MSPT Sycuan Casino
Event #73: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em MAIN EVENT - World Championship
Event #73: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em MAIN EVENT - World Championship
Day 7 Completed

Ensan Leads Race for $10 Million at Main Event Final Table, Industry Vet Gates in Second

mnuwwarah • Level 37: 500,000-1,000,000, 1,000,000 ante
Hossein Ensan
Hossein Ensan

After a week of 12-plus hour days grinding away at the felt in the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event has come down to nine players. Nine players, and one will walk away with $10 million and poker immortality.

Five North Americans and four Europeans. An EPT champion with a monstrous chip lead. A poker industry lifer who crushes the WSOP Main Event. A nosebleed regular with over $8 million in cashes. A little-known software engineer who busted a legend with the semi-bluff shove heard 'round the poker world.

Each has his own story, but they all have one thing in common: they've spent the past week making their way through a field of 8,569, and they all earned the right to play for $10 million on poker's grandest stage.

Official Final Table

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).

The favorite heading into the final table appears to be German-based EPT reg Hossein Ensan. While he started the day second in chips and sports more than $2.6 million in cashes, including an EPT Prague title, few could have imagined the lead with which Ensan would end Day 7.

With 177 million, Ensan has nearly double the stack of second-place Garry Gates (99.3 million) and right around a third of the total amount in play. Ensan played two massive pots that accounted for his lapping the field.

First, he picked off an ambitious triple barrel bluff from Nick Marchington with flopped aces up. Marchington attempted to check-raise the flop with nothing but backdoor equity and blasted the turn and river with just a turned pair of deuces. Then, Ensan flopped middle set in a three-bet pot against Timothy Su and got huge value, checking back the turn when he hit a board and getting a river raise to 45 million paid off.

"[My game], it's working," he said with a smile when asked. "It's working very good. What can I say?"

Second in chips but certainly not in the hearts of a robust rail, Gates had the well wishes of many a high roller coming his way from the poker Twitterverse. They're familiar with Gates from his years working in the industry, formerly with PokerNews and for the past 10 years so helping run PokerStars' live events and VIP services.

Garry Gates
Garry Gates takes in the moment with his rail.

"I love having everybody in my corner," he said. "It means everything. I got some text messages this morning from guys like Erik Seidel, John Juanda, Jason Koon. People I've worked with in the industry forever. Every colleague and industry person has reached out and sent me well wishes.

"It's special — it's really, really special."

All of the time around the elite has apparently rubbed off on Gates enough to sharpen his game and lead him to four Main Event cashes. Prior to this year, his best run came in 2011, but that $47K is a pittance compared to the $1 million he's locked up here.

Ensan and Gates have separated themselves from the rest of the pack as only Zhen Cai with 60.6 million is anywhere near Gates. However, plenty of play still remains as even the shortest stacks — belonging to start-of-day leader Marchington and Day 6 giant slayer Timothy Su — are good for 20 big blinds. In the WSOP Main Event's famously slow structure, they'll have a bit of time to look for a spot to double right back into contention.

One player nobody wants to see gain any momentum is high-stakes pro Dario Sammartino. The Italian with the piercing stare and $8 million in cashes would be the clear favorite, all things being equal. Luckily for everyone else, all things aren't equal and he sits sixth in the counts with a little more than 30 big blinds.

That may in part be due to an unfortunate situation that unfolded during the final two tables. With 11 players left, Sammartino opened and faced what he thought was a shove of a little more than 20 big blinds from Marchington. However, the dealer apparently miscounted the shove and it was closer to 30 big blinds. Sammartino, holding tens, committed himself to a call before the count was correctly relayed to him.

Dario Sammartino
Sammartino ran into a sticky situation when a dealer miscounted an opponent's stack.

First one then a second, higher up, tournament supervisor ruled the call would stand in spite of the error. Sammartino protested vigorously but had to send a double when he couldn't improve against pocket queens.

He called the hand "sick" but he managed to keep his composure and put himself in position etch his name in poker history.

He and the rest of the remaining players have a day off on Saturday to relax and ready themselves for showtime on Sunday evening, when play resumes at 6:30 p.m. for the first of three days that will determine poker's next world champ.

Ensan said despite his chip lead, he isn't counting his chickens. He acknowledged variance will likely be the determining factor in who walks away with $10 million.

"In poker, you need skill," he said. "But after skill, you need luck. In final table, you need more luck than skill. You need cards. If you have cards and good run, you can win."

Nine players remain and each will be hoping he's the one with the luck, while also applying whatever skills he can summon. Millions of dollars depend on it, and the action resumes on Sunday.

Tags: Dario SammartinoGarry GatesHossein Ensan

2019 WSOP Main Event Final Table

tRaMSt0p • Level 37: 500,000-1,000,000, 1,000,000 ante
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).

Hossein Ensan de
Hossein Ensan
de 177,000,000 -2,500,000
Garry Gates us
Garry Gates
us 99,300,000
Zhen Cai us
Zhen Cai
us 60,600,000 13,800,000
Kevin Maahs us
Kevin Maahs
us 43,000,000
Alex Livingston ca
Alex Livingston
ca 37,800,000
Dario Sammartino it
Dario Sammartino
it 33,400,000 -2,200,000
Milos Skrbic rs
Milos Skrbic
rs 23,400,000 -500,000
Timothy Su us
Timothy Su
us 20,200,000
Nick Marchington gb
Nick Marchington
gb 20,100,000 -8,600,000

Robert Heidorn Eliminated in 10th Place ($800,000)

zedmaster84 • Level 37: 500,000-1,000,000, 1,000,000 ante
Robert Heidorn
Robert Heidorn

Main Feature Hand #129: Robert Heidorn pushed all in for 9,100,000 from middle position and Alex Livingston shoved for 26,200,000 on the button to isolate successfully.

Robert Heidorn: {k-Hearts}{q-Hearts}
Alex Livingston: {8-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}

The {9-Clubs}{8-Clubs}{7-Spades} flop gave Livingston a set, while the {j-Diamonds} turn provided outs for a miracle straight escape. However, the {5-Clubs} river came a blank and Heidorn ended up as the final table bubble-boy.

Heidorn took home $800,000 for his efforts and the final nine players bagged and tagged their chips for the night.

They will return on Sunday, July 14th, 2019, to play from nine to six. All chip counts and a recap of today's action is to follow.

Robert Heidorn
Robert Heidorn
Alex Livingston ca
Alex Livingston
ca 37,800,000 9,100,000
Robert Heidorn de
Robert Heidorn
de Busted

Tags: Alex LivingstonRobert Heidorn

Main Feature Hands #127-129: Cai Takes Two in a Row

zedmaster84 • Level 37: 500,000-1,000,000, 1,000,000 ante

Hand #127: Nick Marchington made it 2,000,000 to go and Zhen Cai three-bet to 6,600,000 in the cutoff. Marchington called and they headed to a flop of {k-Spades}{q-Spades}{7-Spades}. Marchington checked and Cai effectively moved all in for 22,100,000, as that's what Marchington had behind. No call followed and the pot was shipped to Cai.

Hand #128: Dario Sammartino raised to 2,200,000 and Cai three-bet to 5,700,000 in the hijack. Sammartino folded and Cai claimed the second pot in a row.

Tags: Dario SammartinoNick MarchingtonZhen Cai

Main Feature Hands #124-126: Two for Cai, One for Skrbic

tRaMSt0p • Level 37: 500,000-1,000,000, 1,000,000 ante

Hand #124: Zhen Cai received a walk in the big blind.

Hand #125: Zhen Cai limped the small blind and Garry Gates checked his option. The flop landed {4-Spades}{3-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}, Cai led for 1,600,000 and Gates folded.

Hand #126: Zhen Cai raised his button to 2,700,000, Milos Skrbic shoved all in for 19,700,000, and Cai folded.

