The November Nine era of the World Series of Poker Main Event ended Monday with the announcement of the Poker Central’s deal with ESPN and the WSOP. The November Nine began as an experiment and turned into a unique page of poker’s history.

The concept ran for nine years – yielding 80 players that, in hindsight, belong to club that only they quite understand. Looking back, here are some of the biggest personalities of the November Nine Era.

Phil Ivey – He was the first poker superstar when the November Nine concept needed it the most. For the most part, Ivey’s run to the final table was a ratings success and instead of remembering his 7th place finish; fans remember him calmly eating an apple as the river card eliminated him, bringing a touch of “James Dean” cool to the event. Ivey went on to win his 10th bracelet a couple years later, tying him with Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan.
Mark Newhouse N9
Mark Newhouse (PokerPhotoArchive.com)
Mark Newhouse – They only repeat November Niner and he made it in back-to-back years – which puts him in the conversation for one of this decades’ largest accomplishments. Newhouse’s reputation and style painted him as a pure gambler, then his back-to-back 9th place eliminations cemented that reputation – as he went from third in chips to 9th place in the first level of the 2014 Final Table.
Cliff Josephy N9
Cliff Josephy (PokerPhotoArchive.com)
Cliff Josephy – Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy first sniffed the November Nine in 2009 when Joe Cada was a part of the staking stable Josephy and Eric Haber ran. Josephy sat front-row to see Cada win $8.5 million and seven years later he found himself on the stage playing for life-changing money. The East-Coast pro finished in third place for $3.4 million.
Chino Rheem N9
Chino Rheem (PokerPhotoArchive.com)
Chino Rheem – The poker world was introduced to David “Chino” Rheem in 2008 when he was the first player conjectured as “most likely to not make it” to the Final Table because of legal troubles in Florida. Rheem spent the last nine years building a reputation as a fearless player of the felt but also his own worst enemy.
Michael Mizrachi N9
Michael Mizrachi (PokerPhotoArchive.com)
Michael Mizrachi – “The Grinder” had one of the best years in modern WSOP history. He won his first $50,000 Poker Players Championship title, final tabled two more $10,000 Championship events and finished in fifth place for $2.3 million in the Main Event. If it weren’t for Frank Kassela, Mizrachi would have won WSOP Player of the Year.
Dennis Phillips N9
Dennis Phillips (PokerPhotoArchive.com)
Dennis Phillips
– The first folk hero of the November Nine era – legions of fans dressed in matching collared shirts, St. Louis Cardinals hats and one even brought an airhorn to the Penn & Telller Theater to root the former trucker on. Phillips made the most of out of his spot and landed a sponsorship as the most relatable player to middle America since Chris Moneymaker.
Jay Farber N9
Jay Farber (PokerPhotoArchive.com)
Jay Farber – The heavily, tattooed nightclub VIP host was well-known to poker’s inner circle of Vegas partiers. His final table had everything – a panda mascot that rushed the stage, a model endlessly stroking Dan Bilzerian’s beard for hours and he out-lasted Newhouse, David Benefield and JC Tran.
Jeff Shulman N9
Jeff Shulman – The heir to Cardplayer, Jeff Shulman ruffled a lot of feathers when he said he would throw the bracelet in the trash should he win. Every story needs a villain and Shulman was the first-time viewers had weeks to build up a dislike towards him heading into play.