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This Week in Poker: July 11 – July 17

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Check out every Friday for a weekly wrap-up of the news from the live poker tournament trail.

Eric Baldwin

Card Player Player of the Year Update

1: Vitaly Lunkin — 4,337
2: Eric Baldwin — 4,300
3: Angel Guillen — 3,492
4: Cornel Cimpan — 3,450
5: Brock Parker — 3,132
6: Mike Leah — 3,052
7: Jeffrey Lisandro — 3,018
8: Poorya Nazari — 3,000
9: Jude Ainsworth — 2,840
10: Jon Turner — 2,788

POY Movement:

Eric Baldwin made the final table of the $1,000 no-limit hold’em championship at the Caesars Mega Stack Series on July 10. Baldwin cashed in seventh place and he took home $23,935 in prize money. He was also awarded 240 Card Player Player of the Year points to bring his second-place total up to 4,300. He now sits just 37 points behind the leader, Vitaly Lunkin. Baldwin has won $1,053,827 in POY events in 2009, and he has made four final tables.

Mike Leah re-emerged in the top 10 after an absence of a few weeks. Leah won a $1,000 no-limit hold’em event at the Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza III to take home $119,956 in prize money and 960 points. The win was a nice end to a relatively quiet summer for Leah, who was in the top 10 before the 40th annual WSOP began on May 28. Leah now has two tournament titles for the year (his other win was at the Borgata $500,000 Guaranteed no-limit hold’em event in March) and he has made six final tables. Leah has booked $647,749 in prize money at POY events in 2009.

This Week in Poker

World Series of Poker

WSOP Main Event Day 8 Recap – November Nine Set

One of the most exciting days of the poker year has come to a close, and the most anticipated final-table lineup of the year is set. The eighth day of play in the $10,000 no-limit hold’em main event at the 2009 World Series of Poker took place today in Las Vegas, and the final 27 players have shrunk down to the second-ever November Nine. The nine players below will return to the Rio November 7-10 to play for the first-place prize of $8,546,435, along with the title of world champion. Each and every one of the final nine players is now a millionaire, and they are guaranteed at least $1,263,602 in prize money. Here are the November Nine for 2009 (with seat assignments and chip counts for November):

Jeff Shulman

Seat 1: Darvin Moon — 58,930,000
Seat 2: James Akenhead — 6,800,000
Seat 3: Phil Ivey — 9,765,000
Seat 4: Kevin Schaffel — 12,390,000
Seat 5: Steven Begleiter — 29,885,000
Seat 6: Eric Buchman — 34,800,000
Seat 7: Joseph Cada — 13,215,000
Seat 8: Antoine Saout — 9,500,000
Seat 9: Jeff Shulman — 19,580,000

Card Player Publisher Jeff Shulman and seven-time gold bracelet winner Phil Ivey you probably already know, and Londoner James Akenhead turned heads last summer when he finished runner-up to Grant Hinkle in one of the largest $1,500 no-limit hold’em tournaments of all time. In the coming weeks and months, you will learn more about each and every one of these players on leading up to the main-event final table.

Here is a look at the full payouts for the final table in November:

Phil Ivey

1: $8,546,435
2: $5,182,601
3: $3,479,485
4: $2,502,787
5: $1,953,295
6: $1,587,133
7: $1,404,002
8: $1,300,228
9: $1,263,602

With 27 players starting the day, there were some notables who missed the final table as action played down for close to four levels. Check out the full list of eliminations below to see which big names fell during day 8:

27: Leo Margets — $352,832
26: Jesse Haabak — $352,832
25: Francois Balmigere — $352,832
24: Antonio Esfandiari — $352,832
23: Marco Mattes — $352,832
22: Warren Zackey — $352,832
21: Jonathan Tamayo — $352,832
20: George Caragiorgas — $352,832
19: Tommy Vedes — $352,832
18: Andrew Lichtenberger — $500,557
17: Ian Tavelli — $500,557
16: Ludovic Lacay — $500,557
15: Nick Maimone — $633,022
14: Ben Lamb — $633,022
13: James Calderaro — $633,022
12: Billy Kopp — $896,730
11: Jamie Robbins — $896,730
10: Jordan Smith — $896,730

WSOP Main Event Day 3 Recap
WSOP Main Event Day 4 Recap
WSOP Main Event Day 5 Recap
WSOP Main Event Day 6 Recap
WSOP Main Event Day 7 Recap

World Poker Tour — Bellagio Cup V

Bellagio Cup Day 3

Author’s Note: Tournament Recap Courtesy of Julio Rodriguez

Alec TorelliIt’s safe to say that the Bellagio Cup V Championship Event is ahead of schedule. Heading into day three action, there were just 92 players remaining. Five levels later, and the field finds themselves on the money bubble with 31 still in contention. To top it off, there are still three more days left in the tournament schedule.

With the blinds and antes mounting, many short stacks quickly found themselves on the rail. In fact, a huge confrontation developed just minutes into play when Isaac Haxton shipped his big stack over to day 2 chip leader Alec Torelli. Haxton couldn’t get away from his pocket kings and Torelli’s pocket aces held to give him a monster stack.

Faraz JakaWhile it looked like Torelli would run away with it, Faraz Jaka had other ideas. First, Jaka cracked a set of aces with a club flush to vault himself to 1,800,000 million in chips. That would have been enough for a huge chip lead, but Jaka continued to run well and dominate his table, taking out several players and making quads twice to finish the day with an astounding 3,214,000 in chips.

Defending champion Mike “SirWatts” Watson was eliminated during the day’s action, but 2007 champion Kevin Saul is still alive, albeit short stacked.

Online phenom Anthony “holdplz” Spinella was the only other player to finish with over 1 million and is sitting with 1,249,000. Other notables who remain in contention include Alex Kravchenko, Justin “BoostedJ” Smith, Josh “sdouble” Schlein, Jonathan Little, Mimi Tran, Freddy Deeb, Ralph Perry, Adam “csimmsux” Geyer, Alexandre Gomes, Hoyt Corkins, Jason Somerville, Vivek Rajkumar and Ray Henson.

Bellagio Cup Day 1A Recap
Bellagio Cup Day 1B Recap
Bellagio Cup Day 2 Recap

Looking Ahead

PokerStars ANZPT – Queenstown

Event Schedule

World Poker Open

Event Schedule