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Top-10 predictions for November Niners

15 November 2010

It's been a week since Jonathan Duhamel won the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event to claim the $8.9 million first-place prize. We learned a lot about the young French-Canadian poker pro during the tournament, but we also learned a lot about the other eight players in the November Nine. So for this week's top-10, we present a list of 10 bold predictions about the future for the November Nine.

10. Soi Nguyen will be a stranger
Don't expect ninth-place finisher Soi Nguyen to drop everything and take his $811,823 prize money on the road as a travelling tournament pro. Throughout his journey to the final table, Nguyen talked glowingly about his job as a manager for a company that makes and distributes medical equipment. We might see Nguyen return for the Main Event for several years, and he also may enter an event or two in California cardrooms, but outside of that, Nguyen will likely focus mostly on his chosen profession — and that's not poker.

9. Matt Jarvis will be back
Matt Jarvis has been playing some of his best poker in some of the most trying circumstances. As his father battles cancer, Jarvis not only qualified for the November Nine, but also played well at the final table. He got unlucky when Joseph Cheong hit a flush on the river in hand early on (and made the correct laydown), and suffered through a gut-wrenching coin flip with Michael Mizrachi and handled it all with class. The eighth-place finisher, Jarvis will likely take some time off to help his father as he continues his battle, but expect to see more from this young Canadian.

8. Jason Senti will focus on tournaments
Jason Senti calls himself an online multi-table tournament player and a live cash game grinder. But, he says, the exposure he got from being a member of the November Nine might make it more difficult to find juicy cash games. The 26-year old from Minnesota has a friendly, engaging personality, and would make a great representative for PokerStars, which he endorsed during this year's WSOP. If he's able to continue to put up solid results in upcoming tournaments, expect Senti to sign with PokerStars and become a regular on the tournament circuit.

7. John Dolan will win a WSOP bracelet in the next three years
Over the last two years, John Dolan has been racking up the tournament cashes. Most of them have come in mid-range buy-in events from $300 - $2,000, but a few have come in larger buy-in events, like the WSOP Main Event. Dolan has six WSOP cashes to his credit, including two final tables in the 2010 WSOP. And he's a proven winner – he won titles at the 2009 Gulf Coast Poker Championship and the 2009 Winter Bayou Poker Challenge. He recently finished second in an event at the World Poker Finals at Foxwoods, and despite a disappointing finish in the Main Event, Dolan will be a force to be reckoned with at next year's WSOP.

6. Michael Mizrachi will sign with Full Tilt Poker
Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi's life has been full of great decisions on the poker table, and bad business decisions off of it. The most well-publicized bad decision was to invest in some Florida real estate during the boom, only to see those properties go underwater when the market tumbled. Another bad decision was to sign with Deliverance Poker, a site that has yet to launch, and may never do so. Mizrachi was sued by the site when he decided to wear Full Tilt Poker patches at the WSOP — a suit that has since been dropped. Look for Full Tilt to lock the Grinder in to a longer term deal now that he appears to be back on top of his game.

5. Filippo Candio will branch out
There isn't much not to like about fourth-place finisher Filippo Candio. The Italian poker pro wears his heart on his sleeve and isn't afraid to show a bluff. A student of classical literature and American film, don't be surprised to see Candio grow bored with poker after a few years and branch out to new pursuits, perhaps in the creative realm.

4. Joseph Cheong will regret his A-7 move
Third-place finisher Joseph Cheong refused to say he made the wrong move when he six-bet his ace-seven all in against Jonathan Duhamel's pocket queens when the two held a massive chip lead over John Racener during three-handed play. Third place paid $4.1 million, while second paid $5.5 million.

Cheong insisted that there "isn't much difference" between the two sums at a post-tournament press conference. And it probably seems that way to the 24-year-old poker pro. But someday he will realize what he threw away. There might be a dozen poker tournaments that offer a first-place prize of $1.4 million each year, if even that many. And it's pretty hard to get first place in those tournaments. It might be hard for him to see that, especially after he won nearly $400,000 in two tournaments in October, but considering his largest previous cash had been for $17,541, that $1.4 million might come in handy someday.

3. John Racener will make lots of WSOP final tables
This year's runner-up, John Racener, has a solid, proven game plan in tournament poker. He has made four WSOP final tables, including a fifth-place finish in a pot-limit Omaha event at this year's WSOP Europe. Overall, he's made 18 final tables, but has just two victories to his credit – one of which was really a three-way chop at a WSOP Circuit event in Atlantic City. Racener appears to be on a track to rack up final tables, but it remains to be seen if he can close out a victory on such a big stage.

2. PokerStars will keep bragging
PokerStars revels in the fact that its players have done well at the WSOP. The ad campaign revealed prior to the 2010 WSOP featured Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer, Joe Hachem, Peter Eastgate and Joe Cada, saying PokerStars players had won five of the last seven Main Event titles. Jonathan Duhamel's win this year makes that record six of the last eight — and let's be honest, the other two (Jamie Gold for Bodog Poker in 2006, Jerry Yang won for Full Tilt in 2007) have pretty much fallen off the face of the Earth, at least outside of the Main Event. Full Tilt had to feel pretty good about its chances going into the final table, with seven of the nine players locked up, but Duhamel locked up another world championship for PokerStars.

1. Jonathan Duhamel will drop a puck at a Montreal Canadiens game
In 2008, Dennis Phillips and his fans wore St. Louis Cardinals gear during the November Nine, and Phillips was invited to throw the first pitch at a Cardinals game. Last year, Darvin Moon wore a New Orleans Saints hat throughout his Main Event run, and was invited onto the field before a Saints game. And while Duhamel didn't wear any Canadiens gear during play, his legion of fans did. Expect to see Duhamel keep tradition alive by dropping the ceremonial first puck before a Canadiens game in the not-too-distant future.
Top-10 predictions for November Niners is republished from
Aaron Todd

Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd was an editor/writer at Casino City for nearly eight years, and is currently the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications and Marketing at St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and Badugi.

Aaron Todd

Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd was an editor/writer at Casino City for nearly eight years, and is currently the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications and Marketing at St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and Badugi.