We have spent the past ten days prognosticating, looking at trends, sizing up chip leaders, and counting up average stacks. Now, our November Nine is set.  In this final edition of Chip Chats this summer, rather than look forward and make predictions, let's take a look at how our nine players fared over the course of the Main Event so far, looking at the highlights and some low points of their trek to the final table:

1. Your Chip Leader, JC Tran


He may have the most chips at this final table, but would you believe JC Tran had the worst start to this tournament of any of the November Niners? He ended opening day action with just 3,100 chips in profit from the 30,000-chip starting stack. He said he had some low points early in the event beyond that as well, including being down to just six and a half big blinds before doubling up to stave off elimination. A glance at Tran’s end of day chip counts reflects a relatively unremarkable showing until things started mattering most. Once the field got down to the final 68 and the pressure associated with a deep run in this tournament kicked in, Tran kicked up his game. From Day 5 to Day 6, he tripled his chip stack to end play in the top five chip counts. On Day 7, the most pressure-filled day of the summer, Tran did it again, this time turning almost 12 million chips into 38 million and a chip lead of 8.3 million chips over the rest of his competitors at the final table.

Day 1C – 33,100
Day 2C – 119,300
Day 3 – 217,000
Day 4 – 1,141,000
Day 5 – 3,280,000
Day 6 – 11,970,000
Final Table Chip Count – 38,000,000

2. Amir Lehavot’s Manic Level

The most amazing feat of bracelet winner Amir Lehavot in this Main Event did not get captured in his end of day chip counts. In the span of a single level on Day 7, Lehavot went from 1.7 million to 17 million. It is more progress than he made from Day 1 all the way to end of Day 7. It was the level that locked up his seat at the final table and helped him to bag up the second biggest stack of the November Nine.

Day 1C – 39,550
Day 2C – 201,200
Day 3 – 679,000
Day 4 – 1,783,000
Day 5 – 2,655,000
Day 6 – 7,385,000
Final Table Chip Count – 29,700,000

3. Marc-Etienne McLaughlin May Have Dodged a Bullet

On Day 5, Marc-Etienne McLaughlin just lost out on the honor of being end of day chip leader. His 6,695,000 in chips was just over 350,000 shy of the chip lead. Instead, he settled for second in chips, while Sami Rustom’s late surge earned him the media attention that comes with being the big stack. At the time, it might have been annoying for the Canadian. In hindsight though, it might have been a blessing in disguise, as absolutely none of the end of day chip leaders from this tournament ended up making the final table.

Day 1B – 45,300
Day 2B – 154,600
Day 3 – 560,000
Day 4 – 1,223,000
Day 5 – 6,695,000
Day 6 – 5,415,000
Final Table Chip Count – 26,525,000

4. Jay Farber Coats Through to the Final Table

If you were to evaluate our November Niner’s by fast starts, first place would go to Jay Farber, the only one of our final tablists to end opening day in six figure territory. On the second day of play, Farber cracked the top ten Day 2B counts. By Day 3, Farber’s hot start cooled off a little, but even then, he was still one of the 50 biggest stacks left in the field of 66 players. On Day 4, Farber had his “weakest” showing yet by only ending with almost twice the average stack. On Day 5, Farber was in an unusual place for him this tournament—right at average. That must a shock to the system for the Vegas nightclub VIP host, as he rocketed through the day to reclaim a spot in the top ten, then parlayed that into a seat at the final table.

Day 1B – 104,400
Day 2B – 298,900
Day 3 – 604,000
Day 4 – 1,345,000
Day 5 – 3,030,000
Day 6 – 8,975,000
Final Table Chip Count – 25,975,000

5. Ryan Riess Beasts Day 7 to End Above Average

In the early goings of this poker tournament, Ryan Riess didn’t exactly make a lot of progress. Over the course of Day 2, he grew is stack by exactly 3,150 chips. On Day 3, he did manage to double that amount, but he was still well below average. By Day 4 though, Riess was in seven-figure territory and back in the top half of the chip counts. Day 5 was peak time for Riess, as he ended in the top ten, but one day later, he was one of the nine shortest stacks left in the field. He multiplied that stack to nearly seven times its size though to end with an above average stack heading into the final table.

