The World Series of Poker has come to a close - at least for now, as there is still the Main Event that will take place October 30-November 1. The November Nine is all ready to go but everything else has wrapped up. So how did the 2016 World Series of Poker go down?
Have Mercy, Mercier
Jason Mercier might have had the best year of any player as he won two bracelets. First, he won the $10,000 2-7 No Limit Draw Lowball Championship and then he claimed the $10,000 HORSE Championship as well. It was part of a three-event stretch in which Mercier won twice and finished second in the other tournament.
There was also the story of his bracelet bet with Vanessa Selbst, which was one of the hottest stories of the summer. He bet $10,000 on himself (with Selbst) that he could win three bracelets at the 2016 WSOP. She gave him 180-1 odds, so that gives you an idea just how much that second-place result hurt.
Glaser Wins Two
Benny Glaser was another player who had a banner year at the 2016 WSOP. He was a two-bracelet winner as he took the Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better Championship, and he also won the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better. The 27-year-old pro from Southampton, U.K. was one of the surprises of the 2016 WSOP, although not as surprising as he was in 2015 when he came out of nowhere. He continues his ascent in poker, finishing 10th in the GPI WSOP Player of the Year.
Familiar Faces Return
Two familiar faces were back on the scene as Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson returned to the World Series of Poker. Both returned to the tables after mostly staying in hiding following the Full Tilt Poker scandal.
Lederer and Ferguson tried to remain calm and they did their best, but the Full Tilt scandal is still fresh for some players and many people in the crowd gave it to them. The players, fans and many other people are still angry about what happened. Ferguson wanted to explain his part of the story, but he wasn't willing to do it at his tournaments.
Speaking of familiar faces, we didn't see much of Phil Ivey, to the chagrin of many. He didn't show up until the Main Event as he decided to scale back on his playing. Dzmitry Urbanovich, a player of which people expected a lot, learned that playing a full World Series of Poker schedule is a different beast. He finished ranked 717th at the WSOP.
The November Nine table will bring the event to completion and it should be an interesting showdown. There is a lack of winning experience as only one of the nine players going to the final table has ever won a bracelet. Cliff Josephy has two and has the chip lead, slightly ahead of Qui Nyugen. Gordon Yayo and Kenny Hallaert are next, followed by Michael Ruane, Vojtech Rusicka, Griffin Benger, Jerry Wong and Fernando Pons, who has never even cashed out at a World Series of Poker event, but he made it to this final table.
The winner of this table will take home a staggering $8,000,000 while second place will collect $4,658,452. The first of the nine to leave the table will still take home a cool million dollars for their troubles.