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WSOP November Nine Day 1 recap

31 October 2016

Qui Nguyen

Qui Nguyen (photo by Jayne Furman)

(LAS VEGAS) -- The first day of the final table is complete. The day saw the field reduced from nine players to five. Fans, friends and family packed the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. The audience wore specialty designed shirts representing the player they supported. ESPN started the night by showing the last hand from July. It was the 10th place elimination of Josh Weiss. After that short clip, the players were introduced to the stage and play got underway.

Fernando Pons was the first player eliminated from the final table. He moved all-in for his final eight big blinds with Ad-6c. Cliff Josephy called from the big blind with Kh-Jc. The flop came Ks-Qc-3s giving Josephy the lead. The turn was the 9d and the river brought the Kc. Josephy's three kings sent Pons to the rail in 9th place. Pons earned $1 million for his ninth place finish.

Jerry Wong started the day eighth in chips and became the short stack with Pons' elimination. Shortly after becoming the short stack of the table, Wong doubled up through Kenny Hallaert. The double up didn't prevent him from being the next player eliminated though. A couple orbits later Wong ran his pocket jacks into Vojtech Ruzicka's pocket queens to be the next player eliminated. Ruzicka opened the pot with a raise from early position and was three-bet by Gordon Vayo on the button. Wong four-bet all-in from the big blind and left only 1.5 big blinds behind. When the action got back to Ruzicka he stuck in a five-bet. Vayo folded and Wong called for his last few chips. Ruzicka showed Qh-Qd and Wong flipped over Jh-Js. The flop, turn and river did not bring any help to Wong and he exited in eighth place for $1,000,076.

Eight hands after Wong's elimination another player hit the rail. Finishing in seventh place was Griffin Benger. After his elimination, Benger admitted he was card dead and his chip stack was whittled down to 10 big blinds. His bustout hand began with Gordon Vayo opening the pot with a raise from the button. Benger moved all-in from the big blind and Vayo called. Vayo showed 10s-10h and Benger showed As-9s. Vayo's hand held and Griffin was eliminated in seventh place for $1,250,190.

The remaining six players were left fairly deep stacked. Kenny Hallaert was the short stack with about 30 big blinds. Ruzicka started six-handed play with the chip lead, but ended up losing it after a failed bluff against Vayo. Vayo checked-called the flop with a flush draw. He then check-called the turn after he hit his flush and the action on the river went check-check after the board paired. The updates don’t show it, but it was later found out through the ESPN coverage that Ruzicka had Ac-10c.

The night ended with the biggest pot of the evening. Hallaert opened the pot with a raise from under the gun. Action folded to Nguyen in the cutoff and he three-bet. Action folded back to Hallaert and he four-bet all-in. Nguyen instantly called and both players showed down their hands. Nguyen had Ad-As and Hallaert had Ac-Qc. The flop came Qs-5h-4s helping Hallaert a little bit, but the turn and river were blanks and Hallaert became the sixth place finisher. His 6th place finish earned him $1,464,258.

Play ended for the evening with Hallaert's elimination. Action will resume again Monday at 4:30 pm ET. The remaining five players are all guaranteed at least the fifth place prize money of $1,935,288.

Here are the chip counts heading into Day 2 of the final table:

Seat 1: Vojtech Ruzicka – 62,250,000 (62 bbs)
Seat 2: Qui Nguyen – 128,625,000 (128 bbs)
Seat 3: Cliff Josephy – 63,850,000 (63 bbs)
Seat 4: Michael Ruane – 23,700,000 (23 bbs)
Seat 5: Gordon Vayo – 58,200,000 (58 bbs)

(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker)

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WSOP November Nine Day 1 recap is republished from