LAS VEGAS (July 12, 2018) – The 49th annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship – commonly referred to as the Main Event – is down to its final nine players, including one whom has been here before, and one who narrowly missed out in 2016. Each of the nine finalists are guaranteed at least $1,000,000 in prize money. The WSOP Main Event Final Table is all that remains of the massive field of 7,874 players from 88 different nations, who entered the iconic tournament on July 2 seeking poker’s most coveted title, a top prize of $8,800,000 and the Jostens-encrusted gold and diamond bracelet.
The final nine players represent four countries – Australia, France, Ukraine and the United States. The players will return to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino tonight at 5:30pm to vie for poker’s ultimate trophy – a WSOP gold bracelet – and the lion’s share of the Main Event’s $74,015,600 total prize pool in front of live TV cameras in primetime on ESPN. The winner will receive a guaranteed first-place prize of $8,800,000, with the other eight players sharing another $19,275,000.
The WSOP Main Event Final Table and their respective seat assignments and chip counts are as follows:
Nic Manion – 112,775,000 – Seat 5 – Chip Leader
To say that 35-year old Nic Manion is having the best tournament of his life would be an understatement. Manion, hailing from Muskegon, Michigan, has only one previous WSOP cash, for $5,769, and $16,739 in total recorded earnings. Now the proud dog-dad (he has an English bulldog, a French bulldog, and a Boston terrier), is guaranteed to increase that total nearly 60-fold, and potentially much more than that.
Michael Dyer – 109,175,000 – Seat 7 – 2nd in Chips
Michael Dyer, a 32-year old from Houston, Texas held the lead most of Day 7, and enters the final table second in chips. Dyer has only three previous WSOP cashes, the biggest of which came in 2009 – he finished eighth in a $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em event for $65,905. That score accounts for over 2/3 of his total recorded career live tournament earnings ($95,020). But with his final-table performance in this event, he will add at least $1,000,000 to that total.
Tony Miles – 42,750,000 – Seat 4 – 3rd in Chips
Tony Miles is a professional poker player and adrenaline junkie. His final-table run in the Main Event hits big for both vocations. The 32-year-old attended the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. He was born in Ogden, Utah and now resides in Lake Mary, Florida. Miles had not cashed at the annual World Series of Poker until this summer where he has cashed in the Colossus (438th), Millionaire Maker (442nd), and of course the Main Event. The momentous payout coming his way will greatly surpass his best live cash of $18,000 from a 3rd place finish at a WPT Jacksonville Summer Series. When Miles is not on the felt he enjoys wakeboarding, snowboarding, rock climbing, among other activities.
John Cynn – 37,075,000 – Seat 2 – 4th in Chips
Two years ago, John Cynn came within a breath of the Main Event final table. But he just barely missed out, finishing in 11th place ($650,000). It was the best live tournament performance of his career – until now. The 33-year old from Evanston, Illinois now residing in Indiana bested his own performance from 2016, and now finds himself at the final table.
Alex Lynskey – 25,925,000 – Seat 3 – 5th in Chips
There hasn’t been an Australian at the Main Event final table since Joe Hachem’s victory it in 2005. That changes this year, as 28-year old Alex Lynskey of Brisbane attempts to recreate Hachem’s success. Lynskey’s biggest WSOP cash to date came last year in the Marathon event, when he finished runner up for $426,663. In total, he has 13 previous WSOP cashes for $556,389.
Joe Cada – 23,675,000 – Seat 8 – 6th in Chips
Shelby Township, Michigan’s Joe Cada has done something no one else at this final table can claim: he’s been here before. Not only did Cada make the Main Event final table in 2009, he won the bracelet, the most prestigious prize in poker. He’s now the first previous Main Event champion to return to the final table since Dan Harrington. (Harrington, the 1995 champion, made the final table again in 2003 and 2004.) Not surprisingly, Cada is the most accomplished player at the 2018 final table. He has three previous bracelets and $10,779,041 in total tournament earnings. Most of that amount ($8,546,435) came from his 2009 victory, and he has the chance to win even more than that this year if he takes home the $8,800,000 first-place prize. That impressive feat would make him the first player to repeat as Main Event champion since the legendary Stu Ungar won his third title in 1997.
