Sunday, November 09, 2008

November Nine About to Take Their Seats

The November NineJust a couple of hours away from the start of today’s World Series of Poker Main Event final table. While there is no pay-per-view as we’ve had over the last couple of years, it appears we will have audio coverage via the World Series of Poker website (and Bluff magazine). You can click here for the link to the audio plus “Real Time Stats” which I assume will be updated chip counts. Of course, one can also head over to PokerNews’ live reporting for the hand-for-hand coverage (and chip counts) as well.

I’m definitely going to be checking in from time to time today, though I doubt I’ll be staying up into the wee hours to learn which two players will be coming back on Monday night to play it out. Might as well warn my readers today that if you want to stay in the dark regarding the outcome and watch ESPN’s “plausibly live” show Tuesday night without knowledge of the winner, you probably will want to stay away from Hard-Boiled Poker tomorrow and Tuesday.

I wrote up some impressions of the final nine players yesterday. Dr. Pauly has also provided a good overview of the November Nine on Tao, with lots of great Flipchip pics, too. Pauly will be live blogging the sucker today as well.

One not-so-small detail of today’s final table seems concerns the seating assignments. As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve had the chance to hear and read multiple interviews with most of the nine players, and to a man all have said they expected there to be a redraw for today’s final table. Even as recently as a couple of days ago, I heard Scott Montgomery saying he had no idea who would be seated on either side of him today.

As my buddy Tim Peters pointed out in his comment on yesterday’s post, Lon McEachern did indeed say on the latest installment of Phil Gordon’s The Poker Edge (an ESPN-sponsored podcast) that there would be no redrawing of seats. When quizzed about it, McEachern added he might be “speaking out of turn” -- implying either he was revealing something about which the players hadn’t been informed, or (perhaps) was himself uncertain about the seating assignments.

I guess we’ll just have to wait for that first hand to be dealt today to see if, in fact, they are maintaining the same seat assignments they had when play concluded during the early morning of July 15 with nearly 22 minutes left in Level 33 (blinds 120,000/240,000, antes 30,000). At that time, the players were seated as follows:

Seat 1: Dennis Phillips (26,295,000)
Seat 2: Craig Marquis (10,210,000)
Seat 3: Ylon Schwartz (12,525,000)
Seat 4: Scott Montgomery (19,690,000)
Seat 5: Darus Suharto (12,520,000)
Seat 6: David 'Chino' Rheem (10,230,000)
Seat 7: Ivan Demidov (24,400,000)
Seat 8: Kelly Kim (2,620,000)
Seat 9: Peter Eastgate (18,375,000)

Harrah’s and the WSOP could’ve done a better job with a number of things during these 117 days we’ve been waiting for today’s final table, including informing fans and even the players a little more clearly what the procedure for seating assignments would be.

It goes without saying that the players’ preparation would have been affected considerably if they had known four months ago who was going to be seated on their immediate left and right. If there were no intention to redraw for seats, seems like a not-so-insignificant snafu not to have let the players in on that from the start. Or to have deliberately misled them!

(EDIT [added a little after 1:00 p.m. Eastern time): Am listening to the beginning of the audio broadcast and it sounds as though they are redrawing for new seat assignments -- as it seemed the players had expected.)

(EDIT [added 2:00 p.m.]: Okay, sounds like they are finally introducing the players and despite what Nick Geber said they are in their same seats -- i.e., no redraw.)

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