Eric Buchman – 2009 WSOP November Nine

The November Nine: Eric Buchman
By Loki Luchs of

With all of the hype over the three biggest names in the Main Event, a few excellent prospects are flying under the radar. Everyone is tuned into Phil Ivey (the pro), Darvin Moon (The amateur with a huge chip stack), and Jeff Schulman (the bad boy), but they’re ignoring some of the other dangerous players at the table. Specifically, Eric Buchman, who currently sits with almost 35 million dollars worth of chips. With the second largest stack on the table, Buchman has surprisingly gone unnoticed by bettors and bookies alike. He’s hardly been mentioned in any of the online talk and he’s still considered to be long odds at the sportsbooks offering odds on who will win the 2009 WSOP.

Although Buchman hasn’t had nearly the experience that either Ivey or Shulman have in tournament poker, he has racked up 9 cashes in the WSOP, which takes more than a pretty face. His total WSOP winnings are over $320,000, which isn’t too shabby for a no-name pro. Including those, he has 29 major tournament cashes totaling just under a million dollars. His approach to the game is extremely aggressive, which will be a tremendous benefit to the second stack at the table. Every player will be worried about him, including Moon, who I expect will sit on his chips until the play winds down to about five players. With five of his opponents being extremely short stacked at the table, Buchman has free reign to bully anyone he wants as he grinds his way to the chip lead.


Even the comfortable middle stacks, like Shulman and Steven Begleiter, need to worry about him snapping them off early. Still, Shulman and Begleiter are the biggest threats to his play. If they have position on him, he’ll have to slow down his aggression until he’s got about 50 million.

While the little stacks won’t crush him if they double up, Shulman and Begleiter could cripple him early on. Despite that, Buchman is likely to be the one that the other players are dancing around, so it seems likely that he’ll exploit that weakness while Moon sits idling back.

With a million dollar payday all but certain, Eric Buchman is going to definitely become a permanent fixture to the poker scene. His situation is reminiscent of Paul Wasicka from the 2006 WSOP. Although Wasicka was defeated by Jamie Gold, it has been widely agreed that Wasicka was the better of the two players. Like Wasicka, Buchman knows how to amass chips and unless he runs into a real hand, I think he’ll take the chip lead within the first two hours of play.

Of all the final table bets, I think Buchman is the best. At 29 years of age, he has the endurance of youth and the strength of experience. The bookies are giving him long odds right now, but I put him as the single best positioned player in the field. I think it’s best to get the early odds, because while people are distracted by Ivey and Moon, the betting odds have great value!

As we get closer to November, I’m sure they’re going to shorten up significantly.