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Found 7 results

  1. From the 8,659 players that started the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event eight days ago, just nine still remain and Germany's Hossein Ensan stands high above the rest as the chip leader. Now all that stands between him and the $10,000,000 first place prize money is eight other players all hoping to do the same. Another German, Robert Heidorn, was eliminated in tenth place in the very early hours of Saturday morning pausing the clock on the second-largest WSOP Main Event in history until Sunday evening. Ensan ended play with 177,000,000 and is well ahead of the rest of the field with 34.3% of the chips in play. The 55-year-old former European Poker Tour Prague champion was responsible for only one elimination after just three tables remained. Ensan busted Marcelo Cudos in 23rd place to put his stack at 57,500,000. He more than tripled that stack over the next eight hours without eliminating another opponent. Garry Gates bagged up 99,300,000 for the second biggest stack. Gates eliminated two players, Mihai Manole in 18th and Henry Lu in 11th, on his way to the final table. Zhen Cai sits third with 60,600,000 and is the only other player with a stack bigger than the 57,200,000 stack. The Florida native, and best friend of 2018 Main Event runner-up Tony Miles, picked up just one elimination, sending Preben Stokkan out in 21st. The three players in the middle of the chip counts include Kevin Maahs with 43,000,000, Alex Livingston (37,800,000), and Dario Sammartino (33,400,000). The three shortest stacks are separated by just 3.3 big blinds. Milos Skrbic finished with 23,400,000, start of day chip leader Timothy Su ended with 20,200,000 and Nick Marchington has 20,100,000 in the bag. Marchington, just 21 years old, could become the youngest player to win the Main Event should he manage to rise from the shortest stack still in play. Marchington is a few months younger than current record holder Joe Cada. When play resumes on Sunday night there will be just over 90 minutes remaining in the 500,000/1,000,000 (1,000,000 BBA) level. No player will have less than 20 big blinds when action resumes. Main Event Final Table Chip Counts Hossein Ensan - 177,000,000 Garry Gates - 99,300,000 Zhen Cai - 60,600,000 Kevin Maahs - 43,000,000 Alex Livingston - 37,800,000 Dario Sammartino - 33,400,000 Milos Skrbic - 23,400,000 Timothy Su - 20,200,000 Nick Marchington - 20,100,000 Final Table Has International Flavor The nine players at the final table represent six different countries. Ensan is from Germany, Livingston is Canadian, Sammartino is Italian, Skrbic is Serbian, and Marchington is from England. The remaining four players, Gates, Cai, Maahs, and Su, are all American. Yuri Dzivielevski Last #1 Standing Brazilain Yuri Dzivielevski narrowly missed out on making the final three tables but still earned the best finish by a former #1-ranked PocketFiver. Dzivielevski finished 28th for $261,430. WSOP Main Event Final Table Broadcast Schedule Sunday, July 14 - 7 PM on ESPN2 Monday, July 15 - 7 PM on ESPN Tuesday, July 16 - 6 PM on ESPN All times Pacific
  2. The 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event is down to 35 players, all guaranteed $261,430 and vying for the event’s $10 million first-place prize. After what was an incredibly entertaining day of poker, Nick Marchington is in the lead with 39.7 million. 21-Year-Old Marchington Leads the Way Marchington hails from England and is 21 years old. Despite his youth, he’s a professional poker player, but Marchington’s success in the game comes from the online poker world and not so much the live tournament world. Entering this event, Marchington had just $12,415 in live tournament earnings, stemming from one cash at this WSOP. Marchington was one of the biggest stacks remaining as the night neared its close, and then he knocked out Ian Pelz in 37th place with pocket sevens against the [poker card="As"][poker card="Qc"] to solidify his position as chip leader. Behind Marchington on the leaderboard are Hossein Ensan with 34.5 million, Timothy Su with 34.35 million, and Milos Skrbic with 31.45 million. Those are the only players above 30 million in chips. Top 10 Chip Counts Nick Marchington - 39,800,000 Hossein Ensan - 34,500,000 Timothy Su - 34,350,000 Milos Skrbic - 31,450,000 Henry Lu - 25,525,000 Garry Gates - 25,025,000 Duey Duong - 21,650,000 Warwick Mirzikinian - 20,700,000 Dario Sammartino - 19,850,000 Cai Zhen - 19,800,000 Dzivielevski and Sammartino Remain Yuri Dzivielevski, a Brazilian who already has one gold bracelet this summer, bagged 13.75 million for Day 7. Dzivielevski is a former PocketFives #1 and the only former #1 remaining in the field. Dario Sammartino, who is one of the best players in the world still in search of a WSOP gold bracelet, finished with 19.85 million for Day 7. Wild and Crazy Hands Steal the Day 6 Show Day 6 was filled with plenty of action, that’s for sure. There was an enormous clash between Su and Sam Greenwood on the main feature table that could go down as one of the greatest hands in poker history. It will also go down as one of the ultimate bad beats. On one of the outer tables, Garry Gates nailed an ace on the river to crack Robert Heidorn’s pocket kings. On another outer table, at pretty much the same time as the hand between Gates and Heidorn, Kevin Maahs beats aces with his pocket kings to knock out Chang Luo. The incredible hand between Greenwood and Su started with Su opening to 500,000 from the cutoff position. Greenwood three-bet to 2.5 million out of the big blind, and Su called. The flop was [poker card="Qd"][poker card="Jd"][poker card="4c"] and Green bet 1.8 million Su called to see the [poker card="Js"] land on the turn. Greenwood bet 3.5 million and Su raised all in. Greenwood made the call for about 11.5 million total and turned up his [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Ac"]. Su had the [poker card="Tc"][poker card="9c"] for a brave semi-bluff. Needing a king or an eight on the river, Su got it when the [poker card="Kc"] hit to complete his straight. Greenwood was eliminated in 45th place for $211,945. On the hand involving Gates and Heidorn, Heidorn opened to 550,000 from middle position before action folded to Gates in the big blind. He three-bet to 2.1 million. Heidorn reraised all in to put Gates to the test. Gates tanked, then called to put himself at risk for 11.35 million total, and turned up the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Kd"]. Heidorn had the [poker card="Kc"][poker card="Kh"]. The [poker card="Qc"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4d"] flop and [poker card="5h"] turn weren’t what Gates needed, but the [poker card="Ad"] on the river allowed him to survive with the double up. For the one with Luo and Maahs, it started with Luo opening with a raise to 550,000 from early position. After Milos Skrbic reraised to 1.675 million on the button, Maahs reraised to 3.75 million out of the big blind. Luo shoved all in for 8.1 million, Skrbic folded, and Maahs made the call. Luo had the [poker card="As"][poker card="Ah"], and Maahs had the [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Kc"]. The board ran out [poker card="Qc"][poker card="8c"][poker card="3c"][poker card="Qh"][poker card="Tc"] to give Maahs a club flush and crack the aces of Luo. Luo was eliminated in 43rd place for $211,945. Esfandiari, Hunichen, Hachem Among Day 6 Eliminations Day 6 of the 2019 WSOP Main Event began with 106 players remaining. Greg Himmelbrand was the first player knocked out and then the eliminations began to flow. Four-time gold bracelet winner Jeff Madsen was knocked out in 102nd place, Mukul Pahuja went out in 95th, and Antonio Esfandiari busted in 82nd. Esfandiari’s bust out came after he was hurt in a big hand against Sammartino that left him with just a handful of big blinds. Esfandiari got the last of his chips in against Chris Hunichen with the [poker card="5d"][poker card="5h"] but Hunichen’s [poker card="8c"][poker card="8d"] did the trick. Daniel Hachem, son of 2005 WSOP Main Event winner Joe Hachem, fell in 79th place, and Pennsylvania's Jake Schindler headed out the door in 67th place. Romain Lewis busted in 60th, and Lars Bonding fell in 55th. Hunichen, a former PocketFives #1 player and the one who knocked out Esfandiari, busted in 54th place for $173,015. Another one of the top tournament players in the world was knocked out in 40th place when Alex Foxen was eliminated. The highest finish for a Pennsylvania poker player in the 2019 WSOP Main Event belonged to Thomas Parkes. He took 59th for $142,215. Day 7 On Friday On Friday, the 2019 WSOP Main Event will play from 35 down to its final table of nine, however long that may take. Action is set to kick off at 12 p.m. PT from the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino, and if Friday is anything like Thursday, buckle up for a thrilling ride.
