVIOUS WSOP BRACELETS 0
PREVIOUS EARNINGS $9,029
USA flag

Qui Nguyen is the only Las Vegas, Nevada resident. He’s a 39-year-old poker pro and gambler with just $9,029 in WSOP earnings – less than the $10,000 it cost to enter this event. He has just one previous WSOP cash and only $52,986 in lifetime tournament poker winnings. This marks Nguyen’s first time to cash in the WSOP Main Event. He entered three WSOP events this summer, his Main Event journey, marking his only cash. Nguyen’s best finish was his 54th place finish in the 2009 WSOP, in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event.
Gordon Vayo image

Gordon Vayo | $4,661,228   Gordon Vayo eliminated by "Team Nguyen"

AGE 27
PREVIOUS WSOP CASHES 26
PREVIOUS WSOP BRACELETS 0
PREVIOUS EARNINGS $608,136
USA flag

Gordon Vayo is a 27-year-old San Francisco, California resident and poker pro with 26 career WSOP cashes worth $608,136. With the guarantee of at least $1 million for reaching this final table, Vayo will nearly double his career $974,714 in earnings. In 2014, Vayo finished in second place in a WSOP $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed event, winning $314,535, his biggest poker score prior to this accomplishment. This marks Vayo’s first time to cash in the WSOP Main Event, but he’s had a good summer, playing 21 WSOP gold bracelet events and cashing in eight of them.
Cliff Josephy image

Cliff Josephy | $3,453,035   Cliff Josephy eliminated by "Team Gordon Vayo"

AGE 50
PREVIOUS WSOP CASHES 17
PREVIOUS WSOP BRACELETS 2
PREVIOUS EARNINGS $810,358
USA flag

Cliff Josephy from Syosset, New York is the oldest remaining player in the field at 50, but also the only one with a WSOP gold bracelet on his resume. In fact, Josephy has two, having won a $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em event in 2013 and a $1,500 Seven Card Stud event at the 2005 WSOP. All told, Josephy has $810,358 in WSOP earnings entering this Main Event and has won $2,641,420 lifetime in live poker tournaments. He also has some history in this event. Josephy has cashed twice previously in the WSOP Main Event, in 2008 (386th place) and last year, in 956th place. In addition, Josephy has invested wisely in this event previously. He was a financial backer of 2009 WSOP Main Event winner Joe Cada. With his guarantee of $1 million for reaching this final table, Josephy will have his largest career cash.
Michael Ruane image

Michael Ruane | $2,574,808   Michael Ruane eliminated by "Team Nguyen"

AGE 28
PREVIOUS WSOP CASHES 3
PREVIOUS WSOP BRACELETS 0
PREVIOUS EARNINGS $24,438
USA flag

Hailing from Maywood, New Jersey, 28-year-old Michael Ruane is as big as a surprise to be at this final table as anyone. He has just $24,438 in WSOP earnings, all coming from three previous WSOP cashes. His biggest cash previously was for $17,244, so the $1 million he is guaranteed is by far the biggest prize he’s earned in poker. This marks Ruane’s first time to cash in a WSOP event, and he has lifetime live poker tournament winnings of $44,962. He only played two events at this year’s WSOP, and his deep run in the Main Event makes it quite a successful journey for Ruane who makes his living as a poker pro.
Vojtech Ruzicka image

Vojtech Ruzicka | $1,934,579   Vojtech Ruzicka eliminated by "Team Nguyen"

AGE 30
PREVIOUS WSOP CASHES 17
PREVIOUS WSOP BRACELETS 0
PREVIOUS EARNINGS $138,585
Czechoslovakia flag

Vojtech Ruzicka entered the final day of play with the chip lead and managed to keep himself squarely in control. The 30-year old from Prague, Czech Republic becomes the first Czech to make the final table since Martin Staszko in 2011. Staszko finished in second place, and no player from the Czech Republic has ever claimed the WSOP Main Event crown. In fact, Tomas Junek (2012) is the only WSOP gold bracelet winner from the Czech Republic. Ruzicka has 17 previous WSOP cashes totaling $138,585 and has won $1,149,027 lifetime on the live poker circuit. Ruzicka is a poker pro who played 18 WSOP events this summer, cashing in four. This marks his first time to cash in the WSOP Main Event. He has claimed a victory before, winning the 2013 EPT Deauville High Roller No-Limit Hold’em event for $426,907. However, this $1 million he is guaranteed for reaching the WSOP Main Event Final Table will be his largest ever live poker cash.
Kenny Hallaert image

