Since the delayed structure was first initiated seven years ago, the World Series of Poker Main Event has been highlighted by the amalgamation of its elite November Nine. After outlasting thousands upon thousands of competitors, the last nine poker players standing will take a near 4-month hiatus from the game, only to reconvene in November to play out the final table on the poker world’s most prestigious stage. Among that remaining field is a young Norwegian poker player by the name of Felix Stephensen, a man whose online accomplishments greatly outweigh his live tournament endeavors, but that will change in the very near future.
Stephensen will carry the second largest stack into the 2014 WSOP Main Event final table come November 10th. He currently has 32,775,000 chips to his name, just 5.6 million less than the November Nine’s leader, Jorryt van Hoof, with 38,375,000. With that much fuel in his tank, odds are that a tight strategy will run Felix fairly deep into the final table, perhaps all the way to the Championship title and top $10 million prize, but no matter what happens, he and the rest of the November Nine crew are all guaranteed to earn a minimum of $730,725 before it’s all over.
Looking at Felix Stephensen’s past live tournament experience doesn’t exactly solicit fear in the hearts of his opponents. In fact, when you consider the young poker has been playing professionally for the last five years, the mere €16k he’s produced across two cashes on the live circuit fails to impress. There’s actually a good reason for it, though; one that the Norwegian poker pro chalks up to personal preference and profitability. Felix simply doesn’t like the live scene, and will only participate if the location and prize are appealing enough. Ostensibly, a shot at $10 million guaranteed was appealing enough to get him on a flight to Vegas this summer.
The Oslo native now lives in London, England, where he spends the majority of his time grinding away at the online poker tables. Whilst he’s avoiding live tournaments as much as possible, Stephensen has an affinity for high-stakes PLO and can often be found on the virtual felt competing in anywhere from $25/$50 to $200/$400 stakes on Full Tilt under the alias “FallAtYourFeet”. Stephensen has racked up over $200k at the cash tables this year alone, and that’s just at traceable high-stakes games. Although he prefers PLO, the young Norwegian poker pro has proven he’s quite capable of dominating NL Holdem games as well, and his aversion to the live scene has nothing to do with a deficient skillset.
Stephensen has spent the majority of the 2014 WSOP Main Event in the above-range in the chip counts. He was running low at the end of Day 5, but made a huge comeback on Days 6 and 7 that left him in the second best position among the November Nine. His gameplay has been near flawless to this point. I’d look for Felix Stephensen to last well into the 2014 WSOP Main Event Final Table, but surviving the more experienced professionals like Martin Jacobson and Mark Newhouse won’t be an easy task.
2014 WSOP November Nine Players and Chip Counts
|Jorryt van Hoof||38,375,000||Netherlands|