Who To Watch Out For At The WSOP Main Event Final Table

2018 WSOP felt

Poker players often recount busting out from the World Series of Poker Main Event as the worst day of the year.

Well, for nine players that day has yet to come.

The 2018 WSOP Main Event final table found its final nine players just before midnight on Wednesday and after nearly two and a half hours of ten-handed play.

Yueqi Zhu has the unfortunate distinction of being eliminated in tenth place, narrowly missing the most heralded final table in poker. It was a colossal cooler that included a three-way all in.

Zhu held kings, Antoine Labat held kings, and Nicolas Manion had aces. When the hand was done, Manion secured the chip lead, Labat was left with eight big blinds, and Zhu collected his $850,025 paycheck for tenth place and hit the rail.

The 2018 WSOP Main Event Final Table

The 2018 World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event started with 7,874 entries. Nine players remain to battle for the $8,800,000 first-place prize and the championship gold bracelet. Every remaining player is guaranteed at least $1 million, and every player will be disappointed with less than $8.8 million.

Here are the final table standings:

SeatPlayerChip CountBig Blinds
1Artem Metalidi15,475,00026
2John Cynn37,075,00062
3Alex Lynskey25,925,00043
4Tony Miles42,750,00071
5Nicolas Manion 112,775,000188
6Aram Zobian18,875,00031
7Michael Dyer109,175,000182
8Joe Cada23,675,00039
9Antoine Labat8,050,00013

Here are the final table payouts:

  • 1st place – $8,800,000
  • 2nd place – $5,000,000
  • 3rd place – $3,750,000
  • 4th place – $2,825,000
  • 5th place – $2,150,000
  • 6th place – $1,800,000
  • 7th place – $1,500,000
  • 8th place – $1,250,000
  • 9th place – $1,000,000

Previewing the 2018 WSOP final table

Following is a look at the members of the 2018 WSOP final table in order of chip position.

Chip leader, Nicolas Manion (112,775,000)

Manion enters the final table as the chip leader thanks to the aforementioned last hand of play on Day 7. The small-stakes, Muskegon, Michigan tournament grinder, with minimal live poker tournament experience, sits with 29 percent of the chips in play.

He has 188 big blinds and some famous friends to help him outlast the remaining players to claim victory. Jordan Young (also from Michigan) and the team from poker training group SolveForWhy staked Manion in a couple of $2,175 Main Event satellites in return for 50 percent of his action. Manion crushed the satellites winning two Main Event seats. With a minimum of $1 million guaranteed, Manion already eclipses his lifetime live earnings of $10,970.

Michael Dyer (109,175,000)

Michael Dyer of Houston, Texas, started Day 6 leading the remaining 109 players in chips and sat with a huge lead for most of Day 7. He retook the lead after eliminating Paulo Goncalves in 21st place. Dyer proceeded to knock out four more players along the way to the final table.

Dyer has 28 percent of the chips in play and has $95,020 in live career earnings. Those earnings include an eighth-place finish in the 2009 WSOP $ 2,000 No Limit Hold’em for $65,905. His last live cash came in the summer of 2016 when he finished 202nd in Event #54 – $ 888 No Limit Hold’em Crazy Eights 8-Handed.

Tony Miles (42,750,000)

Tony Miles hails from Jacksonville, Florida and enters the final table sitting third in chips. Miles recorded his first live tournament cash in 2011, and since then he has earned a total of $54,333. He comes to the final table with two WSOP cashes this summer and the experience of playing with Antonio Esfandiari and David Kitai during his Main Event run.

John Cynn (37,075,000)

John Cynn from Indianapolis, Indiana isn’t new to playing on Day 7. In 2016, Cynn made it within two players of the final table. He has $944,786 in lifetime earnings, including the $650,000 he earned for his 11th-place finish in the Main Event two years ago. Cynn has 28 career cashes with a sixth-place being his highest finish to date. He has plenty of play left holding 62 big blinds.

Alex Lynskey (25,925,000)

Entering the final table fifth in chips is Melbourne, Australia‘s Alex Lynskey. Lynskey has earned $1,769,666 in live tournament winnings with nearly a third of that figure coming at WSOP events.

Lynskey has 42 live tournament cashes, including three WSOP cashes this summer alone. He will start the day with 43 big blinds and has the experience of a final table under the lights at the 2015 Aussie Millions where he placed fourth working for him.

Joe Cada (23,675,000)

There is no doubt all eyes are on Joe Cada as he sets out to become the first two-time Main Event champion since Stu Ungar won the Main Event in 1997. Not even Phil Hellmuth, who just won his 15th WSOP bracelet has come this close to a repeat performance.

Cada, from Shelby Township, Michigan is having one heck of a summer. He has five cashes, two final tables, and he earned his third bracelet in Event #3 – $ 3,000 No Limit Hold’em – Shootout. He may be one of the shorter stacks at the table, but Cada has the experience to turn his 39 big-blind stack into gold.

Aram Zobian (18,875,000)

Aram Zobian from Cranston, Rhode Island comes to the final table with $110,444 of live earnings to his name. His first recorded live tournament cash came in the 2016 WSOP. Since then, he has registered 25 cashes, mostly from the mid-stakes circuit.

Zobian was the chip leader heading into Day 7 with 26 players remaining. He started the day with more than 41 million in chips, but the cards didn’t fall his way. Even so, he still has 31 big blinds to work with.

Artem Metalidi (15,475,000)

The Ukranian poker pro, Artem Metalidi, is an accomplished player posting consistent wins since 2011. He has the most notable resume outside of Cada with $2.1 million in live tournament earnings.

Metalidi has collected a second-place finish in both an EPT and WSOP event and is gunning for first. He has his work cut out for him, though, with the second-shortest chip stack and only 21 big blinds.

Antoine Labat (8,050,000)

Hopefully, France‘s Labat shook off the cooler he experienced to end Day 7. He will be looking for some better luck on Day 8. As the short stack, Labat starts the day with only 13 big blinds. To date, Labat has earned $194,789 in live tournament winnings, and has 17 tournament cashes, mostly in Europe since 2009.

WSOP Final Table players to watch

The obvious choice of who to watch falls squarely on the two chip leaders, Manion and Dyer. They have dominant chip leads over the rest of the field. Most likely, they will stay out of each other’s way while trying to collect the chips from the smaller stacks. However, the one thing that is evident from past final tables is to expect the unexpected.

Don’t be too quick to ordain one of the chip leaders the winner. You can’t count out the experience of Cada and Lynskey. Cada is likely to be the fan favorite. He is on the threshold of making history by becoming the first repeat Main Event champion in over 20 years. The last time he had a chance at history, by becoming the youngest Main Event champion, he closed it out.

Whoever you are rooting for, you can catch all the action on ESPN starting at 9:00 p.m. (ET)

About

Kim Yuhl is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about poker culture and the online gambling industry. A part-time member of the poker media since 2013, Kim recently sold her marketing business to write full-time while traveling around the world. You can learn more about her work and travels at kimyuhl.com.