Meet the 2011 November Nine!

World Championship Includes – Bou-Nahra, Collins, Giannetti, Heinz, Holden, Lamb, Makiievskyi, O’Dea and Staszko,

Poker’s United Nations – Final Table is the Most International in WSOP History

Seven Different Nations Represented Amongst 2011 November Nine

Martin Staszko Enters the Finale with the Chip Lead

Czech Poker Pro Holds Biggest Stack, with Irish Pro Eoghan O’Dea in Second Place

Ben Lamb Leads 2011 “WSOP Player of the Year” Race

Last Day of WSOP Summer – Main Event Final Table Comes Next, November 5th to 7th  


Writer’s Note:  The accompanying photo shows the official 2011 World Series of Poker’s “November Nine.”  The players shown are (left to right):  Badih “Bob” Bou-Nahra (Belize City, Belize), Phil Collins (Las Vegas, NV), Matt Giannetti (Las Vegas, NV), Pius Heinz (Cologne, Germany), Sam Holden (Sussex, UK), Ben Lamb (Tulsa, OK), Anton Makiievskyi (Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine), Eoghan O’Dea (Dublin, Ireland) and Martin Staszko (Trinec, Czech Republic).  

Las Vegas, NV (July 20 -- 2:00 PST) – What started as the third-largest live poker tournament in history is now down to the final nine players at the 2011 World Series of Poker.  Nearly two weeks and more than half a million hands after the $10,000 buy-in Main Event Championship initially began, the famed “November Nine” players have finally been determined.

The decisive moment came when Eoghan O’Dea eliminated John Hewitt (San Jose, Costa Rica), who ended up as the tenth-place finisher.  The final hand was dealt at 2:10 am, eliciting frustration for Hewitt’s many supporters, while igniting an outburst of screams and cheers from more than a thousand spectators, including the family and friends of those who are about to step into the brightest spotlight of their lives.

No doubt, this final table becomes the most international collection of any Main Event final table in the 42-year-history of the WSOP.  In fact, it’s quite likely the most cosmopolitan of any poker event ever held in North America.  Players from seven different countries will be represented in the finale.  Four nations – Belize, Czech Republic, Germany and Ukraine have a finalist in poker’s world championship for the first time.

This year’s November Nine finalists are as follows:

Seat 1:  Matt Giannetti (Las Vegas, NV) – 24,750,000 in chips      

Seat 2:  Badih Bou-Nahra (Belize City, Belize) – 19,700,000 in chips

Seat 3:  Eoghan O’Dea (Dublin, Ireland) – 33,925,000 in chips

Seat 4:  Phil Collins (Las Vegas, NV) – 23,875,000 in chips

Seat 5:  Anton Makiievskyi (Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) – 13,825,000 in chips

Seat 6:  Sam Holden (Sussex, UK) – 12,375,000 in chips

Seat 7:  Pius Heinz (Cologne, Germany) – 16,425,000 in chips

Seat 8:  Ben Lamb (Tulsa, OK) – 20,875,000 in chips

Seat 9:  Martin Staszko (Trinec, Czech Republic) – 40,175,000 in chips 

Next, the tournament takes a 108-day recess.  In the meantime, each of the nine finalists will return to their homes and families.  Undoubtedly, each is likely to become a local celebrity.  Players will have more than three months to enjoy and savor a rare experience which can best be described as every poker’s players dream come true.  The final table will be played November 5-7, 2011 at the Rio in Las Vegas.

Each of the players who made it this far are now guaranteed $782,115 in prize money.  In fact, eight of the top nine finishers will become millionaires.  But none of the November Nine players will be content with a ninth-place finish at this point.

Indeed, this WSOP Main Event winner achieves instant fame, fortune and immortality.  He will collect a whopping $8,711,956 in prize money.  The winner will also be presented with the game's most coveted prize -- the custom-designed WSOP gold and diamond bracelet.  He will also be universally acknowledged as the reigning world poker champion.

 A complete list of players who finished in the money can be seen HERE

The Main Event, also known as poker’s world championship started on July 7th.  There were 85 different nations represented in the huge field.  It took eight playing days – and nearly72 hours – to carve the starters down to nine survivors. 

Regardless of what happens in November and whoever is crowned the 2011 world poker champion, one thing is for certain.  The first week of November promises to be a thrilling conclusion to what has been a record-smashing 2011 WSOP.

RESULTS, LIVE UPDATES, and CHIP COUNTS for all remaining players can be seen at


When the final playing session comes in November, the nine finalists will seats in the biggest game of their lives.  At stake is the 2011 world poker championship.  Here’s a brief look at this year’s November Nine:

Seat 1:  Matt Giannetti (Las Vegas, NV) – 24,750,000 in chips      

Giannetti is a 26-year-old poker pro from Las Vegas.  Prior to playing full time, Giannetti attended the University of Texas.  He was short-stacked during much of the later stages of Day Eight, but managed to survive a number of all-ins and comes to the final table right in the top three (third of nine players)

Seat 2:  Badih Bou-Nahra (Belize City, Belize) – 19,700,000 in chips

Bou-Nahra becomes the first player from Belize ever to make it to the Main Event final table.  He is a 49-year-old businessman.  Bou-Nahra was actually born in Lebanon, but is proud to now call Belize City his home.  Bou-Nahra was very low on chips on Day Six, but ran well late and survived.  Now, he has an average-size stack.

