2018 WSOP Main Event: Final Table of Nine Set

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Day 7 of the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event saw 26 hopefuls return to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino looking to book themselves a seat at the exclusive final table where each competitor is guaranteed a payout of at least $1 million. That point was then reached in the most dramatic fashion following a massive 76,775,000 three way pot won by Nicolas Manion (A-A) in which Yueqi Zhu (K-K) was eliminated in 10th place, while Antoine Labat (K-K) lost 43,200,000 of his chips to plummet from 2nd to 9th place overall with just 8.05 million chips left behind.


A total of 17 players were eliminated throughout the course of the day, including all of the surviving recognizable pros, with the marked exception of the 2009 WSOP Main Event champion Joe Cada. This included the departures of bracelet holders Barry Hutter (25th), Eric Froehlich (23rd), Ivan Luca (20th), each of whom received $282,630 for their deep runs, and the aforementioned Yueqi Zhu (10th), who walked away with $850,025 after bubbling the final table.

Also exiting the competition on the day was Sylvain Loosli in 18th ($375,000), a former Main Event tablist who in 2013 recorded a 4th place finish worth $2,792,533. The Frenchman’s run subsequently came to an end after getting his remaining chips all-in preflop holding pocket sixes, only to be called and bested by Michael Dyer’s A-5 when an ace arrived on the river.

Joe Cada

Most of the nine players making this year’s Main Event will be unfamiliar to the poker community, with the exception of Joe Cada, a 30 year-old former WSOP champion with a total of 3 gold bracelets to his name, one of which was won at this year’s Series. Cada now has the opportunity to join only a handful of legends to have won the Main Event more than once, with the illustrious list including such names as Stu Ungar, Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson and Johnny Moss.

Nevertheless, the fields were much smaller back then, while Cada had to navigate his way past 6,494 runners in 2009, and 7,874 at this year’s Main Event in order to reach this final table. In 2009, Cada also had to contend with a tough final table which included Phil Ivey, Antoine Saout, Eric Buchman, Jeff Shulman and James Akenhead, all of whom have gone on to greater heights since that final table.

While this 2018 Main Event final table lacks big names recognizable to the average poker player, Cada still has a difficult job ahead if he is to capture an incredible second Main Event title, and as he explains:

“It’s poker nine years later.. Everyone here’s really good. Everyone was really good [in 2009] too. Everyone deserved to be there but everyone’s advancing in the game. It was a lot more of a grind this time. I respected the tournament more. I had 9K at one point in this tournament and I just grinded a short stack. I was like maybe one-fifth of average almost the entire tournament.”

Final Tablist

The final table features six US players, with the three rest of the world players haling from the Ukraine, Australia and France.

1: Nicolas Manion (US) 112,775,000 (188bbs)
2: Michael Dyer (US) 109,175,000 (182bbs)
3: Tony Miles (US) 42,750,000 (71bbs)
4: John Cynn (US) 37,075,000 (62bbs)
5: Alex Lynskey (AUS) 25,925,000 (43bbs)
6: Joe Cada (US) 23,675,000 (39bbs)
7: Aram Zobian (US) 18,875,000 (31bbs)
8: Artem Metalidi (UKR) 15,475,000 (26bbs)
9: Antoine Labat (FRA) 8,050,000 (13bbs)

Leading the final table is Nicolas Manion, who has just $16,739 in tournament cashes to his name, preferring instead to grinds $1/$2 cash games back in his home state of Michigan. Commenting upon his intended approach going into the biggest poker challenge of his life, Manion stated:

“I’m still gonna stick to my game plan of playing the hands that I’m dealt and trying to just chip up and win the pots that I’m entering in.”

Australia’s Alex Lynskey is one of the more familiar pros still in contention, having amassed $1,769,666 in winnings throughout a career dating back to 2011, including recording a runner-up finish at the 2017 WSOP $2,620 No Limit Hold’em event for $426,663.

Ukraine’s Artem Metalidi also has an impressive $2,131,437 in tournament winnings to his credit, and similar to Lynskey, came close to picking up a bracelet in 2012 following a second place finish at the $3,000 WSOP No Limit Hold’em (Six Handed) for $350,806.

Meanwhile, John Cynn, too, has some interesting history associated with the WSOP, and currently boasts $944,786 in career earnings, $650,000 of which comes via an 11th place finish at the Main Event in 2016.

Here are the remaining finalists at this year’s Main Event, with their career winnings in brackets: Michael Dyer ($95,020), Tony Miles ($54,333), Aram Zobian ($110,444), and Antoine Labat ($194,789).