Hossein Ensan de
Hossein Ensan
de 179,500,000
Garry Gates us
Garry Gates
us 99,300,000 -2,500,000
Zhen Cai us
Zhen Cai
us 46,800,000 -200,000
Kevin Maahs us
Kevin Maahs
us 43,000,000
Dario Sammartino it
Dario Sammartino
it 35,600,000
Nick Marchington gb
Nick Marchington
gb 28,700,000
Alex Livingston ca
Alex Livingston
ca 28,700,000
Milos Skrbic rs
Milos Skrbic
rs 23,900,000 3,200,000
Timothy Su us
Timothy Su
us 20,200,000
Robert Heidorn de
Robert Heidorn
de 9,100,000 -500,000

Tags: Garry GatesMilos SkrbicZhen Cai

Main Feature Hands #121-123: Skrbic Wins Blinds Twice

zedmaster84 • Level 37: 500,000-1,000,000, 1,000,000 ante

Hand #121: Milos Skrbic opened to 2,000,000 and scooped the blinds and big blind ante.

Hand #122: Skrbic raised to 2,000,000 once more and earned the blinds and big blind ante once more.

Hand #123: Kevin Maahs raised the button to 2,500,000 and received no call.

Hossein Ensan de
Hossein Ensan
de 179,500,000
Garry Gates us
Garry Gates
us 101,800,000
Zhen Cai us
Zhen Cai
us 47,000,000
Kevin Maahs us
Kevin Maahs
us 43,000,000
Dario Sammartino it
Dario Sammartino
it 35,600,000 -500,000
Nick Marchington gb
Nick Marchington
gb 28,700,000
Alex Livingston ca
Alex Livingston
ca 28,700,000
Milos Skrbic rs
Milos Skrbic
rs 20,700,000 5,000,000
Timothy Su us
Timothy Su
us 20,200,000 -2,500,000
Robert Heidorn de
Robert Heidorn
de 9,600,000 -2,000,000

Tags: Kevin MaahsMilos Skrbic

Main Feature Hands #118-120: Livingston Takes it on the Turn Against Marchington

tRaMSt0p • Level 37: 500,000-1,000,000, 1,000,000 ante

Hand #118: Milos Skrbic moved all in for 13,200,000 from the button and won the blinds and ante.

Hand #119: Alex Livingston raised to 2,500,000 from the button and Nick Marchington called from the big blind.

The flop landed {10-Clubs}{9-Spades}{7-Spades} and both players checked to reveal the {3-Hearts} on the turn. Marchington checked, Livingston bet 3,000,000, and Marchington released his cards to the muck.

Hand #120: Zhen Cai opened from middle position for 2,800,000 and won the blinds and ante.

Hossein Ensan de
Hossein Ensan
de 179,500,000 -2,500,000
Garry Gates us
Garry Gates
us 101,800,000
Zhen Cai us
Zhen Cai
us 47,000,000 2,500,000
Kevin Maahs us
Kevin Maahs
us 43,000,000
Dario Sammartino it
Dario Sammartino
it 36,100,000 -2,000,000
Nick Marchington gb
Nick Marchington
gb 28,700,000 -4,000,000
Alex Livingston ca
Alex Livingston
ca 28,700,000 3,500,000
Timothy Su us
Timothy Su
us 22,700,000
Milos Skrbic rs
Milos Skrbic
rs 15,700,000 2,500,000
Robert Heidorn de
Robert Heidorn
de 11,600,000

Tags: Alex LivingstonMilos SkrbicNick MarchingtonZhen Cai

Garry Gates Has the Love of the Industry Behind Him in the WSOP Main Event

Valerie.Cross • Level 37: 500,000-1,000,000, 1,000,000 ante
Garry Gates
Garry Gates

Back in the day, Garry Gates was grinding poker in the low-limit cash game trenches in Las Vegas, trying to convert his passion for poker into something sustainable. He admitted it was harder than it seemed, but kept at it until he met someone who would change the trajectory of his life.

