The November Nine is within sight after Day 7 of the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event. Five levels of play produced numerous eliminations and a new set of chip leaders. Poker's new power couple were among the casualties during the day and we saw the biggest pot of the Main Event towards the end of day's play. Anton Makievskyi currently leads with 21 million and is looking to punch his ticket to the final table. He will not have an easy road to hoe as many big names still are in contention, including Ben Lamb, Phil Collins, and the surging Eoghan O'Dea.
Anton Makievskyi ran hot at the exact right time to make his bid for the November Nine. After starting with 3.3 million in chips, he was knocked down to 1.6 million before going on the run of his poker career. He chipped up to over 4 million before knocking out Guillaume Darcourt. Darcourt shoved for his last 1.5 million with and Makievskyi called with pocket nines. The board fell eight-high and Makievskyi was up to 6 million.
From there he steadily chipped up to 10 million in chips before taking down the largest pot of the tournament. Makievskyi raised to 400,000 preflop and Christopher Moore called. The flop fell and Makievskyi bet 400,000. Moore then put in a raise to 1.1 million and Makievskyi countered with a three-bet to 2.8 million. Moore shipped his stack of around 12 million total and Makievskyi insta-called. Makievskyi turned over for a flopped full house. Moore turned over and could still win if an ace fell. The turn and river both brought baby cards and the 20 million pot propelled Makievskyi into the chip lead. He finished the day with just over 21 million in chips.
Eoghan O'Dea is the next closest player to Makievskyi with slightly over 19 million. He started his run late in the day after doubling up with pocket kings against the pocket jacks of Ben Lamb. After giving some back to Lamb, he got tangled with Andrew Hinrichsen at the end of the day to move up to second in chips. A preflop betting war between the two resulted in Hinrichsen shoving all-in for around 8 million. O'Dea made the call and again held pocket kings while Hinrichsen showed . The board fell all hearts and normally that would be a chopped pot. However, in this case, O'Dea held the and his superior flush sent Hinrichsen out as the last player eliminated on the day.
Several big names hit the rail during Day 7 action. Sebastian Ruthenberg started the day as the shortest stack in the field and got his last 800,000 in with but ran into the pocket kings of Guillaume Darcourt. The board failed to produce an ace and Ruthenberg was out in 55th. David Bach was the chip leader on Day 5 of this event, but since that point he had been unable to significantly chip up. After slipping down to just under 2 million, Bach got his remaining stack in the middle with and found himself racing with John Hewitt's . The flop all but ended it for Bach when it fell . With the falling on the turn, Bach hit the rail in 45th.
Erick Lindgren made an incredible comeback on Day 6 to give himself a shot at a November Nine run, but his run ended with a 43rd-place finish. After starting the day with 2.19 million, Lindgren steadily slid until he was left with just 640,000. He got those chips in with but ran into the from Steve Brecher. A flop of gave Lindgren a straight draw, but the board failed to produce a five, and Lindgren was eliminated.
Team PokerStars Australia pro Tony Hachem had the run of his life in this event and walked away with the biggest live cash of his pro career. After seeing his stack knocked down to around 500,000, Hachem moved all-in from early position with and Kenny Shih called with from the big blind. The flop left Hachem needing running eights, sevens, or running straight cards to win. The turn brought the and Hachem was drawing dead. He finished in 37th place and took home $196,174.
The Main Event's "power couple" of David "Doc" Sands and last woman standing Erika Moutinho both made the top 30 of this event. However, both were short stacked and quickly eliminated. Sands was the first to hit the rail against John Hewitt. After Hewitt raised to 255,000, Sands shoved all-in for 2.25 million with . Hewitt thought for a minute, made the call, and found he had Sands dominated with . An flop gave Hewitt two pair, but Sands had a Broadway draw. The turn helped neither player, but the river filled up Hewitt to send Sands out in 30th. Moutinho was right behind him in the payout line. Matt Giannetti opened to 260,000 and Moutinho shoved from the small blind for 1.79 milllion. Andrew Hinrichsen then reshoved for just over 6 million and Giannetti got out of the way. Moutinho had and like Sands found herself dominated to the of Hinrichsen. The board blanked Moutinho and she finished in 29th.
JP Kelly had a roller coaster day but will not be contending for the November Nine. After starting the day just under chip average, he built his stack up over 9 million and was beginning to challenge for the top spots. His fortunes started turning south in a hand against Kenny Shih who check-called bets on both the flop and turn to produce a board of . At the river, Shih checked again and Kelly bet 3 million, about 200,000 more than Shih had in his stack. Shih insta-called and showed for quad queens. This pot dropped Kelly down to 5.4 million.
He lost more than half of that remaining stack to Sam Barnhart. Barnhart moved all-in preflop for 3.3 million and Kelly made the call with . Kelly found himself in a race as Barnhart flipped over pocket jacks. The board fell to produce a straight, but Barnhart's jacks gave him the better straight. Kelly was left with just 2.2 million. Kelly continued to slide and finally was down to just 1.15 million. He decided to try and make a move and shoved preflop with but ran into the of Andrey Peteychuk. The flop produced a jack, but the turn and river failed to bring any additional help. As such, Kelly finished the day in 26th place.
After five levels of play, 22 players remain. Tuesday will be the final day of the Main Event until November as action will continue until the November Nine is reached. Makievskyi and O'Dea lead, followed by Khoa Nguyen with 16.4 million, and Andrey Pateychuk with 16.2 million. Ben Lamb proved to have the heart of a champion on Monday. He was knocked down to 5.1 million after O'Dea's double-up, but continued to play his game and chipped up over the remainder of the day to finish yet again in the top five of chips. He will take 14.69 million into the final day of the Main Event. Phil Collins, Ryan Lenaghan, and Matt Giannetti all round out the top 10. Pius Heinz and Bryan Devonshire both finished the day below chip average with 7.5 and 6.19 million respectively, but both are still just a big hand or a big double-up away from being back in contention. Sam Barnhart and Lars Bonding are both still alive in the event, but both are below 5 million in chips and need to make a move if they hope to contend.
Tuesday is the day we find out who will make the November Nine. At 1200 PDT (1900 GMT), 22 players will return to the Rio and battle for as long as it takes until the final table of the 2011 WSOP Main Event is reached.
The PokerNews Podcast crew was back on Monday to discuss the Main Event. Aussie team member Mateusz Pater joined the program to discuss the players still alive in the event, the play thus far, and who they expect to go even deeper in the event. Jared Tendler joined the program a bit later to talk about mental strategy and discuss his new book The Mental Game of Poker.
Listen to what Tendler had to say by clicking here.
Video of the Day
Matt Giannetti finished Day 7 of the Main Event 9th in chips. Kristy Arnett caught up with him before the last level of the day to find out what it's like to be at the featured table and to find out how he built his stack.