The November Nine – there’s always one [Editorial]

The November Nine – there’s always one [Editorial]

Friday, 30 September 2011

The news that Matt Giannetti had won the first ever World Poker Tour Malta event, beating Cecilia Pascaglini heads-up to ship the bracelet and €200,000 came as no surprise.

It’s hard to root for the luckbox who managed to get a place in the November Nine and potentially more than $8m over the beautiful blonde woman, admittedly. Most were pleased that Giannetti won, though, because it sustains the tradition of at least one November Niner making waves in the poker world between the WSOP final table bubble boy busting and the first hand of the final table being played.

Since Ivan Demidov made the WSOPE final table the same year he made the first November Nine and eventually finished second to Peter Eastgate, the November Niners are almost expected to produce results between WSOP days. Here’s what some of them have done in the past:

Matthew Jarvis took down a $1,000 side event at the Festa Al Lago and finisher runner-up in the $500 PLHE/PLO event at the West Coast Poker Championship for a total of $80,000 between making the November Nine and playing out the final table.

John Dolan finished runner-up in the 2010 World Poker Finals for $45,000.

Joseph Cheong finished runner-up in the 2010 EPT London £10,000 Turbo High Roller for £162,280 and won a $5,000 Festa al Lago event for $140,000.

Kevin Schaffel finished runner-up to Prahlad Friedman in the 2009 Legends of Poker for $471,670 and made a deep run in the EPT London Main Event.

James Akenhead and Antoine Saout both made the final table of the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event before the November Nine played out. The previous year, Ivan Demidov had set the precedent by finishing third in the WSOPE just weeks before taking the runner-up spot to Peter Eastgate in the inaugural November Nine.

So, this proves that not all WSOP finalists are Jerry Yangs and Darvin Moons? It gives us faith that at least a modicum of poker chops are needed to final table the most prestigious and biggest event on the poker calendar. Kind of – you probably need to have a good game to play well for nine days; despite the large proportion of fish in the WSOP Main Event it also contains the single biggest collection of pros and you probably encounter some tough competition on your way to the November Nine. The reason for November Niners crushing tournaments after July isn’t just down to them being the next Jason Mercier, however.

Let’s say you’re in the position of a November Niner. You’re an online grinder (small to mid-stakes cash games or mid-level online tournaments) who qualified for $55 and you’ve arrived at the WSOP final table. Your bankroll has been increased from low five figures by an additional $782,000 plus a sponsorship package or endorsement deal. What do you do now?

Tempting as it would be to spend half of it on a house and fill a solid gold bathtub with the rest of the cash, you can’t forget –how could you – that you can earn up to an extra $8,000,000 in four month’s time.
So if I had that $782,000 bankroll injection I would, after putting a good chunk aside, increase my bankroll by $200,000 or so. You spend money on every poker video training subscription out there and hire several coaches, then you grind the hell out of online tournaments and SnGs until you have equity calculations and push/fold charts falling out of your ears. At the same time you wrangle sponsorship and play online satellites to every live event you can’t afford to buy-in to; you buy-in to the others.

In those four months you’re going to want to play as much poker as you possibly can. Not only is your game on an all-time high – think how good you feel after even a modest win at your regular tables and multiply that by infinity – but your bankroll can suddenly afford UKIPT events and EPT side events and satellites to even bigger tournaments. Not only do you have the means to grind live events but you have the motivation – every blind level you play at a £500 NL event at EPT London or a $10,000 WPT Championship or even a £50 rebuy in London is an extra bit of practise. And you have $8m to earn.

Tags: Matt Perry, Editorial, November Nine, WSOP, Matt Giannetti, James Akenhead, Antoine Saout, Ivan Demidov, Matthew Jarvis, John Dolan, Joseph Cheong