Nov. 9ers Win Big, Build Momentum Ahead of October Showdown
Gordon Vayo and Kenny Hallaert both took down tournaments in the past week and are building all-important momentum heading into the WSOP Main Event final table.
Hallaert took down the partypoker $500k Online Grand Prix on Tuesday and Vayo won the WinStar River Poker Series Main Event on Monday after the final five players agreed to a chop.
Hallaert Wins partypoker $500k Online Grand Prix for $63,891
Life's been pretty sweet for Kenny Hallaert in the last few months. First, he made the November Nine in July and will come back to the Main Event final 4th in chips.
Then he received a new gig with Unibet running the Unibet Open. Now, he's secured his largest online score to date after taking down the partypoker $500k Online Grand Prix.
"FCBSpacey" survived a field of 4,531 players to take down the $500,000 guaranteed event for $63,981. According to his pocketfives profile, this was his largest online score to date.
Prior to this event his largest score was a victory in a $300k Guaranteed Sunday event back in August 2009.
Hallaert has already secured his largest live poker cash regardless of his finish next month. He comes into the November Nine fourth in chips and with $1 million already locked up.
The eventual winner will receive $8 million.
Vayo Wins WinStar Series Main Event for $587,120
Gordon Vayo is having a career year in live poker. Less than two months after making the November Nine, he won the WinStar River Poker Series Main Event on Monday for $587,120.
The $2,500 buy-in event drew 1.054 entries and had a guaranteed prize pool of $2.5 million. Originally, the winner of this event was supposed to receive $1 million but more on that in a bit.
Vayo came into the final table with the chip lead and in solid position to win the $1 million prize. However, the final table wasn't a cakewalk as Chino Rheem, Danny Fuhs, Grant Hinkle and Layne Flack all stood in his way.
Vayo dominated at the final table and with five players left he had a 2:1 chip lead over the next closest player. The prize pool was very top-heavy and, despite his huge lead, Vayo said he would be open to an ICM chop if his prize was sweetened a bit.
Eventually, Dean Bobel agreed to give up some of his expected money to get the deal done. The chop gave Hinkle, Flack and Bobel almost second-place prize money.
Ben Ector officially finished 2nd for $344,826 and Vayo received $587,120. There was a "bracelet" up for grabs and the players "played it out" for the prize. Hinkle took the bracelet but Vayo received the real prize.
His victory in this event gives Vayo the second-largest score of his poker career and largest first-place prize to date. Vayo will return to the Rio next month with 49.37 million in chips - good for 3rd place overall.
Cliff Josephy is the overall chip leader heading into the November Nine with 74.6 million.
Action will resume in the 2016 WSOP Main Event on October 30 and continue until four players remain. The final four will play to heads-up on October 31 and the final two will play for the bracelet on November 1.
This year's "November Nine" begins earlier than usual due to the U.S. Presidential elections.