Kenny Hallaert | $1,464,258   Kenny Hallaert eliminated by “Team Nguyen”

AGE 34
PREVIOUS WSOP CASHES 22
PREVIOUS WSOP BRACELETS 0
PREVIOUS EARNINGS $367,855
Belgian flag

For the second consecutive year we have a Belgium-born player at the final table. 34-year-old Kenny Hallaert hails from Hansbeke, Belgium and he’s amassed 22 WSOP cashes and $367,855 in winnings. He’s an accomplished poker tournament director with $1,317,530 in career live tournament winnings, including a sixth place finish at EPT Deauville in 2011 that paid him $210,962, his largest score prior to making this final table. Hallaert is no stranger to going deep in this event or other large WSOP events, as he’s twice cashed previously in the WSOP Main Event (2015: 123rd) and (2011: 323rd). In addition, in the inaugural WSOP Colossus event, the largest live poker tournament in history with 22,374 entries, Hallaert finished in fifth place, earning $182,348 for his $565 investment. He’s now guaranteed to add at least $1 million more to his bankroll and is in good position at the final table.
Griffin Benger image

Griffin Benger | $1,250,190   Griffin Benger eliminated by “Team Gordon Vayo”

AGE 31
PREVIOUS WSOP CASHES 13
PREVIOUS WSOP BRACELETS 0
PREVIOUS EARNINGS $231,201
Canada flag

Our only Canadian at this final table is 31-year-old Griffin Benger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Benger has already won $2,395,406 in live poker tournaments, and even has a previous $1 million victory, claiming first place in the 2014 Shark Tank session in London. Benger has 13 previous WSOP cashes totaling $231,201 and his previous high finish at a WSOP event was twice finishing in 14th place, once in 2012 and again in 2013. Remarkably, this Main Event was the only event Benger entered at the 2016 WSOP, and he’s done well in this event before. He’s cashed twice, once in 2014 in 90th place and prior to that in 2012 in 304th place. Benger also has a successful history with other games, having previously been a world champion in the Counter-Strike computer game, and was ranked as the No. 1 online poker player in 2011. Benger, a poker pro, looks to become only the second Canadian champion in this event and first since Jonathan Duhamel took the crown in 2011.
Jerry Wong image

Jerry Wong | $1,100,076   Jerry Wong eliminated by “Team Ruzicka”

AGE 34
PREVIOUS WSOP CASHES 19
PREVIOUS WSOP BRACELETS 0
PREVIOUS EARNINGS $127,343
USA flag

Brooklyn, New York resident Jerry Wong becomes the second New Yorker to be featured at this final table, alongside Josephy. The 34-year old poker pro has career WSOP winnings of $118,156 coming on 19 previous cashes. In total, Wong has won $1,317,539 in live poker tournaments, including a $725,000 prize for coming in third place in the 2013 PCA in the Bahamas. Wong played 16 WSOP events in 2016, cashing five times. His guaranteed $1 million payday is his biggest tournament prize. Prior to that, his biggest WSOP cash came in the 2012 WSOP Main Event where he finished in 309th place for $32,871, the only other time he has cashed in this event.
Fernando Pons image

Fernando Pons | $1,000,000   Fernando Pons eliminated by “Team Josephy”

AGE 37
PREVIOUS WSOP CASHES 0
PREVIOUS WSOP BRACELETS 0
PREVIOUS EARNINGS $0
Spain flag

Hailing from Palma, Spain, is 37-year-old Fernando Pons, who is an account executive for a retail chain. He has never cashed previously at the WSOP and has only won a total of $10,589 in live poker tournaments – just a few hundred dollars more than the buy-in for this event. This was the only event he came to play at the 2016 WSOP and prior to the $1 million he’s locked up in this event, Pons’ biggest live tournament cash was for $4,059 for finishing in 56th place in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event in Las Vegas in 2014. He is the first Spaniard to make the WSOP Main Event final table since 2014 when Andoni Larrabe finished in sixth place. He can follow in the footsteps of Spain’s legendary card sharp, Carlos Mortensen, who captured the WSOP Main Event crown 15 years ago, in 2001. Mortensen won $1,500,000 that year and Larrabe won $1,622,471 for his finish, so Pons just needs to finish fifth or higher to have the biggest Spanish score in WSOP Main Event history. Fellow Spaniard Adrian Mateos won the 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event title, taking home 1 million euros.

