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2019 WSOP Main Event Final Table Profile: Kevin Maahs

2019 WSOP Main Event Final Table Profile: Kevin Maahs

Brought to you by the WSOP-C Playground, hosted by Playground Poker Club and partypoker LIVE. Last year's long-awaited return to Canada of the WSOP Circuit smashed attendance records. The $1,100 Main Event with a huge $2,000,000 guaranteed prize pool and the $330 Colossus with a $1,000,000 guaranteed prize pool of its own are two of the seven events on tap for this year's edition, which is expected to attract even larger fields than last year's record-breaking series.


Final Table Profile Kevin Maahs

Seat:4
Chip Count:43,000,000 (4/9)
Big Blinds:43
Age:27
Hometown:Chicago, Illinois, United States

Kevin Maahs' Main Event Story

During the last few years, Chicago native Kevin Maahs has strung together an excellent series of tournament cashes across the Midwest. He finished second in the 2018 Heartland Poker Tour for $20,625. He finished second in the 2016 $3,000 High Roller tournament at the Heartland Poker Tour for $12,221. And he won the 2018 WSOP Warm Up in Hammond, Indiana, for $12,000. For Maahs, a Loyola University alum who majored in finance, poker has offered a profitable pastime.

"I play all the time. It's a great hobby of mine," he said.

"I play all the time. It's a great hobby of mine."

This year, for the first time, Maahs decided to compete in the WSOP Main Event. Of all the players who made the final table, only Maahs bought into the tournament on Day 2. The merits of late registration was a much-debated topic this summer. If you're playing in the Main Event, for instance, should you play on Day 1 and arrive promptly at 11 a.m.? Should you show up later in the day? Or should you skip Day 1 entirely and register on Day 2 with a shorter stack?

For Maahs, entering on Day 2 was a calculated decision. "It fits more with the style of my game," he explained. "I actually like short-stacked poker more. So I decided to play on Day 2. I've never had a really large stack in this tournament."

After skipping Day 1, Maahs finished Day 2 with a healthy 262,100 in chips, and he hasn't looked back. He currently sits in the middle of the pack at the final table with 43,000,000, good for fourth in chips.

How Kevin Maahs Got to the Final Table

DayEnd-of-Day Chip CountRank
2ab262,100215/1,087
3123,0001013/1,286
42,596,00043/354
57,630,00020/106
619,550,00010/35
743,000,0004/9

Kevin Maahs' Key Hands

"There's been a bunch of key hands," Maahs said, reflecting on the journey through his first Main Event. "I'm just grateful to be here right now. It's awesome. It's a dream come true."

"I'm just grateful to be here right now. It's awesome. It's a dream come true."

One pivotal hand happened during Level 31 on Day 6, with the blinds at 125,000/250,000. Chang Luo raised to 550,000 from early position, and Milos Skrbic reraised to 1,675,000 from the button. Looking down at the {k-Hearts}{k-Clubs}, Maahs four-bet to 3,750,000 in the big blind. When Luo announced that he was all in for approximately 8.1 million, Skrbic folded, and Maahs eventually called, seeing the bad news when his opponent turned over a pair of red aces. The {q-Clubs}{8-Clubs}{3-Clubs} gave him a glimmer of hope. Although he couldn't hit his flush on the {q-Hearts} turn, the {10-Clubs} gave him the best hand and the massive pot to bust Luo.

What to Watch For

Throughout the tournament, Maahs has quietly gone about his business. He's shown patience and discipline, gradually chipping up and avoiding any rash mistakes. "I got some good hands in some key spots and took advantage of them," he said at the end of Day 7. "And my hands held."

Late in the evening, for example, Maahs was clinging to his tournament life as a short stack in the last place. He patiently waited for a good opportunity to commit his remaining chips—and found it, when he doubled up with two aces against Milos Skrbic's {a-Clubs}{q-Spades}.

As he looks ahead to Sunday's final table, Maahs remains optimistic. "I’m actually in a great spot, in fourth," he said. "I haven’t been the chip leader yet, so being in the middle of the pack is comfortable for me."

Kevin Maahs

2019 WSOP Main Event Final Table Seating

SeatPlayerCountryChip CountBig Blinds
1Hossein EnsanGermany177,000,000177
2Nick MarchingtonUnited Kingdom20,100,00020
3Dario SammartinoItaly33,400,00033
4Kevin MaahsUnited States43,000,00043
5Timothy SuUnited States20,200,00020
6Zhen CaiUnited States60,600,00061
7Garry GatesUnited States99,300,00099
8Milos SkrbicSerbia23,400,00023
9Alex LivingstonCanada37,800,00038

There is 1:31:35 remaining in Level 37 (500,000/1,000,000, with a 1,000,000-big blind ante).

2019 WSOP Main Event Final Table Payout

PositionPrize
1$10,000,000
2$6,000,000
3$4,000,000
4$3,000,000
5$2,200,000
6$1,850,000
7$1,525,000
8$1,250,000
9$1,000,000

2019 WSOP Main Event Final Table Player Stats

PlayerFirst CashWSOP CashesCareer EarningsBiggst CashGPI Ranking
Zhen Cai200821$213,995$46,90012,632
Hossein Ensan20133$2,673,206$860,0917,331
Garry Gates201015$243,129$64,53025,386
Alex Livingston200917$732,874$451,3983,866
Kevin Maahs20161$61,213$20,6257,005
Nick Marchington20191$12,415$12,41530,643
Dario Sammartino200838$8,044,479$1,608,29578
Milos Skrbic20116$1,670,572$1,087,603457
Timothy Su20181$2,467$1,08059,081

Stats courtesy of WSOP.com and HendonMob.com.

2019 World Series of Poker Main Event infographic depicting the chip counts of the final nine

The 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event returns to action Sunday, July 14 at 6:30 p.m. local time. A Main Event Day 7 recap can be found here. You can follow the action via the PokerNews Live Reporting Blog where we'll detail all the hands in our exclusive WSOP Main Event Live Updates.

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  • "I'm just grateful to be here right now. It's awesome. It's a dream come true," Kevin Maahs makes FT

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