Pair Of World Series Of Poker Finalists Each Win Major Tournaments

Posted on September 11, 2016

[toc]As the final table of the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event approaches in October, two of the nine finalists have kept busy at the poker tables and managed to win a combined $650,000.

Kenny Hallaert, who is fourth in chips at the final table, joined third place Gordon Vayo in the winners’ circle this week. With a first prize of $8 million awaiting the winner of the WSOP, it’s a good time to be on form at the tables.

Gordon Vayo wins the WinStar River Poker Series

Gordon Vayo, a 27-year-old American poker professional who will be third in chips when WSOP play resumes, took home $587,120 after a five-way deal at the final table of the $2,500 WinStar River Poker Series in Oklahoma.

Vayo held over half the chips in the tournament with five players remaining at WinStar World Casino and Resort. The five players chopped up the $1 million guaranteed first prize and the remainder of the prize pool, with Vayo’s chip count securing him the win.

Kenny Hallaert wins big at PartyPoker

Belgian pro Kenny Hallaert made headlines when he announced he would be taking up the role of Tournament Director for Unibet after making the WSOP final table.

Now, he has proved that he is still keeping his at-the-table skills sharp in the online poker arena. Hallaert saw his net worth increase by $63,891 after taking down the PartyPoker $500K Online Grand Prix.

November Niners finding form

It’s become something of a tradition for players who make the WSOP final table to perform well in other tournaments during the three-month break between play stopping and the final table resuming.

This began from the very first November Nine in 2008, when Ivan Demidov finished third in the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event for £334,850 ($608,995) before taking second place across the pond in November for $5.8 million.

Amazingly, 2009 saw similar success for not one but two WSOP finalists. Both James Akenhead and Antoine Saout did the same thing as Demidov, making the final table of the WSOPE before returning to Vegas for the Main Event.

In 2011, Matt Giannetti won the World Poker Tour Malta title after making the November Nine final table.

About the World Series of Poker November Nine

The November Nine is the term for the final table of the World Series of Poker $10,000 buy-in Main Event, so called because it typically plays out in November after the first phase of the tournament concludes in July.

The Main Event, which this year saw 6,737 entrants, played down to a final table of nine players between July 9 and July 18. The final table will resume on Oct. 30 and crown a winner on Nov. 1.

Cliff Josephy, better known in the online poker world as “JohnnyBax,” has the chip lead at the 2016 final table. He is looking to add the biggest bracelet of them all to his two WSOP titles.

Image credit: Ververidis Vasilis /

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Matt Perry

A veteran of the online gambling industry, Matt Perry has worn a number of hats since he first began working in online poker and iGaming in 2007. He currently writes for a variety of publications focused on legal online gambling, and in the past has served as an editor, copywriter, content manager and reporter.

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