2016 WSOP November Nine Details

WHERE: The Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio® All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.

WHAT: The conclusion of poker’s richest and most prestigious poker tournament, the 47th annual World Series of Poker Main Event. Featuring the November Nine – the final nine players of 6,737 participants in the $10,000 No-Limit Texas Hold’em World Championship. Players are vying for the most coveted prize in poker – the WSOP Gold Bracelet and the winner’s prize of $8,000,000.

WHEN: Sunday, October 30 through Tuesday, November 1

  • Sun. Oct. 30 – All 9 Players – 8:30-11pm ET (Live) ESPN; After 11:00pm moves to ESPN2
  • Mon. Oct. 31 – Final 4 players – 8:00-11pm ET (Live) ESPN2
  • Tues. Nov. 1 – Final 2 players – 9:00-11pm ET (Live) ESPN - Finale

PRIZE The final nine will play for a total of $25,432,920 (40% of prize pool). The payout schedule is:

POOL:

  • 1st Place: $8,000,000
  • 2nd Place: $4,658,452
  • 3rd Place: $3,451,175
  • 4th Place: $2,574,808
  • 5th Place: $1,934,579
  • 6th Place: $1,463,906
  • 7th Place: $1,250,000
  • 8th Place: $1,100,000
  • 9th Place: $1,000,000

The Main Event total prize pool in 2016 is $63,327,800. A record 1,011 players cash in the event; payout for 1011th place was $15,000. Players from 82 different countries are participating.

UPON The event resumes with 32 minutes, 50 seconds left in Level 35, with antes

RETURN: 75,000 and blinds at 250,000 and 500,000. Vayo in Seat 7 has the button. The small blind will be in Seat 8 with Ruane and Wong will be the big blind in Seat 9.

2016 ESPN Schedule

DATE DAY START NETWORK
6-Sep-16 TUE 10:00P WSOP Global Casino Championship – Part 1
6-Sep-16 TUE 11:00P WSOP Global Casino Championship – Part 2
11-Sep-16 SUN 08:30P WSOP Main Event Championship – Episode 1
11-Sep-16 SUN 10:00P WSOP Main Event Championship – Episode 2
18-Sep-16 SUN 10:30P WSOP Main Event Championship – Episode 3
19-Sep-16 MON 12:00A WSOP Main Event Championship – Episode 4
25-Sep-16 SUN 08:30P WSOP Main Event Championship – Episode 5
25-Sep-16 SUN 10:00P WSOP Main Event Championship – Episode 6
2-Oct-16 SUN 08:30P WSOP Main Event Championship – Episode 7
2-Oct-16 SUN 10:00P WSOP Main Event Championship – Episode 8
9-Oct-16 SUN 08:30P WSOP Main Event Championship – Episode 9
9-Oct-16 SUN 10:00P WSOP Main Event Championship – Episode 10
16-Oct-16 SUN 08:30P WSOP Main Event Championship – Episode 11
16-Oct-16 SUN 10:00P WSOP Main Event Championship – Episode 12
23-Oct-16 SUN 08:30P WSOP Main Event Championship – Episode 13
23-Oct-16 SUN 10:00P WSOP Main Event Championship – Episode 14
30-Oct-16 SUN 08:30P 2016 World Series of Poker: Final Table Live*
30-Oct-16 SUN 11:00P 2016 World Series of Poker: Final Table Live*
31-Oct-16 MON 08:00P 2016 World Series of Poker: Final Table Live*
1-Nov-16 TUE 09:00P 2016 World Series of Poker: Final Table Live*
20-Nov-16 SUN 09:00P 2016 World Series of Poker: Final Table Encore