2018 WSOP Main Event Down To Just Six Players

John Cynn

Day 8 of the WSOP Main Event saw the nine remaining finalists return to the action, with one-third of the players still in contention haling from outside of the US. By the end of the day, however, the competition had become an all American affair, with all six players left guaranteed a payday of at least $1.8 million, and a $8.8 million prize awaiting the ultimate champion.

Attracting the most media interest at the final table are John Cynn (photo) and Joe Cada, two players who have both enjoyed varying measures of Main Event success in the past. In 2016, John Cynn, a 33-year old pro from Indiana, made a deep run at the Main Event, eventually falling just short of the final table in 11th place for a $650,000 payday. Joe Cada, on the other hand, went on to take down the whole event in 2009 for $8,547,044, and almost a decade later is hoping to repeat the feat, which would place him in the same elite group of multiple Main Event winners as Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, Stu Ungar, and Johnny Chan.

Labat Crashes Out with Kings

This year’s final table was reached following one of the most dramatic hands ever seen at the Main Event. In the three-way pot, Nicolas Manion (A-A) managed to eliminate Yueqi Zhu (K-K) in 10th place, whilst liberating 43.2 million in chips from France’s Antoine Labat (K-K), leaving him just 8.05 million behind, and reducing him to the shortest stack at the table.

Reduced further to just 6.45 million on Day 8, Labat had the perfect opportunity to score a much needed double up after being dealt pocket kings once more, and opting to min-raise preflop, leading to an all-in shove for 10 million by Nicolas Manion holding pocket queens. After making the call, however, it must have seemed like déjà vu for Labat who had to then watch the board roll out A-Q-5-9-A to put an end to his 2018 Main Event hopes. Labat received a $1 million payout for his impressive performance, and also now has one of the most incredible hard luck stories involving pocket kings in the poker world, which he will surely be recounting to his table opponents for many years to come.

No High Five for Metalidi

Ukraine’s Artem Metalidi had the second shortest stack going into the day, and by the time the deciding hand was played his initial 15.475m in chips had fallen to just 6.225m. Metalidi subsequently shoved all-in from early position holding pocket fives, and received a re-ship from Aram Zobian with Kd-Qd, after which Michael Dyer got out of the way.

The 6d-5h-2d flop that ensued then made a set for Metalidi, whilst opening up flush possibilities for his opponent. Unfortunately for him, a Kc on turn followed by a 4d on the river completed Zobian’s flush, leaving Metalidi heading for the exit, albeit having earned $1.25 million for his 8th place finish.

“It’s been an incredible run,” commented Metalidi. “I feel really happy and i couldn’t ask for more. This way I have a desire to improve for the next year’s to come.”

Lynskey Fares No Better with Sixes

Australia is noted for producing some of the most vocal and ardent rails in poker. Unfortunately, no amount of “Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi” was going to turn around Alex Lynskey’s day. The player had been card dead throughout the entire session, and failed to win a single pot. By the time Lynskey (6-6) was dealt a decent hand, Michael Dyer had raised preflop in front of him, and John Cynn (Ks-Qs) made the call, inducing an all-in shove by the Australian for 11.525 million.

Dyer moved aside, leaving a classic race between Cynn and Lynskey’s holdings. The 10c-9c-3s-10d board gave Lynskey hope of securing a tournament saving double up, but a Jc on the river filled in Cynn’s gutshot straight, leaving Lynskey as this year’s 7th place finisher for $1.5 million.

Cynn, on the other hand, could hardly contain his excitement after taking down the 12.825 million pot, and as he later commented:

“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.”

Day 9

The surviving six finalists will return to the Rio at 5.30pm local time, when they will play down until just three players remain. Here are their chip counts going into Day 9 of the 2018 WSOP Main Event.

1: Michael Dyer 156,500,000 (157bbs)
2: Nicolas Manion 72,250,000 (72bbs)
3: John Cynn 61,550,000 (62bbs)
4: Tony Miles 57,500,000 (58bbs)
5: Joe Cada 29,275,000 (29bbs)
6: Aram Zobian 16,700,000 (17bbs)