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2014 WSOP November Nine illustrated17 November 2014
Now that we've had a week to digest everything that happened on the table, we can take a step back and think about what it all means. Did any new trends emerge this year? How short stacked was Jacobson at each point in the tournament? And what do we make of the fact that a professional player has won the Main Event for the last seven yeasr?Here are 10 infographics to analyze this year's Main Event final table.
10. Long odds on Newhouse's back-to-back ninth-place finishes
Since the WSOP began suspending Main Event play once the final table was determined to allow ESPN's coverage of the event to "catch up" in 2008, only one person has been a member of the "November Nine" twice. Mark Newhouse finished ninth last year, and was looking to improve on that finish this year.
Unfortunately for Newhouse, he finished ninth again this year. Newhouse had said repeatedly going into this year's final table that ninth is worse than 10th. Part of the reason is that all nine remaining players are paid ninth-place money when play is suspended. The player who finishes ninth has four months to think about the possibility of winning the biggest poker tournament of the year, only to be the first person eliminated and go home empty handed.
The odds against making the final table two consecutive years are pretty long. But the odds of going out in exactly ninth place in two consecutive years are almost as long as winning a Powerball jackpot.
9. Hands played per hour
Having the WSOP Main Event on ESPN is a huge boon for poker, but it's hard to believe how much the production slows down the flow of the game. The early levels on both Monday and Tuesday were punctuated by frequent commercial breaks, and there's no doubt they had an impact on play. During prime time hours, players averaged less than 20 hands per hour. The interruptions became far less frequent as the tournament played into the wee hours of the mornings, and the tournament flowed much better as a result.
8. Final table prize money comparison
With the largest field since 2011, the prize pool in the Main Event was larger this year than it had been since Jonathan Duhamel won the tournament for $8.9 million in 2010. But when WSOP officials guaranteed a first-place prize of $10 million, many argued that further skewing the payouts to favor the winner would make a significant impact on the rest of the prize pool.
It turned out that as a result of the increased field size, the only major difference — at least for those who made the final table — was at the top. Players who just eked their way into the money, however, had a bigger beef. A min-cash last year was worth $19,106, while this year's barely-in-the money finishers made just $18,406, a 7.7 percent drop in profit when compared to last year.
7. Time (EST) champion was crowned
Yes, this tournament takes place in Las Vegas, so saying when the tournament ends on the East Coast does skew this graphic a bit. But since moving to a live broadcast in 2011, no one who sets their clocks by Eastern Time has seen a Main Event champion be crowned before midnight. There's no reason the tournament couldn't be started earlier in the day. It's rare for anything significant to happen in the early stages of the tournament, which is currently broadcast in prime time. Moving the broadcast back a few hours might result in viewers missing the first level or two. But if they tune in during prime time, they'll be more likely to see exciting action, which might convince them to stick around and watch until the end instead of turning the channel or going to bed.
6. Final table payout percentages
It's no secret that most of the money won at a poker tournament is won by players who make the final table. But it's also illuminating to see just how important it is to make it to the heads-up portion of the tournament. More than 50 percent of the money awarded to players at the final table went to the top-two spots, with the $10 million first-place prize making up more than 35 percent of the final table payout.
5. Top amateurs since 2003
William Pappaconstantinou (aka, Billy Pappas) was the top amateur player at this year's Main Event, winning more than $2.1 million for his fifth-place finish.
When Chris Moneymaker, an accountant from Tennessee, became poker's Cinderella story by winning the Main Event in 2003, it made many aspiring poker players feel like they too could beat the pros and win a fortune, too.
Amateurs won the event for several years following Moneymaker's win, but since the adoption of the November Nine format in 2008, the best performance by an amateur was Jay Farber's second-place finish last year. The WSOP has, however, seen at least one amateur at the final table every year in the November Nine era, and the top performing amateur has won at least $1 million every year except for 2010, when Soi Nguyen finished ninth.
4. Final table appearances by region
In the seven years prior to the inception of the November Nine, the U.S. dominated the Main Event, filling 48 of the 63 available seats. Things have changed a bit over the last seven years, with Canadians having much more success (including Canada's first champion in Duhamel in 2010), and Europeans have also had an increased presence during that time.
3. Final table prize money by nation since 2008
The U.S. has occupied 60.3 percent of the seats at Main Event final tables in the November Nine era, but has slightly underperformed when it comes to money won at the final table, claiming just 55.3 percent of the cash. That, of course, is primarily because four of the last seven champions have come from outside the U.S., and three Europeans occupying the top-three spots this year didn't help much, either.
It's worth noting that Sweden has just one final table appearance in the last seven years, but Jacobson's win last week lands Sweden third in money won at the final table over that time period.
2. Percentage of chips in play after each elimination
One of the most impressive aspects of Jacobson's win was the fact that he had one of the smallest chip stacks not only at the beginning of final table play, but at almost every stage of final table play.
Jacobson didn't have a larger than average chip stack until the middle of three-handed play, and once he eliminated Jorryt van Hoof in third, he never relinquished the chip lead en route to victory.
1. Additional prize money per hand played
It took 328 hands at the final table to determine the 2014 WSOP champion, though only Jacobson and runner-up Felix Stephensen played all 328. With players already cashing in $730,725 for ninth, the graphic above displays how much money each player earned per hand played at the final table.
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