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The clock is ticking and after eight days of grueling action, only six players remain in the World’s most-watched poker tournament, the 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Event #65: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event – World Championship. This year, the Main Event was the second biggest ever, pooling in participation from 7,874 runners who ponied up the $10,000 buy-in.,
Nine players returned to the battle on Day 8 and six of them, headlined by Michael Dyer (156,500,000) have made it to Day 9 when they will be resuming play to compete for the top prize of $8,800,000 and the most coveted title in tournament poker. Headlining the finalists is former Main Event champion Joe Cada with 29,275,000 (cover image), who has cruised through to make it among it among the top six finalists alongside Nicolas Manion (72,250,000), John Cynn (61,550,000), Tony Miles (57,500,000) and Aram Zobian (16,700,000).
As the 2018 WSOP races to the finish line, running alongside the Main Event were Event #74: Big Blind Antes $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed Championship, Event #75: The Closer – $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em (30 minute levels) – $1 Million Guarantee and Event #76: $3,000 H.O.R.S.E.
While, the Big Blind Antes $10,000 NLHE 6-Handed Championship has entered Day 2 with Paul Volpe (2,190,000) leading the 27 remaining runners, The Closer and $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. have completed their opening days with Bertrand ‘Elky’ Grospellier (583,000) and Adam Owen (99,700) commanding the chip lead respectively.
Event #65: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em MAIN EVENT – World Championship
The most prestigious poker tournament in the world, Event #65: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event -World Championship saw nine competitors reconvening in the Thunderdome and hours of play later, the event has narrowed down to the final six contenders. Former Main Event winner Joe Cada (29,275,000) is among the six finalists who will all be coming back in a few hours to resume play for the title and the life-changing $8,800,000 top prize.
“It’s been a long time so you kind of forget a lot of those feelings. I’m just happy to be here. It’s been a grueling tournament. I’ve been lucky to even be in the spot that I’m at. I’ve had low chips the entire tournament so I feel like I’ve just been hanging in there,” Cada said, adding, ” I think there’s a lot of pressure getting to the final table and then there’s a lot of pressure at the start of the final table not knowing what’s going to happen. Now that the jabs have been thrown and we’re six-handed it’s all gravy. If I go out next, I go out next. If I make a run, that would be sweet.”
Michael Dyer (156,500,000) who is commanding a huge chip lead over the final six players before the penultimate day also had plenty to say about the eventful run through Day 8. “They all played pretty well. It was a pretty solid final table. I didn’t see any big mistakes.”
Dyer’s stack is over two times bigger than that of Nicolas Manion (72,250,000) while John Cynn (61,550,000) holds the third biggest stack. Tony Miles (57,500,000) is also in thick of the action while Aram Zobian (16,700,000) will be entering the ninth day as the shortest stack on the all-American six-handed table.
Day 8 Recap
As the cards were dealt, Manionwas seen getting active early, though he lost two back-to-back pots to Cynn.Cada then went on to claim three pots in a row, chipping up along the way. Few hands later, Dyer and Cynn added to their stacks.
French player Antoine Labat (9th for $1,000,000) who had returned on Day 8 as the shortest stack was the first player to exit the nine-handed table. He raised 1,200,000 from the button and Artem Metalidishoved all in for 10,300,000 from the small blind. Labat snap-called for his remaining 6,450,000 with and Metalidi tabled . Labat who was well on his way to win the pot was dealt a severe setback when the flop brought . Metalidi flopped the set of queens. The turn and the river improved Metalidi further to a full house, eliminating Labat in ninth place.
As the tussle continued for the chip lead, the next few hands saw Cada winning a pot through Metalidi, Dyer pulling further away at the top and Cynn scooping a pot with ace-high.
Zobian was the next player to end up all in and at risk when he open-shoved for 13 big blinds with ace-eight suited and Dyer called with pocket sixes. An eight on the river saved Zobian and he doubled up through Dyer.
“When I hit that 12% river it was the most happiness in one moment in my life,” Zobian recalled later.
Soon thereafter, Ukrainian pro Artem Metalidi (8th for $1,250,000) shoved all in for 6,225,000 from early position and action folded to Zobian who re-jammed all in from the small blind. Dyer folded his big blind and the cards were turned over, with Metalidi tabling and Zobian showing . The flop gave Metalidi a set of fives and Zobian got a flush draw but the turn and the river completed Zobian’s flush. Metalidi headed out to the payout desk in eighth place.
“It’s been an incredible run,” said Metalidi after his elimination, “I feel really happy and I couldn’t ask for more. This way I have a desire to improve for the next years to come.”
Australian player Alex Lynskey’s (7th for $1,500,000) exit from the Main Event came in a hand where he confronted Dyer who raised it to 1,600,000 in the cutoff and Cynn called in the small blind. Lynskey moved all in for 11,525,000 from the big blind and Dyer now asked for a count and then folded while Cynn tank called. Lynskey showed against Cynn’s . Lynskey’s rail shouted for a six but the flop opened getting Cynn a gutshot draw along with his two over cards. The turn got Cynn more outs and the final blow for Lynskey came with the on the river, and he was relegated to the rail in seventh place.