Seat 3:  Eoghan O’Dea (Dublin, Ireland) – 33,925,000 in chips

O’Dea is a 26-year-old poker pro.  This is his fifth WSOP cash, four of which have taken place this year.  He has cashed in several major tournaments, mostly in Europe.  He is the son of famous Irish poker player and gambler Donnacha O’Dea, who won a WSOP gold bracelet in 1998.  O’Dea was second in chips when Day Eight began.  He remains second in chips.

Seat 4:  Phil Collins (Las Vegas, NV) – 23,875,000 in chips

Collins is a 26-year-old pro poker player.  He was previously a college student.  He attended the University of South Carolina.  He met his wife Katie while in school.  She lived across the hall from him.  They were married last year.  He played a lot of online poker until the developments of April 2011.  He has been at or near the top of the leaderboard during much of the last few days.

Seat 5:  Anton Makiievskyi (Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) – 13,825,000 in chips

Makiievskyi is a 21-year-old aspiring poker pro.  This is his first trip to the WSOP in Las Vegas.  Four Ukrainians have already won gold bracelets this year.  Makiievskyi hopes to become the fifth.  This marks the first time a Ukrainian player has ever appeared at the Main Event final table.  He is one of the lowest two stacks, but is not in serious danger of busting soon because he has several rounds of blinds and antes.

Seat 6:  Sam Holden (Sussex, UK) – 12,375,000 in chips

Holden is a 22-year-old professional poker player.  He is playing in his first WSOP this year.  He holds the lowest stack, but (like Makiievskyi) is not in serious danger of busting soon because he has enough chips to make it through several rounds of blinds and antes.

Seat 7:  Pius Heinz (Cologne, Germany) – 16,425,000 in chips

Heinz is a 22-year-old student and poker player.  He is playing at his first WSOP this year.  He finished seventh in one of the earlier $1,500 NLHE events.  He becomes the first player from Germany ever to make it the Main Event finale.  He’s seventh in chips at the moment.

Seat 8:  Ben Lamb (Tulsa, OK) – 20,875,000 in chips

Lamb is enjoying a monster run and is unquestionably the player who is on the hottest streak of anyone at this year’s WSOP.  He leads the 2011 WSOP “Player of the Year” race.  He has a gold bracelet win, a second place finish, and eighth- and twelfth-place showings in his four cashes – and has now made the final table in the Main Event.  He currently ranks fifth in chips.  Lamb is playing as well as, if not better than, any player in the world at the moment.

Seat 9:  Martin Staszko (Trinec, Czech Republic) – 40,175,000 in chips 

Staszko is a 35-year-old professional poker player.  He becomes the first player ever from the Czech Republic to make it to the Main Event final table.  He will resume play at the chip leader when the November Nine begins.

Note:  the proper spelling of the player in seat five’s name is -- Anton Makiievskyi.  His name has been spelled in many different ways.  But this is the spelling according to official records.

The chip leader entering the finale is Martin Staszko, from the Czech Republic.  He will resume play with 40,175,000 in chips.  Chip leaders are 1 for 2 (wins) the last two years – with a first and a second-place finish.  Here’s a comparison with the previous chip leaders entering the finale since the Main Event incorporated a 30,000-starting stack concept:

2009 – Darvin Moon (58,930,000 in chips)

2010 – Jonathan Duhamel (65,975,000 in chips)

The remaining players are ages – 26, 49, 26, 26, 21, 22, 22, 26 and 35.  The average age of players remaining is 28.1 years.

The oldest player still remaining is Badih Bou-Nahra – at 49-years-old.

The youngest player still remaining is Anton Makiievskyi – at 21-years-old, who has a chance to become the youngest champion in the WSOP’s 42-year history in the Main Event.

Note:  A more thorough profile of each player will be posted to in the coming days.  An interview with each player will also be available.


Day Eight began with 22 players.  Play ended with nine survivors.  Here’s how the unlucky 13 players were eliminated from the Main Event:

22nd Place – Lars Bonding (Las Vegas, NV -- USA) went out about 20 minutes into Day Eight.  He went bust holding pocket aces, which lost to pocket fours after a four flopped – good for a set.  Bonding is a 31-year-old professional poker player, originally from Denmark.  He is married and has two children.  He is mostly an online player, but is playing much more live poker in recent months.  Bonding is also a serious backgammon and former champion.  Bonding collected $302,005 in prize money.

21st Place – Chris Moore (Willowick, OH -- USA) was eliminated about 35 minutes into play.  He was dealt a big hand, but got very unlucky.  Moore was all-in with pocket kings, which got clipped by Ace-Ten after an ace flopped – good for a higher pair.  Moore ended up with $302,005 in earnings for a fine effort.  He is a 28-year-old poker pro and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

20th Place – Gionni Demers (Jackson, NJ -- USA), a 23-year-old professional poker player, went out in 20th place.  On what turned out to be his final hand, he made a button all-in shove with Ace-5, hoping to steal a round of blinds and antes.  Unfortunately, his timing could not have been worse.  His opponent picked up pocket kings in the big blind and ended up busting out Demers.  He collected a nice consolation prize amounting to $302,005.