  3. After Day 5 of the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event, just 106 players remain in contention for the $10 million top prize. Antonio Esfandiari is among them, as is Sam Greenwood, Alex Foxen, and former PocketFives #1 Chris Hunichen, but it's Timothy Su leading the way. Newcomer Su in the Lead Su bagged 19.235 million in chips and is hands down making the biggest splash of his poker career. Not only has Su never cashed in the WSOP Main Event before, but he’s never played it. He’s a software engineer by trade, not a professional poker player. Prior to the 2019 WSOP Main Event, Su had just three cashes on record and a combined $2,467 in live tournament earnings. His largest cash to date was for $1,080. He did place in the money in the $400 Colossus at the 2019 WSOP, but the $927 that he earned for his 814th-place finish is a far cry from the $59,295 he’s guaranteed. Although that’s what Su is guaranteed, he’s favored to earn a lot more due to his towering chip position. Immediately following up Su on the leaderboard at the conclusion of Day 5 were Greenwood (11.95 million), Duey Duong (11.765 million), Warwick Mirzikinian (11.43 million), and Luke Graham (11.28 million). Top 10 Chip Counts Timothy Su - 19,235,000 Sam Greenwood - 11,950,000 Duey Duong - 11,765,000 Warwick Mirzikinian - 11,430,000 Luke Graham - 11,280,000 Nicholas Marchington - 10,835,000 Milos Skrbic - 10,715,000 Romain Lewis - 10,600,000 Laurids Nielsen - 9,955,000 Ian Pelz - 9,635,000 [caption id="attachment_625562" align="aligncenter" width="903"] Antonio Esfandiari (left) and Garry Gates both advanced to Day 6 in the 2019 WSOP Main Event[/caption] Esfandiari "Feels Great" Reaching Day 6 Antonio Esfandiari has won a lot in his career. He has more than $27.7 million in live tournament earnings and has won three WSOP gold bracelets. His best result in the WSOP Main Event came in 2009 when he took 24th for $352,832. Outside of that result, Esfandiari has never finished in the top 150 of the WSOP Main Event. That’s where he finds himself this year and he’ll be headed to Day 6 with 6.63 million in chips. "It feels great," Esfandiari told PocketFives. "I think I’ve only made it to Day 6 one time and that was a long time ago, so to come back and have a chance at making the final table, it feels pretty good." Hunichen and Dzivielevski Representing Former PocketFives #1 Joining Esfandiari on the Day 6 run will be a couple of former PocketFives #1 players, Hunichen and Yuri Dzivielevski. Hunichen bagged 6.28 million, with Dzivielevski coming in at 3.53 million. Hunichen received a nice boost to his stWSOPack when start-of-day chip leader and 888poker qualifier Dean Morrone five-bet shoved into him with the [poker card="As"][poker card="9d"]. Hunichen was waiting with the [poker card="Kc"][poker card="Kd"]after he had four-bet and made the call. An ace flop, but a king also flopped, and Morrone was eliminated as the board ran out [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Kh"][poker card="4s][poker card="5h"][poker card="8c"]. Hunichen did lose some chips towards the end of the night when Foxen doubled through him, but he was still able to bag a very healthy stack for Thursday. Foxen bagged 2.655 million for Day 6. Down To Four from Pennsylvania Pennsylvania online poker is just about ready to go. It’s been legalized and the launch date is coming up soon. When things get up and running, four players left in the field of the 2019 WSOP Main Event are going to have some extra money to deposit thanks to deep runs and could even become representatives of PA online poker rooms. Chad Power is the one with the most chips for Day 6 at 7.48 million, and then it’s Thomas Parkes with 7.31 million. Kenny Smaron has 2.505 million and Jake Schindler has 1.39 million. Former NFL Players Seymour and Stocz Bow Out Starting Day 5 was a group of 354 players. Plenty of them hit the rail on the way to 106, including former NFL players Richard Seymour and Eric Stocz. Seymour and Stocz started at the same table and it was Stocz to bust first when his pocket tens couldn’t hold up against the king-ten of Chance Kornuth for a 347th-place finish. Seymour made it a bit deeper but ultimately came to the same fate. Seymour’s exit happened in 131st place. He was all in against Zhen Cai and Anuj Agarwal