Later, recalling the hand Cynn said, “I know I won the hand so I feel bad saying that it was enjoyable, but it was just an exciting hand all the way through. Even if I had lost the hand, it was such a fun hand. Just the way the board ran out, so many outs. Obviously, Lynskey is such a great guy and we can’t all win but I felt good after that.”
He added, “We’re all playing a game and we’re all playing to win but it definitely doesn’t seem personal between anybody. I love the atmosphere, it makes things more interesting. As opposed to sitting there and having to watch someone take twenty seconds to fold every hand, there’s nothing interesting about that.”
1. Michael Dyer – 156,500,000
2. Nicolas Manion – 72,250,000
3. John Cynn – 61,550,000
4. Tony Miles – 57,500,000
5. Joe Cada – 29,275,000
6. Aram Zobian – 16,700,000
Opening with 355 entrants on Day 1, the field narrowed down to 17 runners by the end of play on Day 2. Apart from the 115 players who had started the day, 27 new entries came through at the beginning of the day since the registration was still open.
Over the course of Day 2, 125 participants were eliminated including Joseph Marchal (21st for $26,424), Eric Blair (24thfor $26,424), Timothy Adams (29th for $22,035), Ryan Goindoo (31stfor $18,982), Loni Harwood (32nd for $18,982), Michael Mizrachi (38th for $16,911), Martin Jacobson (39th for $16,911), Rainer Kempe (41stfor $16,911), Ryan Riess (42nd for $16,911), Justin Liberto (43rd for $15,599), Faraz Jaka (44th for $15,599) and Jeff Gross (50th for $14,916).
As Paul Volpe (2,190,000) leads the remaining 27 runners into Day 3, he will be accompanied by Indian-origin player Ankush Mandavia (945,000), alongside heavyweights like Sam Greenwood (798,000), Anthony Zinno (273,000) and Michael Addamo (238,000), who all bagged sizeable stacks.
1. Paul Volpe – 2,190,000
2. Martin Zamani – 1,944,000
3. Shaun Deeb – 1,610,000
4. Matthijs Aerts – 1,382,000
5. Mike Watson – 1,291,000
6. Mark Teltscher – 1,248,000
7. Jan-Eric Schwippert – 1,172,000
8. Scott Margereson – 1,093,000
9. Romain Lewis – 1,017,000
10. Todd Ivens – 1,003,000
The first starting flight of the inaugural Event #75: The Closer – $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em (30 minute levels) – $1 Million Guarantee, Day 1A, took off with 502 runners on board. 54 now remain in contention for the top honours at the end of play on Day 1 .
While Bertrand ‘Elky’ Grospellier (583,000) bagged the overnight chip lead, David Paredes (200,000), Manuel Martinez (198,000), John Dolan (181,000), Jaroslaw Jaskiewicz (153,000), Ryan Hong (138,000) and Indian-origin player Gaurav Raina (113,500) have advanced to Day 2 with healthy stacks.
With the money bubble bursting shortly after the last break of the day, players like Matt Stout (64th place), Ian Steinman (66th place), Ari Engel (69th place), Mike Leah (74th place) and Kelly Minkin (75th place) were able to collect the min-cash of $2,243. However, the 2017 WSOP Player of the Year Chris Ferguson and two-time bracelet winner Ryan Hughes were not as lucky as they both hit the rails empty-handed.
India’s Paawan Bansal was also seen in action but could not make it through to Day 2.
1. Bertrand Grospellier – 583,000
2. Nelson Resendiz – 401,000
3. Marius Kudzmanas – 392,000
4. Erik Lemarquand – 351,000
5. Leif Force – 298,000
6. Nicholas Verderamo – 246,000
7. Ilkin Amirov – 240,000
8. Ryan Olisar – 229,000
9. Daniel Zack – 214,000
10. Ryan Milisits – 214,000
Attracting a field of 354 players, Event #76: $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. created a prize pool of $955,800, with a top prize of $233,202. With only the top 54 finishers assured a payday, the 152 survivors of Day 1 will fight tooth and nail to make it in the money on Day 2.
Dominating the chip counts is Adam Owen (99,700), followed by Kristan Lord (95,100) and Carol Fuchs (85,600) whp round up the top three spots. John Hennigan (62,400), Rep Porter (61,400), Eli Elezra (61,000), Benjamin Dobson (56,600), Jesse Martin (50,000), James Obst (47,000), Phil Galfond (42,000) and Esther Taylor (30,000) managed to survive as well.
However, many top pros including Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Chris Ferguson, Alexander Kuzmin, Randy Ohel, Chris Vitch, Jon Turner, Mike Wattel, Michael Mizrachi, Farzad Bonyadi and Calvin Anderson failed to make it through to Day 2.
1. Adam Owen – 99,700
2. Kristan Lord – 95,100
3. Carol Fuchs – 85,600
4. Roland Israelashvili – 84,900
5. Andrew Brown – 79,700
6. Frank Kassela – 76,900
7. Dan Heimiller – 72,600
8. Greg Mueller – 72,400
9. Christina Hill – 70,700
10. Brandon Shack-Harris – 62,500
Content and image courtesy: WSOP.com
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