2011 WSOP November Nine Final Three Coverage
***Scroll down for updates!!***
The final three of the 2011 WSOP November Nine kicks off tonight at 9 p.m. EST on ESPN.
Pius Heinz has a huge chip lead over Ben Lamb and Martin Staszko.
Here are your chip counts:
Pius Heinz - 107,800,000
Ben Lamb -Â 55,400,000
Martin Staszko - 42,700,000
I was really surprised that Staszko made it this far. Despite the fact he started as the chip leader, I felt that the other players would easily outclass him.
Going into the dinner break, they really were beginning to put the pressure on him but he adjusted and managed to put himself back among the top three to hang on for the final.
Staszko will have to play the best poker of his life to have a legitimate shot against both Lamb and Heinz.
Ben Lamb is getting all sorts of credit for "fantastic play" when in reality, he is very lucky to get here. I am not saying that he played absolutely horrible, but he didn't play as well as people are giving him credit for.
There were times during the final table that he played brilliantly, and he will need to bring that A game to this final three to win. He can't consistently get it in bad and hope to suck out.
If he plays like he did leading up to the final table, the other two are going to have a huge headache on their hands.
Pius Heinz's aggression can work as a dual-edged sword. It could continue to build his stack, but it very well may cause him to crash and burn.
I don't see him being able to run over Lamb as easy in this final three match-up. That may require him to tighten up in certain situations.
If Heinz can avoid a major blowup or bleeding off chips by being overly aggressive, he is going to be in great shape to win.
In the end, I see Lamb and Heinz getting heads-up in this event. Unless Staszko starts catching cards like mad, I see Heinz's aggression and Lamb's experience eating him alive.
Once heads-up is reached, it will depend on the stack sizes.
If Heinz has a huge stack over Lamb, Lamb will have to run well heads-up to win. If they are even, or Lamb leads, Heinz's aggression will likely not work in his favor and Lamb will be a clear favorite.
My personal prediction is that we get a Heinz-Lamb heads-up battle with Heinz holding a decent chip advantage. From that point, I think Heinz will seal the deal and send Lamb packing in 2nd.
Coverage kicks off on ESPN, ESPN3.com, ESPNplay.com, and WSOP.com at 6 p.m EST. For those of you wanting to watch the 2011 Hall of Fame induction ceremony, it will be on at 4:15 PST on WSOP.com (7:15 EST).
I'll be here all night bringing you updates from both the Hall of Fame ceremony and the November Nine.
Keep this post bookmarked and check back regularly.
****Update 8:45 PM EST****
The Hall of Fame ceremony concluded about 20 or so minutes ago and it was a great ceremony....for what I could see of it.Â My internet died half way through, so I missed half of the ceremony.
Linda Johnson was the first inductee.Â Mike Sexton introduced Linda into the Hall of Fame and told the crowd about how that no single person in the last 20 years has done more to advance the game of poker than Linda Johnson.
Linda then came up and gave an emotion filled speech about her beginnings in the game and thanked a long list of people for allowing her to have the life she has in poker.Â A very classy speech by one of the classiest ladies in poker.
It was at this point that my connection cut out.Â Wildblue is a poor choice for internet service and if you ever have to choose between Wildblue and ANYTHING else, choose the other option.
Anyway, I didn't get to hear the Doyle intro or most of Barry's speech.Â From what I have been told, it was mostly about his relationship with his dad.Â I came back just as Barry was closing and thanking his dad.
A huge thank you to the WSOP for at least putting this up online to be broadcast.Â ESPN is only planning to do a 10 to 15 second blurb on the HOF.
We are just about 15 minutes away from the start of coverage on ESPN.Â I'll be here all night until the champion is crowned.
***Update 9:50 PM***
The Main Event kicked off at 9 p.m. EST on ESPN.Â Lon, Norm, and Antonio Esfandiari are on commentary.
Bruce Buffer introduced the players and then opened the ceremony with his standard "It's Time!" and then "Shuffle Up and Deal!"
Then we got to the action.Â It was now time for Ben Lamb to prove me wrong and show how good he really is.
Cue Cheong Blowup.