on the same hand. Seymour had the [poker card="Kh"][poker card="4d"], Cai had the [poker card="Qd"][poker card="Qh"], and Agarwal had the [poker card="Ad"][poker card="3d"]. The flop came Seymour the lead with the [poker card="Kc"][poker card="6h"][poker card="2d"] falling, but the turn was the [poker card="Qs"] to give the hand to Cai. The [poker card="Ks"] on the river meant nothing. Seymour’s run earned him $59,295. Also hitting the rail on Day 5 were Scott Bohlman (146th - $59,295), Mike Matusow (199th - $50,855), Matt Glantz (205th - $50,855), Matt Stout (217th - $50,855), and Allen Kessler (320th - $38,240). Jill Bryant was this year’s last woman standing in the WSOP Main Event. The Illinois native went out in the late stages of Day 5 with a 116th-place exit. She earned $59,295 for the result to add to the near $200,000 in live tournament earnings she had entering the event. Day 6 of the 2019 WSOP Main Event starts at 12 pm PT on Thursday, July 11 at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino.
  4. The opening night of the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event final table went about as close to script as Hossein Ensan and Garry Gates could have hoped. The two biggest at the start of play, Ensan and Gates were responsible for the first three eliminations as the shortest stacks all went bust. The only deviation from said script, was a fourth player hitting the rail before the end of the night. Milos Skrbic First to Go Nick Marchington got things started early, doubling through Zhen Cai on the third hand of the night leaving Milos Skrbic and Timothy Su as the two remaining short stacks. Three hands after that, Skrbic was sent to the rail. Action folded to Gates in the small blind and he moved all in with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qh"] and Skrbic called all in from the big blind with [poker card="as"][poker card="jh"]. The board ran out [poker card="td"][poker card="9h"][poker card="7h"][poker card="4d"][poker card="5h"] to give Gates an additional 18,400,000 and send eliminate Skrbic in ninth place. "I don't know what to say, I'm still in shock. It was fun for sure," Skrbic said in the minutes after his tournament ended. Timothy Su Eliminated in Eighth Just five hands after that, Timothy Su followed Skrbic out the door. Timothy Su moved all in from UTG for 17,700,000 with [poker card="3c"][poker card="3d"]. Ensan called from the cutoff with [poker card="ad"][poker card="js"]. The [poker card="jh"][poker card="5c"][poker card="5d"] flop move Ensan ahead and left Su with just two outs. Neither the [poker card="ts"] turn or [poker card="jd"] river were able to save the 27-year-old engineer from an eighth-place finish. "I came in with zero expectations and just making the min-cash would be awesome, but somehow I was able to spin it up, maintain a chip lead, chip lead Day 2AB, chip lead I think Day 6 and even throughout Day 7 I had over 1/5th of the chips in play one point," Su said. "There's no regrets on anything, that's for sure." Nick Marchington Busts in Seventh Those first two eliminations came very quickly, but thanks to his early double up, 21-year-old Nick Marchington was able to stave off elimination for another two hours. Action folded to Ensan in the cutoff and he made it 2,400,000 with [poker card="kc"][poker card="ks"]. Marchington moved his last 14,000,000 all in with [poker card="ad"][poker card="7c"] and Ensan called. The [poker card="jh"][poker card="8c"][poker card="6d"] flop kept Ensan ahead but gave Marchington a backdoor straight draw. The [poker card="5h"] turn was the first step in filling that straight, but the [poker card="qs"] river was a brick and his run at becoming the youngest Main Event champion in history ended with a seventh-place finish. "I really enjoyed the final table. Not sure why, but I didn't really feel any pressure. Just loved every minute of it," Marchington said. "Maybe I'm the youngest ever seventh-place finisher?" Zhen Cai Elimination Wraps Up Play The plan for the first night of final table play was to play down from nine players to six but the fast pace changed that and ESPN decided to play down until the end of the level or the next elimination. Just 90 minutes later, Zhen became the reason that play was stopped for the night. Ensan raised to 2,400,000 from the