Day 1A – 72,250
Day 2A – 75,400
Day 3 – 167,000
Day 4 – 1,078,000
Day 5 – 5,570,000
Day 6 – 3,830,000
Final Table Chip Count – 25,875,000

6. Sylvain Loosli Gets a Big Stack, Then Holds on to It

Sylvain Loosli came into the final 27 players second in chips. In a Main Event where we saw numerous big stacks fall, Loosli managed to do something no one else could, which was move into the top ten and stay there. Loosli ascended into the ranks of big stacks at the end of Day 5 after a massive hand where he eliminated Danard Petit in 30th place. He stayed there to end Day 6. Then, on Day 7, while seven of the top ten came up short of the final table, Loosli made it through to the final table. He is the only player of the nine to maintain a top ten stack for two consecutive days prior to making the November Nine.

Day 1C – 45,675
Day 2C – 271,500
Day 3 – 500,500
Day 4 – 877,000
Day 5 – 5,690,000
Day 6 – 14,125,000
Final Table Chip Count – 19,600,000

7. Michiel Brummelhuis Makes Mid-Event Rally to Make Dutch Poker History

The first Dutch player to ever make the final table, Michiel Brummelhuis started the playdown day from 27 to nine 25th in the counts. He rallied to end the day as part of the final table. It was not the only time Brummelhuis had to rally though. At the end of Day 4, Brummelhuis was down to 327,000 chips when the average stack was more than twice that at 797,322. By the end of Day 5, he had run up that stack tenfold.

Day 1A -95,225
Day 2A – 309,500
Day 3 – 666,000
Day 4 – 327,000
Day 5 – 3,485,000
Day 6 – 2,245,000
Final Table Chip Count – 11,275,000

8. Mark Newhouse Grinds His Way to November Nine

A look at Mark Newhouse’s stacks at the end of each day tells a relatively uneventful tale of a player who steadily chipped up each day. However, the fireworks of Day 7 are not accurately represented here. Over the course of all of Day 7, Nehwouse technically made the least progress of anyone, chipping up from 5,785,000 to 7,350,000. There was a point early in the day though where Newhouse was chip leader after he doubled up on three separate occasions, including a massive pot against Anton Morgenstern that vaulted into the chip lead. At peak, Newhouse held over 22 million chips, but slowly bled his stack down to about where he started the day.

Day 1C – 77,075
Day 2C – 110,500
Day 3 – 441,500
Day 4 – 1,611,000
Day 5 – 2,035,000
Day 6 – 5,785,000
Final Table Chip Count – 7,350,000

9. David Benefield Inspires Short Stacks Everywhere

At the start of Day 6 of play, David Benefield was in the least enviable situation of anyone in the final 27 of the Main Event—he was dead last in chips with just 1,840,000. Then, he did something no short stack in the past five years has been able to do: he made the November Nine. We’ve seen short stacks rally since the creation of the November Nine in 2008. Just last year, Andras Koroknai went from 24/27 in chips to one of the big stacks going into the break in action. In 2010, John Dolan accomplished the same feat, going from 24th to November Niner. Since 2008 though, no one has seen a player in Benefield’s position make the cut. Benefield defied the odds to make the final table, though he will be in a familiar position at the bottom of the counts. The former poker pro will come back with around 15 big blinds. It is not unprecedented for a November Niner to return with a stack that short. In fact, in 2008, Kelly Kim only returned to Vegas with ten big blinds and did manage to ladder up one spot to eighth before busting out.

Day 1B – 88,025
Day 2B – 261,100
Day 3 – 249,000
Day 4 – 1,675,000
Day 5 – 3,675,000
Day 6 – 1,840,000
Final Table Chip Count – 6,375,000