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WSOP 2013 - November Nine
Together again for one last time: the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event November Nine

Put me in, coach!

This year's November Nine was very pro-heavy. JC Tran entered play with the chip lead, a trophy room full of big-tournament-winner bling, and over $8.3 million in tournament cashes. In stark contrast, Jay Farber stood out as the lone amateur with barely more than $2k in lifetime tournament poker winnings. He has apparently been coached by none other than Ben Lamb, which will certainly help.

But, as the WSOP organizers are so fond of saying, anybody can win. Say what you want about math skills and soul-reading. Go ahead. We'll wait. Because when you get down to it, much of any tournament's final table success or failure depends on sheer luck. The final table is the living, breathing definition of "small sample size."

Mark Newhouse busted 9th but not without a fight

David Benefield does his 8th place exit interview with the adorable Kara Scott

The Penn & Teller Theater from the Mezzanine

Mascots and rooting sections

The Panda in Jay Farber's rail was by far the most visible and most widely-liked of his entourage. He'd dance, wave his hands, and do what mascots are supposed to do. Right up until he decided that it was time to run across the stage during TV broadcast. Bad idea. He tripped, was immediately greeted by Rio security, and that was the last we saw of him.

As for cheering, Marc-Etienne McLaughlin's supporters absolutely crushed with their bizarre mix of French-Canadian chants and taunts, their Irish leprechaun-motif costumes, and their posters of McLaughlin in a Devo-like hard hat. They'd chant "Larry Walker! Larry Walker!" when McLaughlin was in the big blind, and he'd do a semi-stage-dive into his rail when he did get a walk. It was sad to see him and them go. But hey, c'est la vie, non?

Jay Farber's mascot, the Panda, stole the show. Until he ran on stage, fell down, and was escorted off the premises.

Ryan Riess sweats a hand over by his rail

Michiel Brummelhuis finishes 7th. Handshakes and bro-hugs all around.

McLaughlin doubles through Tran. And yes, that guy is wearing a "no face" mask.

Massive cooler, massive pot. McLaughlin ran KK into Farber's AA. Farber took the chip lead, McLaughlin out 6th.

McLaughlin does his 6th place exit interviews in the lobby

No traction

Try as he might, JC Tran just couldn't make things go his way. (Back to the old "small sample size" theory again.) He evidently got some of his big bluffs snapped off, he didn't bust anybody, and he doubled up short stacks. This is exactly the opposite of what you need at a final table, and his stack more or less steadily declined as a result.

He busted a disappointing 5th, got the obligatory farewell handshakes + bro-hugs from the remaining four players, did his exit interviews, and his 2013 WSOP was over. But the moment that the media missed, the hug from his wife, was by far the most important hug of the night.

JC Tran started play as chip leader, but he couldn't get things to go his way. He busted in 5th place.

There were many hugs for JC, but this one was the most important.

Deep stack showdown

After Loosli busted in 4th, the WSOP staff decided that play would continue down to the final two players instead of the normal three. Two factors probably caused this: the relatively quick play down to three, and the relatively short stack of the low man. 3-handed play started at roughly 1AM, far earlier than at last year's grueling ordeal, Amir Lehavot had only 21+ million chips, and sure enough, Lehavot busted minutes later.

Tomorrow's finale will feature amateur Jay Farber (surprise!) and young pro Ryan Riess. Farber leads with 105,000,000 chips, Riess trails with a still massive 85,675,000 chips, and the blinds will continue at level 39 (150k / 500k / 1mil). Tune in at 6pm on ESPN2 for near-live coverage!

Please visit these official World Series of Poker pages for all the details and a great recap of The 2013 World Series of Poker:

The WSOP November NineThe Official 2013 WSOP Main Event updates page
The Main Event summaryWSOP 2013 Main Event results page

Next: Main Event Winner...

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