World Series of Poker Final Table Down to Three Players: Van Hoof, Stephenson, Jacobson
The World Series of Poker’s final table is down to three players: Jorryt van Hoof, Martin Jacobson, and Felix Stephensen. The winner walks away with $10 million and a place in professional poker history.
By the end of the night, the World Series of Poker organizers will crown a new de facto world champion. When it happens, some European nation will have a new celebrity.
Jorryt van Hoof – Current Chip Leader
The final three this year are all Europeans. Jorryt van Hoof is the young Dutch prodigy who holds the chip lead at present. By popular acclaim, van Hoof has dominated the first 12 hours of play at the final table. He came into the day with a smaller chip stack than some of his opponents, but now has one-third more chips than Martin Jacobsen and double the chips of Felix Stephensen. That could change in one hand, though.
To prepare for the final key session, van Hoof told ABC News he needed his rest. Van Hoof added, “I’ve been good at that the past few months. So I intend to do that one more night. Then the nights after I will sleep a little less and party a little more.”
Martin Jacobson of Sweden
The Dutch have been lucky for Martin Jacobson (who hails from Sweden) this year. He placed an unlikely bet that the heavily-favored Netherlands National Team would defeat Australia 3-2 in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
When he won the bet, Jacobson had the spare cash to pay the $10,000 entry fee into the World Series of Poker Main Event. His luck has continued thorughout the WSOP Main Event, as he has outlasted nearly 7,000 other players. Jacobson seems to be enjoying the thrill ride.
“A Fun Battle”
“It should be a fun battle,” Jacobson said in anticipation of the coming final session. Despite the excitement, remaining grounded and picking spots is key, said the Swede. “Patience is key in tournament poker,” You need to know how to pick your spots and it’s something I’ve gotten a bit better at over the years.”
The crowd at the final table can be overwhelming to players. To compensate for the noise and excitement, Martin Jacobson wore earplugs to the final table. He told reporters, “I was in a vacuum. I was able to focus a lot better that way.”
When asked about his approach to the final three session, Stephensen said, “I guess you gotta play pretty good, get pretty lucky and hopefully everything falls into place.”
5:30pm Tuesday, November 11
At 5:30pm, the final three begins the last session of the World Series of Poker tournament. Play is expected to go deep into the night, though all-in betting means a champion could be crowned much quicker than that.
Even the losing players become instant millionaires, at this point in the tournament. 2nd Place and 3rd Place are set to receive $5.1 million and $3.8 million, respectively. Ninth place didn’t do so badly, either; they received over $700,000 for their troubles.
The November Nine is a relatively new concept. Starting in 2011, the WSOP Main Event final table is adjourned for four months, until the beginning of November. This allows the players to rest, plan a strategy, and market themselves. It allows the WSOP organizers to tout the final table for several months, maintaining a bigger presence in the sports and hobby scene.
Mark Newhouse Exits Early
The story coming into the WSOP November Nine final table was Mark Newhouse, who made the World Series of Poker Final Table last year. Newhouse would have had a better chance of getting struck by lightning than making the final table twice in a row. To have won the World Series of Poker Main Event would have made him a poker legend.
Unfortunately, the cards did not fall Mark Newhouse’s way in the November Nine. Entering November with the third-highest chip stack, he bluffed on the river, but was called by William Tonking. It’s the equivalent of going for a knockout blow in boxing, having the opponent dodge, and strike a devastating counterblow. Mark Newhouse went out at the 9th-place finisher for the second year in a row.
Before the final table began, Newhouse told ESPN, “I’m looking forward to not finishing ninth. Ninth is brutal, man.“