According to a post written by Gates on the PokerStars blog, he met a man named Gary Wise in Las Vegas - a feature poker writer for ESPN. That got him into the door of poker media and he ran the PokerNews live reporting team that covered the World Series of Poker back in 2008, the same media company now covering his deep Main Event run.

More than ten years back, Gates took a job as a consultant for the PokerStars Live Events team, which then led to Senior Consultant of Player Affairs for PokerStars Live, the position he still holds. All of his experience in the poker world has led to this moment — everyone in the industry rallying behind a man who has given so much to the poker community through his work.

Gates doesn't play much, but the $10,000 WSOP Main Event is something he fires almost every year. This marks his fourth cash in the Main Event, with his deepest run before this coming in 2011 where he finished in 173rd place for $47,107.

This week, all hearts and good vibes are behind Gates as he sits on the other side of the felt, eyeing the $10 million first-place prize and a shot at the 50th annual WSOP Main Event bracelet. The rail behind Gates in the 'mothership' in Amazon is completely full, with bellowing cheers coming every time Gates ships a pot.

"Garry Gates is one of the most incredible, loving, loyal people that we've ever known and he has done so much for other people in poker, so to watch him do this and make history is just incredible," said Kristy Arnett from Gates' rail. "You can tell how much he has done for people in poker by the support he's gotten."

Andrew Moreno also weighed in, talking about Gates' character and heart when it comes to poker. "He's an extremely powerful, motivated individual. While he's not a professional - he's a recreational player - I'm not surprised in the least to see him here, because he believes in himself."

Moreno continued: "To me, you can look at someone's rail and it says a lot about who you are in the world. It's no surprise to me that we can barely hold all of his friends here."

How He Got Here

DayEnd-of-Day Chip CountRank
1c57,8002,291/3,647
2c283,300282/1,793
3348,000586/1,084
41,085,000208/354
54,990,00045/106
624,025,0006/35

Key Hands

On Day 6, Gates found himself all in for his tournament life during Level 31: 125,000-250,000 with a 250,000 big blind ante. According to the live reporting on PokerNews.com, Robert Heidorn raised to 550,000 from middle position and Gates three-bet to 2,100,000 from the big blind. Heidorn thought for a moment before deciding to move all in. Gates called for his stack worth 11,350,000 after tanking for about a minute.

Gates tabled {a-Hearts}{k-Diamonds}, needing to improve against Heidorn's {k-Hearts}{k-Clubs}. It was looking grim for Gates, but the board ran out {q-Clubs}{4-Diamonds}{6-Spades} {5-Hearts} {a-Diamonds} to pair his ace on the river and give him a huge double to stay alive.

On Day 7, Gates found himself on the other side of the aforementioned showdown in another pivotal pot. During Level 34: 250,000-500,000 with a 500,000 big blind ante, Gates raised to 1,200,000 from the hijack. Hossein Ensan three-bet to 3,750,000 from the small blind and then Gates four-bet to 10,000,000. Ensan five-bet an amount that covered Gates' 23,500,000 stack and Gates called with pocket kings as Ensan tabled ace-king.

The board ran out {8-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{3-Hearts} {2-Diamonds} {j-Clubs} and Gates held for yet another huge double. This propelled Gates into the top five stacks, putting him in prime position to make the final table.

What to Watch For

Gates has been working in the industry for over 10 years, with playing experience that extends well beyond that. He has around $250,000 in live earnings, so Gates is no stranger to playing under pressure. On top of this, Gates' rail is full of some of the best players in the world, so expect some solid play and a very deep run in this Main Event.

His relaxed demeanor and massive rail is going to make all of the difference in this tournament. With the entire industry behind him, he'll be tough to beat.

Tags: Andrew MorenoGarry GatesKristy ArnettMike McDonaldWorld Series of PokerWSOP Main Event

Level:
37
Blinds:
500,000/1,000,000
Ante:
1,000,000