cutoff with [poker card="qc"][poker card="js"], Kevin Maahs called from the small blind with [poker card="9c"][poker card="9s"], before Cai moved all in for 28,700,000 with [poker card="as"][poker card="kd"]. Ensan folded, but Maahs called. The board ran out [poker card="qs"][poker card="jh"][poker card="7s"][poker card="4d"][poker card="2d"] to give Maahs the pot, eliminate Cai in sixth-place and end play for the night. Final Five Chip Counts Hossein Ensan – 207,700,000 Garry Gates – 171,700,000 Kevin Maahs – 66,500,000 Alex Livingston – 45,800,000 Dario Sammartino – 23,100,000 Payouts 6. Zhen Cai - $1,850,000 7. Nick Marchington – $1,525,000 8. Timothy Su – $1,250,000 9. Milos Skrbic – $1,000,000 WSOP Main Event on ESPN After spending the night on ESPN2, the action now moves over to ESPN. Cards are in the air in Las Vegas beginning at 6:30 PT with the 30-minute delayed broadcast beginning at 7:00 PM PT.
  5. After a crazy Day 1C, Day 2AB of the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event was actually uneventful and rather peaceful. The 2,383 players who managed to get through Day 1A and 1B combined into one field on Saturday and they were joined by another 100 players who decided to use the late registration option before play began. A little more than half of the players who started the day with chips were able to finish the day with chips. Timothy Su Goes From Second to First Timothy Su finished Day 1A with the second biggest stack. He improved on that position on Saturday, ending the day with 791,000 and the chip lead. The next biggest stack belongs to Tony Blanchandin with 744,500. Sitting in third is German pro Anton Morgenstern. He has been here before. In 2013, Morgenstern built up a massive chip lead heading into Day 7 only to blow up and bust out in 20th. Two years later, history basically repeated itself as Morgenstern was sent home in 22nd place. He'll return on Day 3 to a stack of 735,000. Heard 'Em Say: 100 Take Advantage of Day 2AB Late Registration For the first time in WSOP history, players can register up until the start of play on each Day 2. There were exactly 100 players who took advantage of this for Day 2AB to push the total field to 8,225 players - 548 short of the record set in 2006. Yuri Dzivielevski Leads Former #1s into Day 3 Just a handful of former #1-ranked players made it through the Day 2AB. Just weeks after winning his first bracelet, Yuri Dzivielevski continues to enjoy the run good and ended the day with 290,300. Sweden's 'lena900' isn't far behind him with 247,000. Paul Volpe, who has cashed four previous times in the Main Event, including a 142nd place last year, ended the day with 190,700. Good friend Taylor Paur bagged up 105,300. Pennsylvania Poker Players Continue to Represent Sometime later this month, regulated Pennsylvania online poker will launch, but for now a number of players from the Keystone State are hoping to make a deep run in the Main Event. Donald Dombach leads the 26 players from Pennsylvania who made it through Day 2AB. Dombach ended the day with 314,000. Not too far behind him is four-time bracelet winner Brian Hastings. He built his stack up to 274,000. He's followed by Dennis Cronin (251,300), Francis Stempin (202,200), and Volpe. Other notables from Pennsylvania who finished with chips on Saturday include Matt Brady (181,900), Matt Glantz (166,200), Seth Berger (164,900), and Aaron Overton (136,800). Top 10 Chip Counts Timothy Su - 791,000 Tony Blanchandin - 744,500 Anton Morgenstern - 735,000 Florian Duta - 731,500 Galen Hall - 705,900 Gerald Claunch - 699,600 Rachid Amamou - 688,000 Bryan Buonocore - 668,800 Anthony Spinella - 643,700 Brian Yoon - 643,400