After Lamb raised pre-flop.Â Staszko gave a wry smirk as to say "I know you don't have me beat" and then three-bet.Â Lamb then decided to go all-in with K-Q and got called by Staszko with pocket sevens.
The board bricked and Lamb with 14 Million.Â Seriously bro?Â You shove with K-J after it is apparent your opponent has a hand.Â He knows how you play and you shove with that trying to take control of the table?Â In my opinion, Lamb failed to read the situation properly and got burned.
He decided to gamble yet again with Q-6.Â Staszko woke up with pocket Jacks and here is your reaction by "Benba."
And it's a queen!Â Not!Â Bye bye Benba.Â Ben Lamb out in 3rd place for $4 Million and change.
I told you so.
Staszko had the chip lead at this point but lost it in a huge hand where Heinz flopped top to against Staszko's middle pair.Â Staszko got max value for his hand on the river, aggressively betting when there was a potential flush and straight on board.
I'm hoping that Stazko and Heinz are paying attention to each other.Â I have picked up on tells on both in their betting styles that is giving away their strength of hands.Â The hand where Staszko lost the chip lead, he could have saved a bet had he picked up on the physical tell I picked up on.Â (Much like Lamb should have paid attention to Staszko's tell in their first hand.)
This could go on for a while yet or we might be done in the next half hour.Â Stay tuned for all the action.
***Updated 11:45 PM***
Just so we are clear.Â Ben Lamb is out in 3rd.Â :-)
If that wasn't already classic, Lamb was given the wrong payout letter.Â This is what he received:
After getting this picture, I tweeted asking whether K-J could now be called the "Benba."Â Doug C. did one better with the following tweet.
Nasal_Drip @compncards Do we call pocket 7s "The Hannibal Lecter"? The Silence of the Lambs?
This has been an epic heads-up battle so far.Â The lead has exchanged between the two several times and Staszko has shown me some real heart in this heads-up match.Â He made a huge turn shove with the board showing 7d-2h-10s-Ac with just K-Q.Â Many would consider it a bluff, except for the fact that Heinz only had J-9.
The rooting sections for both parties have been entertaining.Â Heinz's section has a catchy "Pius Heinz, Pius Pius Heinz thing going on."
Staszko' crowd....isn't as in synch.Â Jess Welman summed it up adequately:
jesswelman Guessing the process of picking Staszko song captain went like this: "You, you seem the drunkest. Sing and yell w/e, we'll follow along"
Right now Staszko leads 124 Million and Heinz has 75 Million.
Staszko is apparently a fan of Queen.Â Does that mean his theme for the Main Event is "Another One Bites the Dust?"
***Updated 1:30 AM Wed***
The lead has flip flopped a couple of times but Staszko has not only retaken the lead, but now has extended that lead to 146 M to just 59.6 M.
Staszko at one point seemed stuck, but a combination of a good reads and running well put him solidly back into the lead.
Other than that, not a lot going on.
Lon McEachern tweeted the following photo to show how relaxed the atmosphere at the announce booth is between TV segments.
Chance are this will be over with in the next hour or so.Â Stay tuned.
****Updated 4 A.M EST****
It's all over and we finally have our champion.Â After a 20 minute break, we saw the biggest hand of the tournament.Â After a raise to 7 Million, the two saw a flop of Ks-10c-7c.Â Heinz bet, Staszko raised, Heinz shoved, and after 30 seconds, Stazko called.
It was Ah-Qh for Heinz against the Qc-9c for Staszko.Â Staszko needed a club or a jack to win.Â The board bricked out and Heinz now had a huge lead.
A few hands later, Staszko inexplicably shoved with 10c-7c and Heinz woke up with As-Ks and made the easy call.Â Heinz picked up a straight draw on the turn, but blanked on the river and we have our champion.
Pius Heinz takes the bracelet for Germany and takes home $8.715 Million as well as the bracelet. In addition, he is going to go to "Mr K-J", I mean Ben Lamb's party with the bracelet.
This was a fantastic heads-up battle and Staszko can be very proud of how he played.Â He took home $5.43 Million for his runner-up finish.
Congratulations to Pius Heinz, the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion!