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WSOP final table
The Main Event Final Table. Left to right: Hossein Ensan; Nick Marchington; Dario Sammartino; Kevin Maahs; Timothy Su; Zhen Cai; Garry Gates; Milos Skrbic; Alex Livingston. (Image: Joe Giron/WSOP.com)
Each has endured a grueling schedule of 12-hour days for a week to reach this spot, although they will be well compensated for their hard work. Each is already guaranteed millionaire, but all will be eyeing the big prize. The new world champion will be decided on Tuesday night and will take home $10 million. That’s more than four times as much as the winner of the Men’s Wimbledon Final will pick up on Sunday.

The overwhelming favorite to do this is Hossein Ensan, a former winner of the EPT Prague from Germany. He takes a big chip lead into the final, with 177 million, versus his closest competitor Garry Gates, from the US, on 99.3 million.

The Fan Favorite
Gates is popular with the rail. A recreational player and long-time member of the poker media, he has spent the last week obliterating the theory that poker journalists talk the talk but can’t walk the walk.

Gates spent many years leading PokerNews’ live-hand reporting from tournaments around the world, which has won him the support of at least one poker legend.

I’m not a big believer in karma but, my god, after so many years of putting up with every single high roller diva in poker … @GarryGates deserved that ace on the river and 10 million dollars of poker player money that are going to follow!” tweeted Canadian phenom Mike McDonald.

The most accomplished among the nine is Italian Dario Sammartino, an “elite” player of the high-roller circuit with more than $8 million in live tournament earnings. With 33 big blinds, he doesn’t have a huge amount of wiggle room, but give this guy some chips and he will do some damage.

After taking a year off from the game in 2018, Sammartino has returned with a vengeance and has been on a tear at the WSOP so far, cashing seven times and reaching two final tables, including a third-place finish in the prestigious $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship.

The Short Stack
Looking to make Main Event history – but with all the work to do – is 21-year-old short stack Nick Marchington, who would become the youngest WSOP champion in history if he is able to turn the odds around and put his 20 big blinds to good use. He would also be only the second Brit to win the title, after Mansour Matloubi in 1990.

Marchington ended Day 6 as the tournament chip leader but ultimately just squeaked through onto the final table. A pro player for just one year – and barely old enough to gamble in Las Vegas — he has just one other live tournament cash to his name.

The WSOP Main Event is celebrating its 50th year this year, and it attracted the biggest field since 2006, which was the height of the so-called “poker boom.” This suggests the game is in robust health and as popular as ever, despite recent reports to the contrary.

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