  6. In the eight years since the World Series of Poker Main Event went to a three-starting flight schedule, only once has the Day 1A field reach 1,000 or more players and that was 2012 when they snuck into four-digit territory with 1,066 players. There was no sneaking in on Wednesday. 1,336 players showed up to play Day 1A, giving WSOP officials hope that this year's event might be a record-breaker. Williams wasn't the only notable to suffer an early end to his Main Event. Shane Warne, Frank Kassela, Bryn Kenney, Mohsin Charania, Brandon Shack-Harris, and Kristen Bicknell all ended with a zero as their Day 1A chip count. Former Main Event Champs Advance Just two former Main Event winners managed to work their way through the five levels of play on Day 1A. Chris Moneymaker, fresh off of his ninth-place finish in the partypoker MILLIONS Las Vegas, ended the day 95,000 while 2016 Main Event winner Qui Nguyen had a much better day, finishing with 180,500. Foxen, Strelitz, Bonomo Highlight Notables Moving on to Day 2A There were 960 players who made it through Day 1A. While a number of top players like to wait until Day 1C to play, there were a plethora of poker superstars who played on Wednesday and finished with chips in a bag. Daniel Strelitz, still basking in the flow of winning his first bracelet, finished with 185,300. Poker vlogger Johnnie Moreno (aka Johnnie Vibes) tripled his starting stack and finished with 184,000. Alex Foxen nearly did the same, ending with 173,200. Justin Bonomo accumulated 96,000 through the day to move on to Day 2. Other notables advancing from Day 1A include Patrick Serda (216,700), Jeff Lisandro (180,100), Jack Sinclair (153,800), Isaac Baron (146,600), Kelly Minkin (137,100), Billy Baxter (131,500), Brian Hastings (124,200), Matt Glantz (120,800), Arlie Shaban (113,600), Brian Rast (109,100), Kevin MacPhee (82,500), Garrett Greer (69,300), Ben Yu (63,600), Mike Gorodinsky (57,800), Erik Seidel (57,400), Stephen Chidwick (45,000), Marvin Rettenmaier (30,800), and Poker Hall of Fame finalist Chris Bjorin (18,000). Rapper Hoodie Allen Goes to Work, Bags Big Rapper Hoodie Allen, real name Steven Markowitz, was a Happy Camper at the end of Day 1A. The 31-year-old University of Pennsylvania grad lived up to The Hype and finished with 151,500, good enough for a top 100 stack. Markowitz will hope People Keep Talking when he returns for Day 2AB on Sunday. He has one previous WSOP cash, a 35th place finish in a 2016 $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event. Michael Miller Leads Pennsylvania Contingent into Day 2A With the launch of Pennsylvania Online Poker looming, 17 players from the Keystone State managed to turn Day 1A into a trip to Day 2A. Leading the way is Michael Miller. The Haverford, PA native just missed out on having a top 10 stack after finishing with 235,800. The next biggest Pennsylvania stack belongs to Gregory Fishberg with 168,800. They're joined by Jesse Smith (136,600), Alan Schein (135,000), Brian Hastings (124,200), Matt Glantz (120,800), Alexander Krisak (117,000), John Andress (104,900), Joseph Palma (100,100), Sean Magee (88,500), Dennis Cronin (85,700), David Knudsen (76,600), James Hundt (72,900), Jennifer Shahade (72,400), Ronald Lankin (49,500), Gary Bowker (25,800), and Seth Berger (DNR). The Day 1A Numbers Could Be Hinting at Something Big Historicially, Day 1A is always the least popular Main Event starting flight. It requires being in Las Vegas the longest amount of time, there's a two-day gap between Day 1A and Day 2A, and it means being in Sin City on July 4th. Over the last five years, Day 1A has accounted for an average of 11.44% of the overall field size, staying steady with a high of 11.75% last summer and a low of 11.01% in 2017. If that trend were to hold true this year, WSOP officials are looking at a record-setting year that will eclipse the 8,773 runners that turned out in 2006. Top 10 Chip Counts Bryan Campanello - 417,500 Timothy Su - 297,300 Quentin Roussey - 266,400 Takehiro Kato - 259,200 Charidimos Demetriou - 252,000 Craig Chait - 249,600 Stephen Graner - 247,100 Mark Zullo - 245,600 David Lolis - 245,100 Thomas Roupe - 238,800
  7. Garry Gates grew up and went to college in Pennsylvania, but he's always been drawn to Las Vegas. He was also drawn to poker and has been an avid player ever since his father taught him how to play cards in his younger years. After attending Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, it only took Gates half a year to make the leap to Sin City. That was in 2003. In 2011, Gates competed in the greatest poker tournament in the world, the World Series of Poker Main Event, and placed 173rd for $47,107. He also reached the money in the WSOP Main Event in 2015 and 2017, but none of those results came close to his run in 2019 when Gates finished fourth from a field of 8,569 entries to win $3,000,000. With the score, Gates moved to ninth on Pennsylvania poker's all-time money