2018 WSOP Wrapup

[RR] “Other than the Main Event champion, what was the biggest news of this year’s World Series of Poker?” Roderick the Rock inquired.

[SS] “Phil Hellmuth won his record 15th bracelet in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold ‘Em turbo”, Stan the Stat responded. “He’s now an impressive five ahead of Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson, and Phil Ivey. Ivey returned with four cashes, so the race isn’t over yet, but Hellmuth is so far ahead of the next active player, that nobody else is likely to catch him for a long time. Erik Seidel has eight bracelets, but none in over decade. Daniel Negreanu is active enough but has just six (Jeff Lisandro may be a better bet, also at six).”

[LL] “Hellmuth will play every single event if anyone starts closing in”, Leroy the Lion chipped in. “I wouldn’t count Ivey out, but only if he realizes that bracelets will add more to his legacy than any amount of high stakes cash game winnings ever could.”

[SS] “Hellmuth’s bracelet was also his fourth in the 2010’s, tied for the lead with George Danzer (who got to four first in 2016), Jason Mercier (who tied him later that year), Brian Hastings and Brian Rast (who each won one bracelet this year), and Joe Cada and Shaun Deeb (the two double-bracelet winners this year). Impressively, Hellmuth has 11 bracelets in other decades while those other six have combined for just 1 (Mercier in 2009).

There hadn’t been a double-bracelet winner by the time the Main Event started, but the Main Event had been moved up a couple of weeks, and Deeb, Cada, and Justin Bonomo all pulled it off in the remaining 13 events. Cada jumped into The Closer,1 just two days after his 5th place Main Event finish, while Bonomo, who’s on a tear this year, captured the Big One for One Drop for ten million dollars to leap from third in the career tournament earnings list to first over Negreanu and Seidel.

[RR] “How did the women do?”

[SS] “No female won a solo, open event, but Nikita Luther took down the $1,000 Tag Team event, splitting $175,805 with her teammate Giuseppe Pantaleo. She was just the third Israeli to win a bracelet, and not surprisingly, the first female.

And Fahrintaj Bonyadi won the Super Seniors at age 83. She was a whopping 23 years above the eligibility cutoff, and she and her son Farzad Bonyadi became the first mother and son to win bracelets.

The highest finishing female in a solo, open event was Kate Hoang, who was the runner up to Julien Martini in the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better for $148,150. Katherine Fleck was third in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud, while Carol Fuchs, who won the $1,500 Dealers Choice Six Handed in 2015, was third in the Mixed $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better.

[LL] “Vanessa Selbst probably would have won at least one bracelet if she hadn’t retired.”

[SS] “Certainly possible. There were a record 78 events, producing a record 79 winners from 18 different countries:”

# Country
56 U.S.
3 Germany
2 Canada, England, France, Russia
1 Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Columbia, India, Israel, Netherlands, Philippines, Portugal, Spain

Footnotes:

  1. Despite its name, “The Closer” was only the second to last event to finish, with the Big One for One Drop starting and ending last.
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2018 WSOP Main Event Winner – John Cynn

[SS] “Truly epic Main Event this year!” Stan the Stat gushed.

[LL] “The second most players ever, an outrageous final table bubble burst, a former champion (Joe Cada) and a former 11th place finisher (John Cynn) at the final table, which ends up being the longest ever, and a fantastic heads-up duel lasting until almost 5 a.m.!” Leroy the Lion agreed.

[SS] “Yes, the 7,874 players was behind only the 8,773 in 2006, in the midst of the poker explosion.”

[RR] “Do you think we’ll break that record soon?” Roderick the Rock wondered.

[SS] “Certainly. With the legalization of sports gambling, online poker is sure to follow and spread to more U.S. states. That will lead to more entrants over the next few years from more people playing in general and more Main Event satellites.”

[LL] “Main Events like this one will help, too! The three-way, double-all-in hand to set the final table was almost unbelievable. Nicolas Manion leaps into the chip lead over Michael Dyer, Antoine Labat is fairly crippled, and Yueqi Zhu exits in tenth place when he and Labat both woke up with Kings only to run into Manion’s Pocket Rockets. The only way that could have been more exciting was if the Aces had been cracked by a flush or straight.”