19th Place – Aleksandr Mozhnyakov (Himki -- RUSSIA) had been near the top of the leaderboard for three days.  But he went card dead late on Day Seven and failed to rebound on Day Eight.  Mozhnyakov was eliminated when he shoved what remained of his stack holding King-Queen suited, which ended up losing to an ace-high.  He collected $302,005 in prize money.  Mozhnyakov is a 25-year old lawyer, who recently graduated from law school.

18th Place – Kenny Shih (Taipei -- TAIWAN) exited the final table about 90 minutes into play.  He lost a race on what became his final hand.  Shih moved all-in holding pocket eights, which got crunched by a club flush.  Shih is originally from Taiwan.  But he now resides in Azusa, CA.  He is a 30-year-old poker pro who used to be a stock broker.  He arrived at this year’s WSOP with about $5,000 which was to be used to play in a few tournaments.  He won a small tournament held at another casino and decided to use that prize money to play in the Main Event for the first time ever.  That turned out to be a very lucrative decision as he ended up with $378,796 in prize money.

17th Place – Sam Barnhart (Little Rock, AR -- USA) came into Day Eight ranked in the bottom third of the chip count.  He managed to double up once, but then suffered some misfortune when he moved all-in holding pocket nines, which ran into pocket kings.  The two cowboys held up, leaving Barnhart with $378,796 and some wonderful WSOP memories.  Barnhart is a 50-year-old data analyst for a software specialist.  He won the first-ever WSOP Circuit National Championship held this past May, which earned him his first WSOP gold bracelet.  Barnhart enjoyed a huge year -- with a WSOP Circuit win in Tunica, MS, a national championship, a gold bracelet and a deep run in the Main Event.

16th Place – Ryan Lenaghan (New Orleans, LA -- USA) had the chip lead at the end of Day Six.  It appeared he would be a favorite to make the November Nine, but then disaster struck towards the end of Day Seven when his stack was cut in half.  By the third hour of Day Eight, Lenaghan was one of the shortest stacks.  He moved all-in with Ace-8 suited, but was snapped called by Ace-Queen suited, which left him in serious trouble.  The Ace-Queen made a flush, which was overkill to Lenaghan’s hopes of doubling up.  He exited in 16th place, which paid $378,796.  Lenaghan is originally from Mobile, AL.  He now lives in New Orleans.  Lenaghan is a graduate of LSU (general studies), where he also starred on the track team.  He has been playing poker professionally for about two years.  Lenaghan has recorded about $120,000 in WSOP-related earnings, most of which took place on the WSOP Circuit.

15th Place – Andrey Pateychuk (Moscow -- RUSSIA) decided he had to take a coin flip for all his chips when he was dealt Ace-Queen suited, which was tested by pocket jacks.  Pateychuk missed all his draws and ended up in 15th place, which paid $478,174.  Pateychuk is a 21-year-old college student and part-time poker player.  He was born in Vladivostok, Russia.  He was the youngest player in the tournament when there were 100 players remaining.  He will clearly be a player to watch at the WSOP in coming years.

14th Place – Scott Schwalich (West Carrollton, OH -- USA) played great poker but lost a late hand against Bryan Devonshire in the fourth hour of Day Eight, and then went out a few hands later.  Schwalich’s disastrous hand took place when he shoved all-in holding Ace-5 suited, which was called by Devonshire holding pocket tens.  The paid held up, which put Schwalich on life support.  He went out three hands later.  Schwalich is a 24-year-old professional poker player who was mostly an online player and is now playing more live poker.  He collected $478,174 in prize money.

13th Place – Konstantinos Mamaliadis (Durban – SOUTH AFRICA) was never able to establish any momentum during the final stages of the closing days.  He played remarkably well considering he had few double-up opportunities.  He finally went out in 13th place, which paid $478,174.  Mamaliadis is a 34-year-old shipping professional.  He nearly became the second final table player in history from the continent of Africa -- after fellow countryman Raymond Rahme made the first such appearance in 2007. 

12th Place – Bryan Devonshire (Henderson, NV – USA) endured a roller coaster day.  But he ultimately went out after taking a major hit to his chip stack, which left him as the lowest player in chips.  On “Devo’s” final hand he was dealt King-Queen.  When his pre-flop raise was called by Eoghan O’Dea, Devonshire knew he was in trouble.  He was up against Ace-Queen.  Both players caught a queen, but Devonshire’s kicker problem was his doom.  He ended up collecting $607,882.  Devonshire is a 27-year-old professional poker player originally from Southern California.  He was previously a youth pastor and a wilderness guide.  He discovered poker in 2003 and has since earned more than $2 million in live and online tournaments.  He intends to get married to his fiancée sometime in 2012.  Devonshire won a WSOP Circuit championship gold ring last year at Harrah’s Rincon, near San Diego.

11th Place – Khoa Nguyen (Calgary, Alberta – CANADA) hovered around the bottom of the chip rankings much of the day, but still managed to move way up the prize money ladder.  He finally went out when his pocket tens were no match to the pocket Kings held by Staszko and the board didn’t improve things.  Nguyen is a 29-year-old poker pro and businessman.  He plays both live and online.  He has a college degree in electrical engineering.  Eleventh place paid $607,882 in prize money.

10th Place – John Hewitt (San Jose – COSTA RICA) was low on chips and decided to shove hoping to either steal a round of blinds and antes, or perhaps double up.  He moved all-in with pocket 3s.  Eoghan O’Dea had plenty of chips and made the call with King-Jack.  The big cards managed to connect with an ace-high straight, which was the last WSOP hand of the summer played in Las Vegas.  Hewitt collected $607,882 as the unfortunate November Nine bubble finisher.


ESPN conducted a bold new experiment this year that is likely to be viewed as a historic occasion for the WSOP, and for the game of poker.    Television coverage more than doubled in size and scope, including – for the first time in history – comprehensive daily/nightly overage of the majority of the Main Event.

For the first time ever, the WSOP enjoyed semi-live coverage on ESPN (with a 30-minute delay).  No poker tournament has ever been covered to the extent of this Main Event Championship.  In addition to the original 32 broadcast hours that will appear as scheduled every Tuesday night on ESPN as has been the customary ritual, an additional 34 hours of semi-live coverage has aired, which means players and fans were exposed to more poker played than ever before.  Content was spread across ESPN, ESPN2 and streamed content in those countries/territories not served by ESPN.


Play on Day Eight started at 12:05 p.m.  Play ended about 2:10 am.  The day included a two-hour dinner break.  Players were also given an unscheduled 70-minute break between 3:20 and 4:30 pm.  The unusual playing schedule (unscheduled breaks and longer dinner time) was implemented in order to accommodate the strict time windows for ESPN’s live television coverage.

The last three tournament days played very fast in comparison to recent years, which lasted considerably longer.  Day Six started with 148 entries and ended with 57 players (8 total hours of play).  Day Seven started with 57 players and ended with 22 (10 total hours of player).  Day Eight started with 22 players and ended with 9 players (10 total hours of play).

At this point in the tournament, participants have completed 35 full levels (plus one hour and 25 minutes of Level 36), meaning more than 71 total tournament hours have been played.

The Main Event includes ten separate playing days/sessions.  The breakdown is as follows:

Day One began with four flights of 6,865 total (combined) players.

Day Two began with two flights of 4,521 total (combined) players.

Day Three began with 1,865 players.

Day Four began with 853 players.

Day Five began with 378 players.

Day Six began with 142 players.

Day Seven began with 57 players.

Day Eight began with 22 players.

Day Nine will begin with 9 players (November 5th)

Day Ten will begin with 2 players (November 7th).


This is the fourth year of the “November Nine” concept.  Prior to 2008, all Main Event final tables were played as a continuum tied to the bulk of the Main Event.  However, starting in 2008, WSOP officials decided to delay the play of the final table and postpone the conclusion until November.  For this reason, the Main Event finalists are known as the November Nine.

While the decision to delay the conclusion of the Main Event was initially controversial, most players and fans have come to accept and support the change.  This year, the delay will be particularly helpful to players, since the vast majority reside outside the United States.  The 108-day hiatus allows players to gather and bring their supporters to Las Vegas in November for what promises to be one of the most exciting days of their lives.

The final table will be played November 5-7, 2011.  The finale includes two sessions.  The first session begins November 5th and will play the nine initial starters down to the last two players.  Then, the two finalists take a one-day break.  The heads-up finale takes place November 7th.  Starting times will be announced later.  All the action will take place inside the Penn and Teller Theatre at the Rio in Las Vegas.

The WSOP Main Event Championship final table has been played at multiple locations, including:

1970-1986 – Binion’s Horseshoe (original site)

1987-1996 – Binion’s Horseshoe (new site – formally The Mint)

1997 – Fremont Street (under giant canopy)

1998 -- Binion’s Horseshoe (new site – formally The Mint)

1999-2005 – Binion’s Horseshoe (Benny’s Bullpen – second floor)

2006-2007 – Rio Las Vegas (Amazon Room)

2008-present – Rio Las Vegas (Penn and Teller Theatre)


Special Note:  The WSOP recognizes that player characteristics such as gender, race, etc., do not typically warrant special mention.  However, since many members of the media and public wish to know details about female participation and status, the staff is providing this information for media use.

The field included a total of 242 female players.  This figure represents 3.5 percent of the field.

The highest-finishing female in this year’s Main Event was Erika Moutinho (Easton, CT).  She was eliminated during Day Seven.  Moutinho finished in 29th place and collected $242,636 in prize money.

Three females finished in the top 85, which was consistent the total number of female entries (3.5 percent).  The top three finishers were -- Erika Moutinho (Easton, CT) finishing 29th, Amanda Musumeci (Philadelphia, PA) finishing 62nd and Claudia Crawford (Brookhaven, MS) finishing 85th.

Here are the highest-female finishers (by year) in the WSOP Main Event (Note:  Only players who finished in-the-money were recorded):

No female cashed in the Main Event between the years 1970-1985.

