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WSOP 2009

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November Nine Will Compete for More than $27 Million

LAS VEGAS (July 16, 2009) – The massive field of 6,494 players who entered the World Series of Poker® (WSOP) Main Event has been narrowed to just nine competitors who will return to Las Vegas in November to compete for a top prize of more than $8.5 million and the most coveted prize in poker: the WSOP champion’s gold bracelet.

Main Event play began July 3; the field was trimmed to just 27 players from seven countries at the start of play on July 15. The nine players who survived the day to advance to November’s final table, along with their chip counts, are:

Darvin Moon, 45, of Oakland, Md.: 58,930,000

Moon, who heads into November as the chip leader, is the Everyman of the November Nine. A self-employed logger from Western Maryland, Moon learned to play poker with his friends and won his Main Event seat in a satellite (qualifying) tournament. This is Moon’s first appearance at the WSOP.

Eric Buchman, 28, of Valley Stream, NY: 34,800,000

Buchman, second in chips, is an accomplished poker pro with nine career WSOP cashes. He made a final table in this year’s WSOP, placing sixth in Event 25. His best WSOP finish was second place in a 2006 Limit Hold’em event, which paid nearly $175,000.

Steven Begleiter, 47, of Chappaqua, NY: 29,885,000

Begleiter is familiar with large numbers, having worked previously in high finance at Bear Stearns. Married with three children, Begleiter played in last year’s Main Event but was unable “to dance between the raindrops” to make it deep into the tournament. When he isn’t playing poker, Begleiter enjoys watching and coaching his kids’ sports teams. He heads into November third in chips.

Jeff Shulman, 34, of Las Vegas: 19,580,000

Shulman made himself known in the poker world at the age of 25, when he went deep in the WSOP Main Event. Nearly a decade later, the editor of Card Player magazine has more than $1 million in career winnings and finds himself at the final table. Shulman is fourth in chips.

Joseph Cada, 21, of Shelby Township, Mich.: 13,215,000

Cada, fifth in chips, has played in some 16 WSOP events and boasts nearly $500,000 in poker winnings. The 21-year-old’s hobbies include playing sports and spending time on the water. He was introduced to poker by friends who play professionally.

Kevin Schaffel, 51, of Coral Springs, Fla.: 12,390,000

Schaffel has been playing poker since he was 11 years old and regularly participates in family games. He owned and operated a printing company for 30 years and considers himself “semi-retired” after having recently closed the business. The 51-year-old plans “to play a lot of golf” in the coming days and weeks. He is sixth in chips.

Phil Ivey, 33, of Las Vegas: 9,765,000

Ivey, seventh in chips, is considered by many to be the world’s greatest poker player. At 33, he already has seven WSOP bracelets – two of which he won at this year’s WSOP. Often referred to as the Tiger Woods of poker, Ivey is a fierce competitor who has won millions in both tournaments and cash games around the globe.

Antoine Saout, 25, of Saint Martin des Champs, France: 9,500,000

Born in Morlaix, France, Antoine now calls Saint Martin des Champs home. One of three Frenchmen to make the final 27 of the Main Event, he won his seat into the tournament through an online satellite. He enters November eighth in chips.

James Akenhead, 26, of London, England: 6,800,000

Akenhead is a former railroad conductor and current poker pro who boasts a previous second-place finish at the 2008 WSOP, where he collected $520,000. His total winnings total some $700,000. He will be the short stack when play resumes at the Rio.

The “November Nine” – as those who make the final table have been dubbed – will resume play at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino on Nov. 7. When the final two players are identified, play will stop, resuming again on Tuesday, Nov. 10. ESPN will provide same day coverage of the winning hand and the awarding of the champion’s bracelet.

Each of the November Nine already has received ninth-place prize money of more than $1.2 million. This marks just the second time in WSOP history that each member of the final table will win at least $1 million.

Official prize money for the November Nine is as follows:

1st place: $8,546,435
2nd place: $5,182,601
3rd place: $3,479,485
4th place: $2,502,787
5th place: $1,953,395
6th place: $1,587,133
7th place: $1,404,002
8th place: $1,300,228
9th place: $1,263,602

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