The 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event brought 26 players back to the Rio in Las Vegas on Wednesday afternoon. Names like Barry Hutter and Eric Froehlich hit the payout line rather quickly, and little more than 50 hands into the action, Argentina’s Ivan Luca exited in 20th place for $282,630.
A few rounds after the field was reduced to two tables, Sylvain Loosli’s goal of making a second Main Event final table fell short when chip leader Michael Dyer sent him out in 18th place for $375,000. After the dinner break, several players hit the rail, including Israel’s Hari Bercovici (13th place for $575,000) and Ryan Pham (11th place for $725,000).
The final 10 were put together at the unofficial final table with Dyer far ahead of the others. It took a few hours, but finally, the big hand happened. Nicolas Manion opened, and Antoine Labat called, and Yueqi Zhu moved all-in for 24.7 million chips. Manion then moved all-in for 43.1 million, and Labat called both players with pocket kings. Zhu also showed kings, but Manion proudly displayed aces. The rainbow board of J-J-7-4-3 changed nothing, and Zhu was out in 10th place. The Chinese poker enthusiast won WSOP Event 35 a few weeks prior for $211,781, and he garnered $850,025 for the Main Event finish.
Manion Leads Final Table
Manion’s aces catapulted him into the chip lead for the official final table standings, relegating Dyer to a close second. Labat was left with a very short stack after the last hand of the night.
Joe Cada is the best known of the final nine as the 2009 WSOP Main Event champion. He will be taking the second-shortest stack into play, but he had been grinding to stay in action for days and knows all too well the pressure of such a big stage.
John Cynn is in the middle of the pack and overcame a tough beat to make it, as he finished in 11th place in the 2016 Main Event. This time, he takes a seat at that table he so closely missed just two years ago.
Chip-leading Manion is free-rolling, having been put in some Main Event satellites several months ago for 50 percent of his action. He won those satellites and is now playing for 50 percent of his final payout, which could be $8.8 million for first place if he wins.
WSOP Event 71: Hellmuth Claims 15th Gold Bracelet
The WSOP was also finishing up other bracelet events, and the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em tournament – also known as Event 71 – was one of them.
Phil Hellmuth was at the final table and near the top of the chip counts when it began, and he took the chip lead shortly thereafter. He mostly stayed out of the way as players exited; he stood by while Steven Wolansky busted Alan Sternberg in third place.
Heads-up began with Wolansky holding 8.6 million chips to 2.7 million for Hellmuth, but the 14-time WSOP bracelet Sportsbook was determined. He immediately doubled up, then took to grinding slowly but surely. He then doubled into the chip lead when a 10 on the river helped his K-10 best Wolansky’s K-J. A few hands later, Wolansky pushed with A-9 against Hellmuth’s pocket threes. A three on the flop gave the win to Hellmuth.
Hellmuth grabbed $485,082 to go with his record 15th WSOP gold bracelet.