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WSOP Main Event 2019: Hossein Ensan leads the way; Final Table in full swing as five survive

After a week of highly intensive poker, the WSOP Main Event took a break once the final table was set on Friday. Thankfully, gone are the days when that break covered several months.

This time, the players had just a day to gather their thoughts and prepare themselves for the biggest test of their poker lives after outlasting almost all the 8,569 players who began this event.

Photo WSOP.com

They returned yesterday, and the bust outs began almost immediately. By the time play was halted for the night, only five remained.

Early casualties set the final table tone

The cards having hit the air, they barely had time to land before the first of our final nine players left the stage. On hand six, a battle of the blinds saw Skrbic find no help against Gates’ AQ after he had understandably made the call with AJ. Five hands later, Timothy Su took a flip against chipleader Ensan, only to come up short. Eleven hands in the books, two players down.

In the hands that followed, Garry gates chipped up at the expense of Nick Marchington, keeping himself within sight of Ensan’s growing stack.

It was Marchington who would be the next victim of the day, some twenty hands later. His three-bet shove walked into the waiting kings of Ensan, and his A7 could not find help from the board.

Having got down to six players so quickly, the decision was made to play on. Ensan continued to lead Gates, with the pair some 120,000,000 clear of the nearest player. That fact did not change in the final hands of the night, but Zhen Cai’s bustout in 6th did at least help Kevin Maahs close the gap slightly. Cai’s three-bet shove with AK led to a flip against 99, with the American’s pair holding firm.

Here are the payouts so far:

6th – Zhen Cai – $1,850,000
7th – Nick Marchington – $1,525,000
8th – Timothy Su – $1,250,000
9th – Milos Skrbic – $1,000,000

Chip counts and final prizes

Hossein Ensan Chip leader – Photo WSOP.com

With just five contenders still with their hand on the crown, the money is starting to get serious. 5th place will walk away with $2.2 million, while our 4th place finisher will take home $3 million. From there the pay jumps move to $4 million, then $6 million, with the winner set to collect $10,000,000 along with the bracelet and title of poker world champion.

With that in mind, here is a look at the chip counts as they stand:

1st – Hossein Ensan – 207,700,000 (173BB)
2nd – Garry Gates – 171,700,000 (143BB)
3rd – Kevin Maahs – 66,500,000 (55BB)
4th – Alex Livingston – 45,800,000 (38BB)
5th – Dario Sammartino – 23,100,000 (19BB)

Play continues later today, with play scheduled to pause for the day at the three-handed stage. If the bust outs come at anything like the rate of today however, we may yet see play paused before the heads-up stage instead. We will bring you all the action once again, tomorrow.

Watch: Garry Gates gets aggressive and Alex Livingston lays down queens

Article by Craig Bradshaw

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