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November Nine Set To Do Battle Tonight At World Series Of Poker

Ever since the World Series of Poker went to a long, two month layoff after the main event final table was reached, players have had different strategies as to how to wait out their time. Tonight, all of those strategies will be on display as the main event heads for home.

After breaking back in July, the November Nine, which they are affectionately called, will return to action tonight at the Rio in Las Vegas. The winner will take home what amounts to the largest payout in the sport on an annual basis.

"The first night the main event resumes always provides some fireworks," said analyst Vince Franco. "The players have been restless for several months, and the natural reaction to that payoff is to be a little aggressive at first. There's a good chance that somebody will be eliminated within the first couple of hours of play on Monday."

The most at risk with making that early exit will be short stack David Benefield, who holds just over six million chips. Mark Newhouse is the only other player with less than ten million chips at the final table, with just over seven million.

Experts expect that this will be one of the best played final tables in recent history. All of the participants at the final table have extensive poker backgrounds, and with months to prepare, the sentiment is that all will be on their game as soon as the cards start flying this evening.

JC Tran, a longtime pro, is the chip leader and has been installed as the heavy betting favorite by Las Vegas odds makers. Tran has 38 million chips, and a lead of over eight million chips on his closest competitor, Amir Lehavot. Anyone looking for a dark horse to claim the main event title need look towards the middle of the chip stacks, at either Jay Farber, Ryan Reiss, or Sylvain Loosli.

Play begins Monday, and will continue with periodic breaks until the final two or three players are reached. Depending on the time at the point when three players are left, tournament officials will either play down until the head-to-head match-up is reached, or play will break for the day.

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