list, according to Hendon Mob, ahead of Aaron Mermelstein and behind Michael Martin. Here are some of the key hands that helped land Gates at the 2019 WSOP Main Event final table and poker's biggest stage, along with his thoughts on the moments he'll likely never forget. Day 5: Pocket Nines Crack Aces On Day 5 of the 2019 WSOP Main Event, with just under 300 players remaining, Gates found himself involved in a four-way pot with Alex Dovzhenko, Chris Wynkoop, and Alex Greenblatt. Dovzhenko had raised to 60,000 from the hijack seat, Gates called on the button with the [poker card="9s"][poker card="9c"], Wynkoop called from the small blind, and Greenblatt came along out of the big bling. The four players saw the flop come [poker card="9h"][poker card="4c"][poker card="3h"], giving Gates top set, and action checked to Dovzhenko. He bet 90,000, Gates called, and both Wynkoop and Greenblatt folded. The turn was the [poker card="Jh"] and Dovzhenko checked. Gates took the initiative with a bet of 150,000 from his stack of 760,000. Dovzhenko check-raised all in and had Gates covered. Gates went into the tank. "I certainly felt a lot more confident about my hand on the flop than I did on the turn, that’s for sure," Gates told PocketFives. "I think I knew deep down I was probably never folding in this spot, but I took my time with the decision regardless. Whenever you're facing a call for your tournament life in the WSOP Main Event, it's important to be confident that you're making the right decision. Alex played his hand fairly face up here, so once I'd made the decision to call, all I could think was, 'Hold, please,' and we did." Gates called with his set of nines. Dovzhenko turned over the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="As"] for an overpaid and a heart flush draw. The river was the [poker card="5c"] and Gates held for the double. Day 6: An Ace On the River To Never Forget On Day 6, Gates called all in for his tournament life with the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Kd"] against Robert Heidorn. Gates had one of the better hands to get all in preflop with in tournament poker, but his German opponent turned up the [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Kc"] to have Gates dominated. "Obviously it's never a good feeling to find out that you're completed dominated with your tournament life on the line, but I did have an eery calm rush over me in that moment," Gates said. "I was at peace with the result no matter what… I had already bested my previous top finish in the Main, so I was going to be happy regardless. After we completely bricked the flop, I remember thinking about Barry Greenstein's book and saying to myself… 'Ace on the river, maybe?'" The [poker card="Qc"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4d"] flop didn’t give Gates much to be thrilled about. His had whiffed on hitting an ace and was left with just one card to help him make a Broadway straight. When the [poker card="5h"] hit the turn, Gates was pushed further out the door as his chance of making a straight were no longer possible. The only card Gates could hit was an ace on the river. Lo and behold, the dealer found the [poker card="Ad"] to put on fifth street and Gates came from behind in dramatic fashion to double up. "When it hit, I shot out of my chair and ran over to my rail," Gates said. "I couldn’t believe it. Anytime you attempt to navigate through a field of 8,500-plus, you're going to need to get lucky every now and again. But man, that ace gave me new life. When you think about it, it was probably a $2.7 million card." Day 7: Cowboys Against the Chip Leader On Day 7, with 13 players left in the field, Gates was involved in another kings-versus-ace-king confrontation. Again, Gates was at risk, but this time he was the one holding pocket kings - [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Kc"]. Hossein Ensan, who was the big chip leader at the time, had the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Kd"]. The preflop action started with Gates raising to 1.2 million from the hijack seat. Ensan three-bet to 3.75 million out of the small blind, and then Gates made it 10 million. Ensan shoved and Gates called off for 23.5 million total. "The adrenaline was pumping, and I knew that if we held here, I would be very well