<
>

November Nine bubble continues

LAS VEGAS -- As expected, the bubble play has offered tight play from the majority of the table. Since the players merged together to form a 10-player final table, 49 hands have taken place and fewer than a dozen have featured a flop.

Eoghan O'Dea and Martin Staszko traded the chip lead for the past hour of play; entering Level 36, O'Dea has the lead by less than a big blind. Once we look past the two dominant chip leaders, no other player has a stack within 13 million chips.

The one hand that turned heads in the arena took place between Ben Lamb and Phil Collins. From under the gun, Collins limped in, something that he'd been doing consistently at the bubble. Lamb raised to 1.3 million and Collins made the call. The flop came 6s-3d-8c and Lamb bet out 1.5 million. Collins raised to 3.5 million and Lamb thought for a minute before calling. A king hit the turn, Collins bet out 3.5 million, and Lamb folded after standing up from his chair and taking a good look at Collins' remaining stack.

Besides that key moment, there were only two all-in moves, no calls and a whole lot of folding preflop. Welcome to the bubble.

One player who is doing everything to make it to the November Nine is John Hewitt. Since the bubble began, he has not willingly put in one chip into the pot and has blinded down from 19.8 million to 14.7 million. He'll have to get involved eventually if he's going to make it through.

Here's a look at the current chip counts:

Eoghan O'Dea (40.4 million in chips)

Martin Staszko (39.9 million)

Ben Lamb (26.7 million)

Phil Collins (21.4 million)

Pius Heinz (18.8 million)

Anton Makiievskyi (15.3 million)

John Hewitt (14.7 million)

Samuel Holden (13.7 million)

Badih Bounahra (9.1 million)

Matt Giannetti (5.6 million)

Blinds have increased to 250,000/500,000 with a 50,000 ante.