Casino

The most shocking Main Event of all time?

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is a big deal.

Not just for poker fans, it’s a massive event that sweeps across Vegas every summer and even gets coverage on ESPN. But, given that it’s an annual occurrence, the Main Event (or the $10,000 No Limit Hold ‘em game if you’re not aware) can’t always be a spectacle.

It’s always a great game with some of the most skilled and talented players in the world playing in a game that’s just a little more intense than your standard online poker tournament. But this year? This year was, frankly, nuts.

The massive start

Now, the biggest main event in WSOP history was actually in 2006 with a colossal 8,773 people all playing! 2018 didn’t manage to beat this figure, it was only 7,874. You know, only the second biggest main event in World Series history. The first few days, as always, saw a big thinning of the field, including 2017 winner Scott Blumstein falling in the first days. One of the most notable players to drop out  was Max Steinburg, a former finalist, who went out on his first hand with Pocket Aces against Pocket Kings. Right out of the gates, surprising hands and big wins and losses kept landing.

This year saw a large number of legends hitting the felt for the main event. We saw Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Chan, Daniel Negrenau and Phil Ivey all storming through the opening days and with Ivey scoring a massive stack of chips by Day 3. It looked to be a game full of titans but the field was thinning fast…

The Final Nine

One by one, the legends fell –on Day 4 both Phil Ivey and Phil Helmuthfell to a misjudged bet and terrible luck respectively.When the dust had settled, and the final nine declared, there was only one former winner among them, Joe Cada. The remaining players were all skilled and played well but a few stand-outs were making their mark. One of the most obvious was Michael Dyer who entered the final nine with a stack of 109,175,000 which gave him a dominant position that only got stronger. At the end of the first day he held 156,500,000 chips which was almost 40% of the total number of chips in play. But all that would change by Day 9 when the field narrowed to just three players. Joe Cada’s dreams of being the first modern player to win two main events were quashed (on Friday the 13th no less) and the field thinned to just three: Tony Miles at 238,900,000, John Cynn at 128,700,000 and Michael Dyer now only at 26,200,000. A few massive pots had shifted the balance of power  dramatically before the game moved into the final day…

200 hands of Heads Up

On the final day, Michael Dyer was finally bested and turned the final table into a one on one game of heads up. This final showdown was going to be nerve-wracking, tense and requiring resolve of steel. Both men played it smart and the balance of power shifted constantly for 199 total hands, lasting 8 hours, with Miles and Cynn both looking close to a win until the final hand.

The final flop of K♥ K♦5♥ was perfect for Cynn with a hand of K♣ J♣who called with ease, whilst Miles was drawn in by the turn with 8♦ appearing. This last big pot saw Cynn walk away as the Main Event champ with $8.8 million and the famed bracelet. A pretty good performance considering that the last time he entered he only finished 11thback in 2016. The improvements in his game over just two years are simply phenomenal.

After one of the most gruelling and intense finales in the tournament’s history, the WSOP 2018 Main Event was over. But what do you think? Was that the most shocking Main Event the WSOP has ever seen? Let us know in the comments below!

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