WSOP: Dyer Continues Main Event Final Table Dominance, Leads Final 6

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Just six players remain in contention for the 2018 WSOP Main Event bracelet. (WSOP photo).

The final table of the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event started with Michael Dyer sitting with the second biggest stack and through just over four hours of play on Thursday night, the 32-year-old from Houston moved into control of the final table and finished with more than double the stack of any of his five remaining opponents.

Dyer finished Day 8 with 156,500,000 without being responsible for any of the night’s three eliminations. Being able to wield a big stack against some shorter-stacked opponents has allowed Dyer to push the table around.

“I’ve had dynamic separation from everybody so it makes it kind of simpler for me to play. I’m able to play differently than they are,” said Dyer. “It was a pretty solid final table. I didn’t see any horrible mistakes or anything egregious.”

Dyer added 47,325,000 to his chips on Thursday and how has 39.74% of the chips in play. Nicolas Manion, who began play Thursday with the chip lead, went in the opposite direction, finishing with 72,250,000.

Tony Miles finished with 57,500,000 with Joe Cada and Aram Zobian holding onto short stacks of 29,275,000 and 16,700,000 respectively. Cada, who won the 2009 Main Event, felt relieved to be moving onto Day 9 after a rough day Thursday.

“I’m just happy to be here. It’s been a grueling tournament. I’ve been lucky to even be in the spot where I’m at. I’ve had low chips the entire tournament. I feel like I’ve just been hanging in there,” said Cada.

Antoine Labat Eliminated in Ninth Place

Thanks to the crazy hand that ended play on Wednesday night, France’s Antoine Labat knew he’d have to make a move early on Thursday if he had any hopes of winning the tournament. That opportunity seemed to present itself on the 16th hand of play.

Action folded to Labat on the button and he raised to 1,200,000 holding KdKh. Artem Metalidi moved all in from the small blind holding QcQh and after John Cynn folded the big blind, Labat called with his tournament on the line. The flop came AsQd5s to give Metalidi middle set. Neither the 9s turn or Ad river were any help for the Frenchman and he was eliminated in ninth. While

“With 60 left I got kings against aces and nines for my tournament life, I put in all my chips there and the king came door cards,” said Labat. “So I’m not complaining about kings. They won me $950,000 and it has to end like that. All my tournaments have been around kings, I had them many times and sometimes they were good and sometimes they were not good. It’s alright, I don’t blame them.”

Despite losing twice with pocket kings in two big spots inside of a 17-hand span on Wednesday and Thursday, Sabat is leaving Las Vegas with a new appreciation for poker.

“I had an amazing experience. I haven’t played tournaments for a long time. I played a lot before. It’s been three years and I didn’t do any,” said Labat. “I decided to come to Vegas and change my daily routine and do new stuff and I think the Main Event brought me a real new experience. I feel like I have a lot of energy to play tournaments”

Artem Metalidi Eliminated in Eighth Place

Metalidi came into the final table with the second smallest stack and found himself flipping for his Main Event life in a hand that turned out to be one of the more dramatic of the last few days.

Metalidi open-shoved for 6,225,000 with 5c5d, Zobian move all in over the top 24,000,000 from the small blind with KdQd and Dyer folded the big blind. The 6d5h2d flop gave Metalidi middle set but opened a flush draw for Zobian.The Kc turn was good for Metalidi, but the 4d river gave Zobian the flush and sent the Ukrainian poker pro home in eighth place.

“I couldn’t even dream of it. I started this tournament winning bottom set against top set and I was felt like I was freerolling the tournament. Then I made the money with a really short stack and it wasn’t even considering I could make it here, but here I am and I’m really, really happy,” Metalidi said about his deep run. “It’s been surreal. I don’t think I fully grasp it yet. It’s probably going to hit me later.”

Alex Lynskey Eliminated in Seventh Place

Dyer raised to 1,600,000 from the cutoff with Jh8h and John Cynn called from the small blind with KsQs. Alex Lynskey moved all in for 11,525,000 from the big blind with 6c6d. Dyer folded but Cynn called. The Tc9c3s kept Lynskey in front but gave Cynn four extra outs with a gutshot straight draw. The Td turn gave Cynn more outs to make a two overpair. The river was the Jc completing the straight draw and sending Lynskey out in seventh place.

The English-born, Australian poker pro managed to win exactly zero of the 47 hands that he was dealt into at the final table.

“It was a fantastic run. I can’t really complain. I came in middle of the pack and laddered a couple of spots and lost a flip. I was pretty card dead on the final table, there’s not much I could have done,” said Lynskey. “I was dealt 10-2 off every hand for like two hours and then had to raise-fold ace-queen and he said had ace-king and then got dealt sixes the next hand.”

The final six players will return to action on Friday at 5:30 pm PT with ESPN broadcasting from 6:00 pm PT. The current Friday schedule calls for play to run until just three players remain.

Final Table Chip Counts

  1. Michael Dyer – 156,500,000
  2. Nicolas Manion – 72,250,000
  3. John Cynn – 61,550,000
  4. Tony Miles – 57,500,000
  5. Joe Cada – 29,275,000
  6. Aram Zobian – 16,700,000