positioned to make a run at the final table," Gates said. "I remember walking over to Robert Heidorn, who made a terrific comeback after being on the losing hand of this same confrontation, and saying something like… 'I know what you're thinking right now, Robert, and I don't want to experience your pain.' Once all the money gets in though, the rest is up to the deck." The [poker card="8d"][poker card="8h"][poker card="3h"] flop missed Ensan and kept Gates in the lead. The [poker card="2d"] hit the turn, followed by the [poker card="Jc"] on the river, and Gates had doubled to fourth place on the leaderboard. "Securing that double-up and celebrating with my rail was a moment I'll remember for a long, long time," Gates said. [caption id="attachment_625802" align="aligncenter" width="903"] Garry Gates with his rail moments after securing a big double up with pocket kings against Hossein Ensan's ace-king (photo: 888poker)[/caption] Day 7: Trip Kings with 13 Players Left Shortly after Gates' double up through Ensan, a 20-minute break took place. On the sixth hand back, Gates tangled with Timothy Su in another pivotal hand. Su raised to 1.3 million from the cutoff position to start the action. Gates three-bet to 3.9 million on the button, and Su called. Su then checked the [poker card="7c"][poker card="5s"][poker card="3d"] flop. Gates kept his foot on the gas with a bet of 3.5 million, and Su called. The turn was the [poker card="Ks"], and both players checked to see the [poker card="Kh"] pair the board on the river. Su passed the action to Gates once again, and Gates fired 6.5 million. Su took a little time and then called, but he mucked his hand after seeing Gates’ [poker card="Kc"][poker card="Qs"] for trip kings with a queen kicker. This pot moved Gates ahead of Su in the chip counts and up to third place on the leaderboard with a stack of 118 big blinds. Day 7: Out-Kicking Henry Lu for the Knockout With 11 players left, Gates was on the main feature table that had five players seated at it. The blinds were up to 400,000-800,000 with an 800,000 big blind ante, and this is when Gates knocked out Henry Lu. Lu raised to 1.8 million from the cutoff seat, Gates reraised to 7 million from the small blind, and Lu called. The dealer fanned the [poker card="Jc"][poker card="Td"][poker card="7s"] flop and Gates bet 4.5 million. Lu called to swell the pot to nearly 25 million. After the [poker card="6d"] fell on the turn, Gates slowed down with a check. Lu bet 7.8 million, leaving himself with 25.8 million behind, and Gates went into the tank. Eventually, Gates shoved all in to put Lu to the test. Lu tanked for a handful of minutes before calling all in with the [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Js"] for top pair. Gates had him out-kicked with the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Jh"]. "Yeah, when you check-shove with top pair, top kicker on a board like this, I think you're always happy with a fold," Gates said. "He spent an awful long time in the tank, so my mind was racing a mile a minute. I tried to keep composed and not give anything away. Once he made the call and tabled his hand, I was mostly just happy to find out that my read was correct and knew the rest was out of my hands." Gates gave a slight fist pump when he saw Lu's hand. "It was one of those spots where my intuition allowed me to extract max value in a spot that a lot of pros probably play differently," Gates said. "That, plus I got some phenomenal intel from a good friend who plays with Lu a lot in California, and said he's capable of making the occasional sticky hero call, so in the end it was a case of things lining up just about perfectly for me. All that said, I'm pretty sure I lost a week's worth of life expectancy, due to an increase in blood pressure and stress… I don't know how these guys do this on a daily basis, but hats off to them (laughs)." Gates finished Day 7 in second place in chips, behind only the event's eventual winner, Hossein Ensan. Each of these hands played a pivotal role in propelling Gates to the 2019 WSOP Main Event final table. From there, the man from Titusville, home of John Heisman and the place where the first United States oil boom was sparked, went on to finish fourth for $3,000,000.
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