[SS] “And perhaps fittingly, Manion couldn’t hold on to those chips, ending up in fourth place.1 Michael Dyer, who held a dominating lead before the final table and again with six players remaining, barely outlasted him, finishing third, while Cynn made up most of his deficit to Tony Miles. Heads up is where the real fun began.”

[LL] “Yeah, Miles and Cynn were pretty evenly matched, although I really liked the way Cynn had been playing for the whole final table.”

[SS] “And continued to play. Other than getting bluffed off the championship-clinching hand at one point, I didn’t think he made any major mistakes. The final table ended up lasting a record 442 hands, with heads up going a record 199 hands and 10 hours, partly because Miles saved match point when Cynn folded a weak two pairs to his bluff way back at 8:30 p.m. The chip lead switched numerous times, but Cynn never seemed to be in serious trouble. The one time Miles had a chance to gain a 3-to-1 chip lead, he couldn’t find a river call with just fourth pair, although it turns out he had Cynn outkicked.

Finally, Cynn flopped three Kings and let Miles bluff off his remaining chips on the turn. Cynn took a while2 before making the correct call and had Miles drawing dead.”

[LL] “Congrats to Cynn for making this the year of Cynn City!”3

[SS] “A Cynntillating performance.”

[RR] “Truly Cynnsensational!”

2018 World Series of Poker Main Event Summary

Dates 7/2/2018 to 7/15/2018
Players 7,874 (1,182 cashed)
Winner John Cynn ($8,800,000, U.S.)
Runner-Up Tony Miles ($5,000,000)
Final Table Bubble Boy Yueqi Zhu (10th, $850,025)
Money Bubble Boy Matthew Hopkins (1,183rd)
Last Former Champ Standing Joe Cada (5th, $2,150,000)
Last Woman Standing Kelly Minkin (50th, $156,265)
Last Celebrity Standing Ray Romano (did not cash)
In 52 Characters or Less Cynn City! Indianan goes 10 places better than 2016.

Footnotes:

  1. Antoine Labat, who started the final table last in chips, was 9th. Artem Metalidi also did not improve his position and ended 8th. Alex Lynskey barely played a hand and exited in 7th (from 5th), allowing Aram Zobian (6th) and Joe Cada (5th) each to slide up one place.
  2. There was a small controversy, when Miles accused Cynn of slowrolling, but Miles later apologized. Cynn’s three Kings were far from the nuts, losing to King-Queen, Ace-King, and various full houses.
  3. Norman Chad said this phrase during the broadcast, although he certainly wasn’t the first to use it.

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WSOP Main Event Champions Playing Cards: The Queens

[LL] “The Queens run from to 2016 to 2017”,1 Leroy the Lion said.

Qui Nguyen

Q

Qui Nguyen

Q
Qui Nguyen
Born: 1977 (Vietnam)
WSOP Main Event: 1st (2016)
WSOP Bracelets: 1
WSOP Cashes: 2
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $8,058,296
Quote: “I’m going back home [to Vietnam] and my plan is to help the people. Some have no house and no food. I wanted to donate some money to help other people. There are a lot of people who struggle in life and I want to help. I’m just so lucky compared to other people… I’m very happy, but everyone should be happy.” — Qui Nguyen (July 11, 2017 PokerNews interview).
  • Worked in a nail salon before moving to Las Vegas and becoming a poker pro in 2007.
  • Primarily a cash game player, “Tommy Gun” has only one tournament cash over $10,000.

Scott Blumstein

Q

Scott Blumstein

Q
Scott Blumstein
Born: 1992/03/27 (Morristown, NJ)
WSOP Main Event: 1st (2017)
WSOP Bracelets: 1
WSOP Cashes: 1
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $8,504,500
Quote: “There is no tougher place to play than on the East Coast. I definitely feel like I’m in this position because I’m from New Jersey. I mean, look who won Colossus, Tom Cannuli, the list goes on and on. It’s no coincidence. I think I’m here because I got pushed here, it’s just Darwinism, survival of the fittest.” — Scott Blumstein (July 15, 2017 PokerCentral interview).
  • Had never played in the WSOP Main Event or cashed in a bracelet event before.
  • Won the $500 No Limit Hold ‘Em $1 Million Deepstack Kick Off at the Borgata Summer Poker Open for $199,854 in July 2016 to keep his poker career afloat.