1986 – Wendeen Eolis (25th)

1987 – None

1988 – None

1989 – None

1990 – None

1991 – None

1992 – None

1993 – Marsha Waggoner (19th)

1994 – Barbara Samuelson (10th)

1995 – Barbara Enright (5th)

1996 – Lucy Rokach (26th)

1997 – Marsha Waggoner (12th)

1998 – Susie Isaacs (10th)

1999 – None

2000 – Annie Duke (10th)

2001 – None

2002 – None

2003 – Annie Duke (47th)

2004 – Rose Richie (98th)

2005 – Tiffany Williamson (15th)

2006 – Sabyl Cohen-Landrum (56th)

2007 – Maria Ho (38th)

2008 – Tiffany Michelle (17th)

2009 – Leo Margets, a.k.a. Leonor Margets (27th)

2010 – Breeze Zuckerman (121st)

2011 -- Erika Moutinho (29th)


There are 35 players in history who have won the WSOP Main Event Championship.  Of this number, 27 champions are still alive.  Of the 27 former world champions, 18 participated in this year’s Main Event.

This was the worst year ever for former world champions.  Three former champions started Day Four, but none survived.  The top finisher amongst the former champs was Robert Varkonyi, who ended up in 514th place.  He was the only former winner to cash in the Main Event.

2002:  Robert Varkonyi – Eliminated on Day Four – cashed in 514th place

1989:  Phil Hellmuth – Eliminated on Day Four

1986:  Berry Johnston – Eliminated on Day Four

1983:  Tom McEvoy – Eliminated on Day Three

2009:  Joe Cada – Eliminated on Day Three

1996:  Huck Seed – Eliminated on Day Three

2001:  Carlos Mortensen – Eliminated on Day Two

2006:  Jamie Gold – Eliminated on Day Two

2005:  Joe Hachem – Eliminated on Day Two

1978:  Bobby “the Owl” Baldwin – Eliminated on Day Two

2010:  Jonathan Duhamel – Eliminated on Day Two

1987/1988:  Johnny Chan – Eliminated on Day Two

1995:  Dan Harrington – Eliminated on Day Two

1998:  Scotty Nguyen -- Eliminated on Day Two

1975/1976:  Doyle Brunson – Eliminated on Day One

2003:  Chris Moneymaker – Eliminated on Day One

2007:  Jerry Yang – Eliminated on Day One  

2004:  Greg “Fossilman” Raymer – Eliminated on Day One


The World Series of Poker has attracted celebrities and notable personalities since its inception.  This year is no exception.

Here’s how the non-poker celebrities fared:

Mars Callahan (actor-director) – Eliminated on Day Six – cashed in 94th place

Robert Iler (actor – “The Sopranos”) – Eliminated on Day Five – cashed in 275th place

Sam Simon (creator of “The Simpsons”) – Eliminated on Day Four

Mark Loftouse (former NHL hockey player, Washington Capitals) – Eliminated on Day Four

Brad Garrett (actor and comedian) – Eliminated on Day Three

Jason Alexander (actor and comedian) – Eliminated on Day Three

Shannon Elizabeth (actress) – Eliminated on Day Two

Petter Northug (Two-time Olympic gold medalist/skier from Norway) – Eliminated on Day Two

Patrick Bruel (French singer and actor and former gold bracelet winner) – Eliminated on Day Two

Teddy Sheringham (UK football star) – Eliminated on Day Two

Rene Angelil (music manager – Celine Dion’s husband) – Eliminated on Day Two

David Einhorn (prospective owner – New York Mets) – Eliminated on Day Two

Paul Pierce (NBA’s Boston Celtics) – Eliminated on Day Two

Nelly (singer-performer) – Eliminated on Day One

Ray Romano (actor and comedian) – Eliminated on Day One

Shane Warne (cricketer) – Eliminated on Day One

Jennifer Tilly (actress and former WSOP gold bracelet winner) – Eliminated on Day One

Here’s how the Poker Hall of Fame members fared:

Berry Johnston – Eliminated on Day Four

Lyle Berman – Eliminated on Day Three

Mike Sexton – Eliminated on Day Two

Bobby Baldwin – Eliminated on Day Two

Dewey Tomko – Eliminated on Day Two

Dan Harrington – Eliminated on Day Two

Billy Baxter – Eliminated on Day Two

Doyle Brunson – Eliminated on Day One

T.J. Cloutier – Eliminated on Day One

Erik Seidel – Eliminated on Day One

Here’s how the former WSOP “Players of the Year” fared:

2008 -- Erick Lindgren – Eliminated on Day Seven – cashed in 43rd place

2005 -- Allen Cunningham – Eliminated in Day Six – cashed in 69th place

2004 -- Daniel Negreanu – Eliminated on Day Five – cashed in 211th place

2009 -- Jeffrey Lisandro – Eliminated on Day Four

2006 -- Jeff Madsen – Eliminated on Day Four

2010 -- Frank Kassela – Eliminated on Day One

2007 -- Tom Schneider – Eliminated on Day One

The top three finishing 2011 WSOP gold bracelet winners (there were 57 eligible winners) were as follows:

Ben Lamb (fifth place at Final Table)

Sam Barnhart – Eliminated on Day Eight – cashed in 17th place

Tyler Bonkowski – Eliminated on Day Seven – cashed in 60th place

There were two new records tied this year for the Main Event.  Chris Bjorin (London, UK) has defied the notion that poker has become a young person’s game.  The silver fox originally from Sweden cashed again this year, finishing in 460th place.  This was his fourth straight Main Event in-the-money finish, which ties the record for the longest streak in history for cashes in the Main Event.  Also, Diogo Borges (Lisbon, Portugal) cashed in the Main Event for the fourth consecutive year.  Going into next year’s Main Event, both Borges and Bjorin will both have a chance to break the record as players with the most consecutive Main Event in-the-money finishes.


