Cliff Josephy, AKA ‘JohnnyBax,’ Leads 2016 WSOP November Nine

Written By Matt Perry on July 21, 2016 - Last Updated on August 9, 2016
WSOP November Nine

Cliff Josephy, a veteran of the online and live poker worlds, leads the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event final table with over 75 million in chips.

All nine of the remaining players are guaranteed at least $1 million, with the winner set to take home $8 million on top of the title and the Main Event bracelet.

The players will reconvene on Oct. 30 to play down to a winner, with the following seating and chip counts:

Seat 1: Griffin Benger (26,175,000)
Seat 2: Vojtech Ruzicka (27,300,000)
Seat 3: Fernando Pons (6,150,000)
Seat 4: Qui Nguyen (67,295,000)
Seat 5: Cliff Josephy (74,600,000)
Seat 6: Michael Ruane (31,600,000)
Seat 7: Gordon Vayo (49,375,000)
Seat 8: Kenny Hallaert (43,325,000)
Seat 9: Jerry Wong (10,175,000)

A total of 6,737 players entered the 2016 WSOP Main Event, generating a prize pool of more than $63 million. This is the fifth-largest Main Event in the history of the WSOP, and the largest since 2011.

WSOP November Nine 2016: Player profiles

Here is a quick look at all the remaining players:

Griffin Benger

The Canadian is a former Counter-Strike champion known as “shaGuar” who has won millions playing online poker tournaments.

Vojtech Ruzicka

The Czech professional has over a million dollars in live tournament cashes and an EPT High Roller title from the Deauville series in 2013.

Fernando Pons

The Spaniard and the short stack, Pons qualified for the Main Event via a €30 satellite. This is his first-ever WSOP event.

Qui Nguyen

Las Vegas resident Nguyen is a regular at the Aria and Rio tournaments, with an average buy-in of around $200. Prior to this, his best tournament cash was just $9,029.

Cliff Josephy

Josephy has made millions from playing poker tournaments and staking others in poker events. He famously staked 2009 champion Joe Cada and has two WSOP bracelets.

Michael Ruane

Ruane has only a few prior tournament results before the 2016 WSOP, with his previous best result being a €13,000 cash in EPT Campione 2012.

Gordon Vayo

American pro Vayo has almost a million dollars in tournament cashes to his name, including a runner-up finish in the 2014 $3,000 Six-Handed WSOP event for over $300,000.

Kenny Hallaert

Belgian pro Hallaert is no stranger big poker events, with an EPT Deauville 2011 final table to his name, but this is by far his biggest-ever cash.

Jerry Wong

This is Wong’s sixth cash of the 2016 WSOP. He boasts a PokerStars Caribbean Adventure final table and a World Poker Tour side event title.

The next steps

The nine finalists will now have a three-month break before the tournament restarts on October 30th and the “November Nine” play down to a winner.

The November Nine concept was introduced in 2008 to build up excitement for the final table, allowing viewers to see the build-up on ESPN without yet knowing who would win.

Pros at the final table

As usual, the final table is full of relatively unknown players. Josephy is easily the biggest name in the poker world of the nine finalists, but he’s nowhere near one of the most famous poker players in the world.

Last year, Daniel Negreanu came very close to making the November Nine, finishing in 11th place.

The last “TV pro” to make the final table was Michael Mizrachi in 2010. Before that, Phil Ivey finished in seventh place in 2009.

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Matt Perry

Matt Perry has been working as an editor, copywriter, content manager and reporter in the poker and iGaming industry since 2007.

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