The poker world can get back to normal.  That is, except for a fortunate, skilled few.  Early Sunday morning, the field of 7,319 in the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event was whittled down to a group of men that could fit around a single table and thus the newest edition of the November Nine was determined.  Leading the way is 22-year old Canadian Jonathan Duhamel just shy of 66 million chips, or 30 percent of the chips in play.
Duhamel achieved the big stack largely in part to one incredible hand.  With 15 players remaining, Matt Affleck had 15.5 million chips, about a million more than average.  He and Duhamel got into a raising war pre-flop, eventually both putting in close to 4 million chips before any community cards were dealt.  Duhamel checked the flop of 10-9-7 and then called a 5 million chip bet by Affleck.  When a Queen hit the turn, Affleck moved all-in for his final 11.6 million chips.  Duhamel had him covered, but obviously this was the hand of the tournament to this point.  Whatever he decided to do here would change the complexion of the event one way or another.  After pondering it for a good five minutes, Duhamel finally called.  His hand: pocket Jacks, giving him a pair and an open-ended straight draw with one card to come.  Affleck flipped over pocket Aces, giving him the better hand.  The river card, however, was soul crushing for Affleck: the 8 of diamonds.  That gave Duhamel his straight, a 42 million chip pot, and sent Affleck to the rail in 15th place.
For most of Day 8, the tournament advanced smoothly with eliminations coming at a brisk pace.  But just when it looked like the field would shrink from 27 to nine before everyone collapsed from exhaustion.  The brakes were jammed just two eliminations away from the November Nine.  It appeared that the players realized the significance and potential sponsorship opportunities that could come from making the final table, so nobody wanted to bow out in 10th or 11th place.  But finally, not long before sun was to come up on Sunday morning, Matt Jarvis knocked out Brandon Steven with Queens versus A-K, punching the tickets of himself and the other eight remaining players for their return trip to the Rio in November.
The most notable name of the November Nine is Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, who won his first WSOP bracelet this year in the $50,000 Players Championship.  Most casual poker fans will recognize Mizrachi from his numerous appearances on World Poker Tour television episodes, as he has made five WPT final tables and has two WPT championships.  Not counting his upcoming Main Event winnings, he has earned $8.8 million on the live tournament circuit, placing him 14th on the all-time money list.  If he places first or second in the Main Event, he will leapfrog all 13 players in front of him and land atop the rankings.
Here is what the members of the November Nine stand to make:
1st Place: $8,944,138
2nd Place: $5,545,855
3rd Place: $4,129,979
4th Place: $3,092,497
5th Place: $2,332,960
6th Place: $1,772,939
7th Place: $1,356,708
8th Place: $1,045,738
9th Place: $811,823
Each player will receive 9th place money while they wait to resume the tournament in the fall.  The remainder of the prize pool will be placed in an interest bearing account, with the earnings divided amongst the top eight finishers.
The chip counts of the November Nine are as follows:
1. Jonathan Duhamel – 65,975,000
2. John Dolan – 46,250,000
3. Joseph Cheong – 23,525,000
4. John Racener – 19,050,000
5. Matthew Jarvis – 16,700,000
6. Filippo Candio – 16,400,000
7. Michael Mizrachi – 14,450,000
8. Soi Nguyen – 9,650,000
9. Jason Senti – 7,625,000
The Main Event will resume on November 6th in the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio in Las Vegas and a champion will be crowned on November 9th.  Blinds will be 250,000/500,000 with 50,000 chip antes.

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