This is the 58th and final event on the 2011 WSOP schedule which is played in Las Vegas.  Seven more gold bracelet events will take place in Cannes, France, to be held in October 7th through 20th as part of the 5th Annual World Series of Poker Europe.   

This marks the seventh consecutive year the WSOP has been held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.  Prior to 2005, the WSOP was held at Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas.  As a testament to the expansion of the WSOP since Caesars Entertainment assumed ownership and control of the world most prestigious poker event, more than twice the money has been awarded to winners within the Rio during the past six years than during the entire proceeding 35-year period at the Horseshoe.

The total number of entrants in the WSOP Main Event (all 42 years combined) is 58,657.

Over the past five years, the average attendance for the WSOP Main Event has been 6,776 entrants.  Hence, this year’s figure (6,865 entrants) was slightly ahead of the post-UIGEA average. 

The average age of all players who participated in the Main Event was 37.2 years.

This is the 950th gold bracelet tournament event in World Series of Poker history.  This figure includes every official WSOP event ever played, including tournaments during the early years when there were no actual gold bracelets awarded.  It also includes the 16 gold bracelets awarded to date at WSOP Europe (2007-2010).  Moreover for the first time ever, one gold bracelet was awarded for this year’s winner of the WSOP Circuit National Championship.


There were 105 different nations represented at the 2011 WSOP in all gold bracelet events.

There were 85 different nations represented in the Main Event Championship.

Based on the total number of entries, non-U.S. players made up 33 percent of the total field.  This is the largest percentage of internationally-based players in WSOP history.

If just the international contingent of participants were separated from the total field size, there would be an estimated 2,265 players.  The size of this group alone would constitute a larger field than any other live tournament ever held, outside the WSOP.

The breakdown of players – alphabetized by country along with number of entrants – was as follows:

1 -- American Samoa

3 -- Andorra

21 -- Argentina

80 -- Australia

37 -- Austria

2 -- Azerbaijan

1 -- Bahamas

1 -- Bahrain

1 -- Barbados

25 -- Belgium

2 -- Belize

2 -- Bolivia

1 -- Botswana

83 -- Brazil

4 -- Bulgaria

486 -- Canada

7 -- Chile

10 -- China

9 -- Columbia

3 -- Costa Rica

1 -- Croatia

4 -- Cyprus

9 -- Czech Republic

46 -- Denmark

5 -- Estonia

21 -- Finland

213 -- France

1 -- French Polynesia

156 -- Germany

5 -- Greece

1 -- Guam

4 -- Guatemala

8 -- Hong Kong

24 -- Hungary

2 -- Iceland

2 -- India

1 -- Indonesia

35 -- Ireland

18 -- Israel

106 -- Italy

24 -- Japan

2 -- Kazakhstan

7 -- Latvia

4 -- Lebanon

8 -- Lithuania

2 -- Macedonia

1 -- Malaysia

2 -- Malta

1 -- Marshall Islands

12 -- Mexico

3 -- Monaco

1 -- Mongolia

1 -- Montserrat

1 -- Morocco

59 -- Netherlands

5 -- New Zealand

34 -- Norway

1 -- Oman

2 -- Panama

3 -- Peru

3 -- Philippines

1 -- Poland

18 -- Portugal

4 -- Romania

108 -- Russia

7 -- Saint Lucia

1 -- Saudi Arabia

1 -- Senegal

4 -- Singapore

6 -- Slovakia

17 -- South Africa

6 -- South Korea

42 -- Spain

79 -- Sweden

26 -- Switzerland

2 -- Taiwan

2 -- Trinidad and Tobago

4 -- Turkey

1 -- Turks and Caicos

1 -- Canary Islands

3 -- Ukraine

288 -- United Kingdom

4,604 -- United States

3 -- Uruguay

20 – Venezuela


This is the third-largest live poker tournament in history.  Only the 2006 WSOP Main Event (at 8,773 entrants) and the 2010 WSOP Main Event (at 7,319 entrants) were bigger.  Prior to this year, the third largest live tournament was the 2008 WSOP Main Event -- with 6,844 players.