Footnotes:

  1. This deck doesn’t really physically exist; the versions here are lovingly crafted from JPEGs, CSS, and HTML.

    Cards may not display properly unless you view this post by itself.

    Stats current as of April 27, 2018.

  2. Caricatures and cards are Copyright © 2018 Robert Jen and were created with help from the iOS app Caricature Me and the MacOS app Photoshop Elements.

{ The Hold ‘Em at Home blog is brought to you by THETA Poker Pro, the strongest, fastest, and most configurable Texas Hold ‘Em game for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV. }

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WSOP Main Event Champions Playing Cards: The Jacks

[LL] “The Jacks run from to 2012 to 2015”,1 Leroy the Lion said.

Greg Merson

J

Greg Merson

J
Greg Merson
Born: 1987/12/08 (Washington, D.C.)
WSOP Main Event: 1st (2012)
WSOP Bracelets: 2
WSOP Cashes: 16
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $11,378,947
Quote: “I want to continue to grow as a professional gambler and keep playing the biggest games I can find. I want to leave a legacy as one of the hardest working players of all-time and hopefully at some point be one of the best of all-time.” — Greg Merson (January 13, 2013 PocketFives interview).
  • Was named 2012 WSOP Player of the Year as the only multiple bracelet winner, having captured the $10,000 No Limit Hold ‘Em – Six Handed event just two days before the Main Event began.

Ryan Riess

J

Ryan Riess

J
Ryan Riess
Born: 1990/04/19 (Pontiac, MI)
WSOP Main Event: 1st (2013)
WSOP Bracelets: 1
WSOP Cashes: 22
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $11,652,531
Quote: “I just think that I’m the best player in the world.” — Ryan Riess (in an interview with Kara Scott moments after winning the Main Event on November 5, 2013).
  • Invested most of his Main Event winnings in stocks, including Apple, Disney, Facebook, and Union Pacific.

Martin Jacobson

J

Martin Jacobson

J
Martin Jacobson
Born: 1987/06/30 (Stockholm, Sweden)
WSOP Main Event: 1st (2014)
WSOP Bracelets: 1
WSOP Cashes: 27
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $16,555,888
Quote: “I always try to improve my game… but… I improve the most is from the times I go deep. The deeper you are in a tournament the more focused you get and your attention level automatically goes up and I think it goes hand in hand with your learning ability… I always try to bring my A game and make the best decisions I can possibly make.” — Martin Jacobson (October 19, 2011).
  • Finished 6th in both the 2013 and 2017 One Drop High Roller $111,111 buy-in events (winning $807,427 and $641,382).
  • Has reached two World Poker Tour and four European Poker Tour final tables.
  • Named 2014 Player of the Year by Sweden’s Poker.se publication.

Joe McKeehen

J

Joe McKeehen

J
Joe McKeehen
Born: 1991/06/28 (North Wales, PA)
WSOP Main Event: 1st (2015)
WSOP Bracelets: 2
WSOP Cashes: 21
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $14,571,921
Quote: “While holding the title of ‘Poker World Champion’ is a prestigious honor, I’m finding that in my regular life not a great deal has changed other than doing way more interviews and signing autographs. At the end of the day, I’m just a young guy that loves the game of poker and won a huge tournament.” — Joe McKeehen (December 23, 2015 CardPlayer Lifestyle interview).
  • Won his second WSOP bracelet and $311,817 in the 2017 $10,000 Limit Hold ‘Em Championship.
  • Has won 2 WSOP Circuit Rings.
  • Won the World Championship for the board game Risk in 2010.

Footnotes:

  1. This deck doesn’t really physically exist; the versions here are lovingly crafted from JPEGs, CSS, and HTML.

    Cards may not display properly unless you view this post by itself.

    Stats current as of April 27, 2018.

  2. Caricatures and cards are Copyright © 2018 Robert Jen and were created with help from the iOS app Caricature Me and the MacOS app Photoshop Elements.

{ The Hold ‘Em at Home blog is brought to you by THETA Poker Pro, the strongest, fastest, and most configurable Texas Hold ‘Em game for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV. }

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