LAS VEGAS -- I've had chills since I walked into the Amazon Room this morning. The final day of the WSOP main event -- in July -- is here, and by the end of the night, we'll have our 2013 November Nine and a better idea of who will become the next world champion.
Steven Gee will not be returning to the final table in 2013 after another incredible main event run. The 2012 ninth-place finisher was cruising early with a knockout of Jorn Walthaus (26th place), but he moved all-in at the wrong time against chip leader Anton Morgenstern to finally find the exit. Gee opened from the small blind, Morgenstern three-bet from the big blind and Gee four-bet all-in. Morgenstern called instantly with 8-8 and had Gee in bad shape with 10-7. An eight flopped, and Gee received a warm ovation from the room as his quest for back-to-back final tables ended just short. He earned $285,408 for 24th.
Morgenstern had a first hour of relative inactivity, then became more aggressive as he felt out the dynamics at the feature table. He peaked near 30 million in chips, but gave away nearly four to JC Tran on the final hand of the level to finish with 26 million in chips. Tran was extremely active during the first two hours and is currently second in chips with 17 million.
At the secondary feature table, Chris Lindh benefited from a few key hands against Carlos Mortensen and has a five-million chip edge over his closest competitor at the table, Marc McLaughlin. Jason Mann was the only player eliminated from that table during the first level, moving all-in with 10-10 after a Q-5-5 flop. Lindh showed Q-9 and held to eliminate the one-time chip leader in 25th.
Benjamin Pollak was the other player eliminated during the first level, getting unlucky at the outside feature table as Maxx Coleman hit a straight with A-4 to top Pollak's 9-9.
If the final table were set right now, the players who would make up the November Nine are:
1. Anton Morgenstern (26.4 million in chips)
2. JC Tran (17.0 million)
3. Chris Lindh (15.8 million)
4. Sylvain Loosli (13.6 million)
5. James Alexander (13.1 million)
6. Fabian Ortiz (12.1 million)
7. Marc McLaughlin (10.5 million)
8. Carlos Mortsenen (9.5 million)
9. Sergio Castelluccio (8.6 million)