Here are the six largest live poker tournaments in history:

2006 WSOP Main Event – 8,773 players

2010 WSOP Main Event – 7,319 players

2011 WSOP Main Event – 6,865 players

2008 WSOP Main Event – 6,844 players

2009 WSOP Main Event – 6,494 players

2007 WSOP Main Event – 6,358 players


Most Main Event Wins (Career):

3 – Johnny Moss (*first win was by vote)

3 – Stu Ungar

2 – Doyle Brunson

2 – Johnny Chan

Most Main Event Cashes (Career):

10 – Berry Johnston

8 – Humberto Brenes

7 – Bobby Baldwin

7 – Doyle Brunson

7 – Jay Heimowitz

8 – Phil Hellmuth – cashed this year (updated)

7 – Mike Sexton

7 – John Esposito – cashed this year (updated)

7 -- Chris Bjorin – cashed this year (updated)

6 – John Bonetti

6 – Johnny Moss

6 – Jason Lester

6 – Steve Lott

6 – Johnny Chan

5 – 14 players tied with 5 cashes each

Most Main Event Final Tables (Career):

            5 – Doyle Brunson

5 – Jesse Alto

4 – Johnny Chan

4 – T.J. Cloutier

4 – Dan Harrington

4 – Berry Johnston

4 – Johnny Moss

4 – Stu Ungar

3 – 6 players tied with 3 final tables each

Youngest Winner:

Joe Cada (2009) -- 21 years, 11 months, 22 days

Oldest Winner:

Johnny Moss (1974) – 66 years, 11 months, 24 days

Oldest Participant:

97 years -- Jack Ury (2010)

Most Consecutive Years Played:

38 – Howard “Tahoe” Andrew (1974 to present)

Most Main Events Played (Career):

38 – Tie: Doyle Brunson (did not play 1999 through 2001); Howard “Tahoe” Andrew

Most Consecutive Cashes in Main Event (UPDATED):

            4 -- Chris Bjorin (2008 to present)

4 -- Diogo Borges (2008 to present)

4 – Theodore Park (2005 – 2008)

4 – Bo Sehlstedt (2004 – 2007)

4 – Robert Turner (1991 – 1994)


The youngest player to enter the 2011 WSOP Main Event Championship was Logan Deen, from Cocoa, FL.  He turned 21 on the day he took his seat in the Main Event.  This means he now holds a record than can only be tied, but never broken (unless age restriction laws are changed in the future).  He was cheered on by his family, who call themselves the “Deen Team.”  Unfortunately, he was eliminated on Day Two.

The oldest player to enter the 2011 WSOP Main Event Championship was Ellen “Gram” Deeb, from Troy, NY.  She became the oldest female participant in Main Event history at the age of 91.  Mrs. Deeb was introduced to the huge crowd, which gave her one of the day’s biggest ovations.  After she stood to wave to the crowd, she grabbed the microphone from a tournament official and snapped, “I just have one thing to say!  You are all playing for second!”  The crowd went wild.  Unfortunately, Mrs. Deeb was eliminated on Day One.  The WSOP looks forward to welcoming her again in 2012.


Through Event #58 (all gold bracelet events), the 2011 WSOP has attracted 75,672 combined total entries.  $191,999,010 in prize money has been awarded. 

Through the conclusion of Event #57, the breakdown of nationality of gold bracelet winners has been:

United States (35)

Canada (5)

Ukraine (4)

France (4)

Great Britain (3)

Russia (3)

Brazil (1)

Pakistan (1)

Sweden (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #57, the national origin (birthplace) of winners has been:

United States (31)

Canada (5)

Ukraine (4)

France (4)

Great Britain (3)

Russia (3)

Israel (1)

Honduras (1)

Indonesia (1)

Germany (1)

Brazil (1)

Pakistan (1)

Sweden (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #57, the home-states of (American) winners have been:

California (7)

New York (6)

Nevada (6)

Texas (3)

Florida (2)

Illinois (2)

Connecticut (2)

New Jersey (1)

Tennessee (1)

Indiana (1)

Maryland (1)

Virginia (1)

Michigan (1)

North Dakota (1)

Washington (1)

Ohio (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #57, the breakdown of professional poker players to semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets has been:

Professional Players (44):  Jake Cody, Cheech Barbaro, Eugene Katchalov, Allen Bari, Harrison Wilder, Matt Perrins, Sean Getzwiller, Viacheslav Zhukov, David Diaz, Andrew Badecker, Tyler Bonkowski, Brian Rast (2 wins), John Juanda, Aaron Steury, Darren Woods, Jason Somerville, Bertrand Grospellier, John Monnette, Elie Payan, Mark Radoja, Chris Viox, Dan Idema, Andy Frankenberger, Chris Lee, Sam Stein, Mark Schmid, Jason Mercier, Mikhail Lakhitov, Fabrice Soulier, Mitch Schock, Matt Jarvis, Justin Pechie, Ben Lamb, Rep Porter, Andre Akkari, Joe Ebanks, Lenny Martin, Athanasios Polychronopoulos, Antonin Teisseire, Matt Matros, Marsha Wolak. Maxim Lykov, Nick Binger

Semi-Pros (6):  Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot, Oleksii Kovalchuk, Eric Rosawig, Arkadiy Tsinis, Alexander Anter

Amateurs (7):  Geffrey Klein, Foster Hays, James Hess, Kirk Caldwell, Ken Griffin, Owais Ahmed, David Singontiko

Since tracking first started in 2005, this year’s WSOP has the greatest disparity of professionals winning over semi-pros and amateurs than any year recorded, so far – with 50 out of 57 events being won by pros or semi-pros.

Through the conclusion of this tournament, the victories of 12 of the 57 winners (21 percent) marked the first time the new champion had ever cashed at the WSOP.