Aram Zobian – 18,875,000 – Seat 6 – 7th in Chips
The youngest player remaining at this table is 23-year-old Aram Zobian, originally from Cranston, Rhode Island, now living in North Providence. Zobian plays poker for a living and has just over $100,000 in tournament earnings. His largest live tournament cash came from a 2nd place finish in the No-Limit Hold’em Championship at the MegaStack Challenge, Mashantucket, good for $47,000. This will be Zobian’s fourth cash at the annual World Series of Poker and he has guaranteed himself a monster payday.
Artem Metalidi – 15,475,000 – Seat 1 – 8th in Chips
A 29-year-old hailing from Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, Artem Metalidi has been playing in the annual World Series of Poker since he was of age. Metalidi made a huge statement early on in his career as a professional poker player by placing second in the $3,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em event in 2012. The score of $350,806 is still his largest live tournament cash to date. In total, Metalidi lays claim to $728,254 in WSOP earnings, stemming from 25 separate cashes.
Antoine Labat – 8,050,000 – Seat 9 – 9th in Chips
The 29-year old Antoine Labat from Paris, France is the only French player at this year’s Main Event final table. He continues a recent tradition of French success that included two final tablists last year (Antoine Saout and Benjamin Pollak). Labat has two prior WSOP cashes, totaling under $7,000. He has $194,789 in recorded tournament earnings. He is an experienced games player, listing board games and chess among his hobbies.
Yueqi Zhu, an engineer and a WSOP bracelet winner earlier this year from Benxi, China who now resides in Roland Heights, California, was the final table bubble boy this year, finishing in tenth place.
Zhu, 55, moved all-in with blinds at 300,000/600,000 with a 100,000 ante after looking down and seeing the King of Hearts and King of Spades. He committed his stack of 24,700,000 into the pot, while Nic Manion went all-in for 43,100,000 behind him. Labat also called holding the King of Diamonds and King of Clubs, meaning both Zhu and Labat would need to make a flush or straight to improve their hands. Manion held Ace of Spades and Ace of Hearts, taking away some flush possibilities, and the board ran out without changing the result. Zhu was eliminated and Labat dropped to 8,050,000, while Manion surged to the chip lead as play ended for the night in Level 36, with 1 hour, 23 minutes and 57 seconds left at 11:42pm Pacific Time in Las Vegas on Monday, July 11. Zhu walks away with a nice $850,025 consolation prize and the final table is now officially set.
Prize money for the remaining nine spots is as follows:
1st place: $8,800,000
2nd place: $5,000,000
3rd place: $3,750,000
4th place: $2,825,000
5th place: $2,150,000
6th place: $1,800,000
7th place: $1,500,000
8th place: $1,250,000
9th place: $1,000,000
When play resumes tonight at 5:30pm, the players will pick up with 1 hour, 23 minutes and 57 second remaining in Level 36. The antes will be 100,000 and blinds will stand at 300,000 and 600,000.
The WSOP Main Event Final table television coverage begins airing tonight on ESPN. Action is on a 30-minute delay to conform to gaming regulations. TV coverage is as follows:
- Thursday, July 12 – 6:00pm in Las Vegas (Playing from 9 players to 6 players) – ESPN
- Friday, July 13 – 6:00pm in Las Vegas (Playing from 6 players to 3 players) – ESPN
- Saturday, July 14 – 6:00pm in Las Vegas (Playing from 3 players to a winner) — ESPN
The 2018 Main Event was part of what is likely going to go down as the largest-ever WSOP in terms of entrants in the 49-year history of the event. With four events remaining, a total of 120,208 players have thus far entered the events on this summer’s WSOP schedule, generating a total prize pool of $230,474,193.
The 2018 WSOP Main Event was the second-largest in the tournament’s illustrious 49-year history, drawing 7,874 players from 88 nations, trailing only the 2006 edition. The average age of entrants in the event was 41.23 years old, with the oldest entrant, Moss Point, Mississippi resident John Olsen age 88, and the youngest, Nicholas Dashineau, from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, who turned 21 years old three days prior to when he began play on July 4. 301 females comprised this year’s field. Kelly Minkin from Tucson, Arizona was the last female standing, finishing in 50th place good for $156,265.
ABOUT THE WSOP
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world, awarding millions of dollars in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet – globally recognized as the sport’s top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker’s longest running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970. In 2017, the event attracted a record 120,995 entrants from 111 different countries to the Rio in Las Vegas and awarded more than $231 million in prize money. In addition the WSOP has formed groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent of the World Series of Poker Europe, and now in 2017 WSOP China. For more information on the World Series of Poker, please visit www.WSOP.com.