WSOP: Ensan, Sammartino, Livingston Make Final 3 of Main Event

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Dario Sammartino, Hossein Ensan, and Alex Livingston will battle it out Tuesday for the 2019 WSOP Main Event bracelet and $10,000,000. (WSOP photo)

When the second night of the 2019  World Series of Poker Main Event final table began, Hossein Ensan and Garry Gates had most of the chips and almost all of the attention of the poker world. Just one of them survived the four hours of play and now just three players remain in contention for the $10,000,000 first place prize, bracelet, and place in poker history.

Gates Struggled to Find Any Footing

At the start of the night, Gates had 171,700,000 chips – 33.3% of the chips in play. That turned out to be his high point. After dropping to 152,100,000, Gates lost 44,600,000 to Ensan before the first hour was up. A little over 10 minutes later, he lost another 12,700,000 to Livingston without showdown.

He then put together a string of three consecutive small pots to move back above 100,000,000. Gates and Maahs got into a preflop raising war that worked out to be a 13,800,000 win for Maahs. After 90 minutes of play, Livingston caught up and Gates was no longer second in chips. Gates dropped another 15,000,000 to Ensan and had 63,200,000 left. He dropped another 25,200,000 to Livingston after bluffing with KhJh against the Canadian’s rivered pair of aces with AcJc to be left with just 38,200,000.

Kevin Maahs Goes out in Fifth

While Gates was struggling to regain the momentum he enjoyed from night one, Kevin Maahs ran into a flip he couldn’t win. Ensan opened to 4,000,000 with 9h9s from early position before Maahs moved all in with AhTh from the small blind and Ensan called. The Jh5c3s flop changed nothing and neither did the Js turn or 4h river to eliminate Maahs in fifth place.

“It’s not really sad, I guess. It’s kind of a weird feeling because I just made a lot of money but I didn’t win the tournament. Obviously, your goal is to win the tournament or keep making it to the next day and I didn’t make it to the next day,” Maahs said. “There’s 8,500 other people that didn’t come close to this, and this is awesome.”

The End Finally Comes for Garry Gates

There was a pivotal on the first night of the final table where Gates, holding pocket tens, got Alex Livingston to fold pocket queens pre-flop. On the second night of play, it was another pair of queens for Livingston that ended Gates’ run.

Action folded to Gates in the small blind and he moved all in for 29,200,000 with 6c6s and Livingston snap-called from the big blind with QdQs. The board ran out 7h5s2dThTs to give Livingston the pot, eliminate Gates in fourth place and halt play for the night.

“It was a whirlwind. You come into a final table with as many chips as I had, you expect a higher result but at the same time, those are some world-class poker players,” Gates said. “I don’t do this for a living. Just to get this far and have as much love and support as I had along the way, I knew that I had already won.”

Final Three Chip Counts

  1. Hossein Ensan – 326,800,000
  2. Alex Livingston – 120,400,000
  3. Dario Sammartino – 67,600,000

Payouts

4. Garry Gates – $3,000,000
5. Kevin Maahs – $2,200,000
6. Zhen Cai – $1,850,000
7. Nick Marchington – $1,525,000
8. Timothy Su  – $1,250,000
9. Milos Skrbic – $1,000,000

ESPN Broadcast Schedule

The final table begins live in Las Vegas at 530 PM PT and will be on ESPN beginning at 600 PM on a 30-minute delay until a champion is crowned.