Every WSOP held over the past 11 years has included at least one multiple gold bracelet champion (meaning two or more wins within the same year).  The last year the WSOP was comprised exclusively of single-event winners was back in 1999.  The record for most multiple gold bracelet winners within a single year was in 2009, when five players managed to win two or more titles.  Brian Rast’s victory in two tournaments – Events #15 and #55 -- means the multi-gold bracelet streak will continue for at least another year.

The streak of consecutive male WSOP gold bracelet winners is currently at 213 consecutive events.  Aside from the annual Ladies Poker Championship, the last female player to win a WSOP tournament open to both sexes was Vanessa Selbst, in 2008.  The longest “cold” streak for female players occurred between years 1982 and 1996, when 221 consecutive open events passed without a female champion.

The highest finish by any female (open events) at this year’s WSOP was accomplished by two players.  Maria Ho finished second ($5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em).  Kim Nguyen also finished as the runner up ($1,500 buy-in Six-Handed Limit Hold’em).

The highest finish by any defending champion at this year’s WSOP was by David Baker, who after winning the previous $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw Lowball World Championship finished in sixth place in defense of his title.

Reigning world poker champions rarely perform well the following year after their victory.  Chris “Jesus” Ferguson was the last world champion to win a gold bracelet the next year, which happened in 2001.  Perhaps it’s due to the increasing size of the fields.  But there’s also great pressure on the champions to do well.  What follows is a list of the only world champions in history to win a gold bracelet after winning the championship during the previous year:

Johnny Moss (1975)

Doyle Brunson (1977)

Bobby Baldwin (1979)

Stu Ungar (1981)

Johnny Chan (1988)

Hamid Dastmalchi (1993)

Chris “Jesus” Ferguson (2001)

By contrast, players who make it to the final table of the Main Event Championship (November Nine) one year tend to do quite well in subsequent WSOP years.  Consider that last year, three former Main Event finalists won gold bracelets – Eric Buchman, Tex Barch and Scott Montgomery.  This year, Matt Jarvis won his first gold bracelet one year after making it to the November Nine in 2010.

New tournament records set at the 2011 WSOP (to date):

Biggest Heads-Up tournament prize pool in history ($3,040,000) – Event #2

Largest live Omaha High-Low Split Tournament in history (925 entries) – Event #3

Largest live Six-Handed tournament in poker history (1,920 entries) – Event #10

Biggest Deuce-to-Seven tournament prize pool in history ($1,184,400) – Event #16

Largest live $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start (3389 entries) – Event #56

Largest live $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start (3175 entries) – Event #20

Largest consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,332 entries) – Event #18 and Event #20

Largest live Pot-Limit Omaha tournament in poker history (1,071 entries) – Event #22

Largest Mixed-Game (Eight-Game Mix) in poker history (489 entries) – Event #23

Largest Seniors tournament in poker history (3,752 entries) – Event #30

Biggest Seniors No-Limit Hold’em championship prize pool in history ($3,376,800) – Event #30

Largest single-day live tournament start in poker history (3,752 entries) – Event #30

Largest consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,580 entries) – Event #30/Event #32 (broke Event #18/Event #20 record from earlier in 2011 WSOP)

Largest four-consecutive days field sizes in poker history (2,500+3,752+2,828+3,144 =12,224 entries) -- Events 28, 30, 32, 34, June 16-19, 2011

Largest Mixed Pot-Limit tournament in history (606 entries) – Event #39

Biggest Pot-Limit Omaha prize pool in live poker history ($3,393,400) – Event #42

New player records set at the 2011 WSOP (to date):

The 35-year span between Artie Cobb’s first cash in this event (1976) and most recent cash in the same event (2011) represents the longest time span in WSOP history.  He accomplished this in Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split (Event #25).

Phil Hellmuth added to his record as the individual all-time leader in cashes (84) and final table appearances (43).

Howard “Tahoe” Andrew added to his record as the player with the longest consecutive streak of WSOP appearances (entering at least one event), currently at 38 years and counting (1974 to present).

First player in history with three second-place finishes within a single year – Phil Hellmuth

Tony “Top Cat” Cousineau added to his record as the player with the most WSOP cashes, but no wins (49).

Chris Bjorin and Diogo Borges both cashed in the Main Event for the fourth straight year – tying the record.


Bad Beat on Cancer was created in 2003 by Phil Gordon and Rafe Furst as an easy and fun way for poker players to donate to the Prevent Cancer Foundation.  It all began when Chris Moneymaker pledged 1 percent of his 2003 Main Event winnings and went on to capture the championship, contributing $25,000 when he was awarded the $2.500,000 first- place prize.  By taking the pledge, wearing the patch, and joining ‘Team 1%’, players can feel good supporting a cause that only benefits when they win.  As the official charity of the WSOP, pledges simply indicate to the payouts staff that they are donating 1 percent of their winnings, and the funds are automatically withheld.  A tax receipt is generated and sent to their mailing address.  Several high profile professionals have made ‘life pledges’ of 1 percent of all their winnings -- including Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth Jr., Lee Childs, Paul Wasicka, Andy Bloch, Dennis Phillips, and others.  Since 2003, the initiative has raised over $3,500,000 for cancer prevention research, education, and community outreach programs.  The Nevada Cancer Institute based in Las Vegas is a benefiting charity from the Bad Beat on Cancer.

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