WSOP Main Event: Historic, Dynamic, and Memorable

WSOP Main Event: Historic, Dynamic, and Memorable

The 2019 World Series of Poker is now in the history books.

On Tuesday night, July 16, the last of the tournaments awarded bracelets to their respective winners, making a total of 90 WSOP champions for the summer.

One of those events, however, was the shining star of the series, as usual. The $10K No Limit Hold’em World Championship was also known as Event 73 but more commonly as the WSOP Main Event.

This year, that event shone even more brightly. Not only was the attendance close to setting a new record, the final table turned out to be a near-ideal mix of amateur and pro players, all with interesting stories to bring to the table.

But it was more than that.

The players all genuinely liked each other. They bonded. They wore their emotions on their sleeves. Most of their supporters were good-spirited and provided a fun audience for the players and television viewers alike. And not only were the players all grateful for their opportunities and winnings, most of them were truly and visibly happy for each other’s successes as well.

The 2019 WSOP Main Event will be remembered for all of these reasons.

Main Event Basics

The Main Event began with its $10K buy-in during the first week of July. Players had the opportunity to enter on one of three starting days or even at the start of Day 2. And by the time registration closed and the field was set, it was determined to be the second-largest in WSOP history.

–Total entries:  8,569

–Total prize pool:  $80,548,600

–Number of players paid:  1,286

–Minimum payout:  $15,000

The number of participants was high enough to be second only to the 2006 WSOP Main Event, the one that happened at the height of the poker boom and attracted 8,773 players.

Final Table Action

Late on Friday night, July 12, the elimination of Robert Heidorn of the UK in 10th place for $800K set the final table. The remaining nine players took the day off on Saturday and returned to the Rio on Sunday evening to begin final table play with the minimum payout at $1 million.

Hossein Ensan (Germany) – 177 million chips

Garry Gates (USA) – 99.3 million chips

Zhen Cai (USA) – 60.6 million chips

Kevin Maahs (USA) – 43 million chips

Alex Livingston (Canada) – 37.8 million chips

Dario Sammartino (Italy) – 33.4 million chips

Milos Skrbic (Serbia) – 23.4 million chips

Timothy Su (USA) – 20.2 million chips

Nick Marchington (UK) – 20.1 million chips

The action to start Day 8 of the Main Event was quick.

Hand 3:  Marchington doubled through Cai.

Hand 6:  Gates eliminated Skrbic. (Gates Ac-Qh, Skrbic As-Jh, board 10d-9h-7h-4d-5h)

Hand 11:  Ensan eliminated Su.  (Ensan Ad-Js, Su 3d-3c, board Jh-5c-5d-10sJd)

Hand 18:  Ensan hit 200 million chips.

Hand 32:  Ensan eliminated Marchington. (Ensan Kc-Ks, Marchington Ad-7c, board Jh-8c-6d-5h-Qs)

Hand 56:  Maahs eliminated Cai. (Maahs 9c-9s, Cai Ac-Kd, board Qs-Jh-7s-4d-2s)

Hossein Ensan – 207.7 million chips

Garry Gates – 171.7 million chips

Kevin Maahs – 66.5 million chips

Alex Livingston – 45.8 million chips

Dario Sammartino – 23.1 million chips

Play resumed on Monday night, July 15, and play slowed a bit for most players.

Hand 59:  Sammartino doubled through Ensan.

Hand 68:  Ensan accumulated more than half of table’s chips.

Hand 87:  Sammartino climbed over 50 million chips.

Hand 111:  Ensan eliminated Maahs. (Ensan 9s-9h, Maahs Ah-10h, board Jh-5c-3s-Js-4h)

Hand 112:  Ensan hit 300 million chips.

Hand 120:  Livingston eliminated Gates. (Livingston Qs-Qd, Gates 6s-6c, board 5s-2d-7h-10h-10s)

Hossein Ensan – 326.8 million chips

Alex Livingston – 120.4 million chips

Dario Sammartino – 67.6 million chips

The tenth and final night of play was on Tuesday, June 16. Play was mostly slow and cautious, with a few exceptions, obviously.

Hand 129:  Sammartino doubled through Ensan.

Hand 161:  Livingston climbed over 200 million chips.

Hand 170:  Livingston took the chip lead from Ensan.

Hand 179:  Sammartino doubled through Livingston.

Hand 189:  Sammartino took the chip lead from Ensan.

Hand 200:  Ensan eliminated Livingston. (Ensan As-Qd, Livingston Ac-Jd, board 6d-Jh-Qs-2s-9d)

Hossein Ensan – 279.8 million chips

Dario Sammartino – 235 million chips

Hand 202:  Sammartino won 90+million-chip pot.

Hand 213:  Ensan closed chip gap.

Hand 225:  Ensan officially retook the chip lead.

Hand 301:  Ensan eliminated Sammartino.

The final hand started with Ensan holding 345.5 million chips and Sammartino with 169.5 million. On a flop of 10s-6s-2d, Sammartino check-called. The 9c on the turn brought another bet from Ensan, and Sammartino raised all-in with 8s-4s for straight and flush draws. Ensan snap-called with Kh-Kc for the overpair. The Qc on the river missed the draws and ended the tournament.

1st place:  Hossein Ensan (Germany) – $10 million

2nd place:  Dario Sammartino (Italy) – $6 million

3rd place:  Alex Livingston (Canada) – $4 million

4th place:  Garry Gates (USA) – $3 million

5th place:  Kevin Maahs (USA) – $2.2 million

6th place:  Zhen Cai (USA) – $1.85 million

7th place:  Nick Marchington (UK) – $1.525 million

8th place:  Timothy Su (USA) – $1.25 million

9th place:  Milos Skrbic (Serbia) – $1 million


About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

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